Seven Samurai

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Project by BritBoxmaker posted 08-27-2011 04:10 PM 3678 views 18 times favorited 69 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Before I start this is not a glorification of war or weapons. I find some of the aesthetic of the Samurai interesting and that has informed this piece of work.

This is a seven sided box, with legs and a drop-in lid.

Made from Holly, Ebony, Birch and Brass with a foam lined base.

The body of the box is 92mm across x 52mm high. Overall size, including legs, 110mm x 82mm.

Glues are PVA and Cyanoacrylate (viscous). The finish is wax over sanding sealer.

It is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination but it will do. I have spent the best part of 55 hours on this. The only thing I might change is the handle detail on the lid.

I just thought this might be interesting. Its the cutting diagram for the Holly side and top pieces. The board is approx’ 212mm x 134mm. The double lines on one side of each piece are double mitres cut with a 45° router bit, this really helped pack ‘em in.

As I said in the comments the legs were each cut, by bandsaw, individually from a sheet of Ebony approx’ 90mm x 70mm x 1.7mm. Theses were then cleaned up on a belt/disc sander. The thickness is that of my tablesaw blade, which I used to make a circular cut into each corner of the box to accept them

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

69 comments so far

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3337 days

#1 posted 08-27-2011 04:19 PM

Wow…that is really a beautiful box Martyn. You always do impressive work…the curves flow nicely and the proportions are pleasing to the eye.

View zindel's profile


257 posts in 2679 days

#2 posted 08-27-2011 04:23 PM

Brit i wouldn’t knock it so much i would say from what I can see its pretty darn perfect! Quite the amazing box!!

-- If you can't fix it with a hammer, You've got an electrical problem.

View Roger's profile


20929 posts in 2833 days

#3 posted 08-27-2011 04:24 PM

this is a very kool box. very nice Martyn

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View Roger Gaborski's profile

Roger Gaborski

253 posts in 3777 days

#4 posted 08-27-2011 04:40 PM


I am very impressed with your ideas and workmanship. To keep the legs identical do you cut the leg shape in one piece of wood and then slice the wood on a bandsaw to get the identical legs?

-- Roger Gaborski,

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 3614 days

#5 posted 08-27-2011 04:43 PM

Another piece of beauty to delight us with such delicate workmanship Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3065 days

#6 posted 08-27-2011 04:46 PM

Roger (Gaborski), no, they all come from one 1.7mm thick piece (sheet) of Ebony. Bandsawn individually and shaped on a belt/disc sander.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View lanwater's profile


3111 posts in 2963 days

#7 posted 08-27-2011 04:51 PM

Another great box Martyn.

The concept and geometry of this box are quite unique.
The colors contrast nicely and are in harmony and the legs form make it elegant.
Is there a meaning to the seven faces (odd number)?

You got to be very patient to have spend 55 hours. I am pretty sure that the level of details require a lot of times.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View Tootles's profile


808 posts in 2531 days

#8 posted 08-27-2011 04:55 PM

Oh wow! That holly and ebony combination just keeps on working. Perfect or not, it’s still a beauty to look at. And a nice challenge with the seven sides, I’m sure.

-- I may have lost my marbles, but I still have my love of woodworking

View sras's profile


4812 posts in 3158 days

#9 posted 08-27-2011 04:58 PM

Wow!! Every time you post it is such a treat. This one completely blew me away!!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3065 days

#10 posted 08-27-2011 04:59 PM

Yes Tootles, the mitre angle is 51.428571° approximately.

Lanwater, the title comes from the Japanese movie The Seven Samurai which, I seem to remember, is what the other movie, The Magnificent Seven, was based on.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View itsmic's profile


1419 posts in 3147 days

#11 posted 08-27-2011 05:19 PM

Hi Martyn, Very elegant box with the usual pizzazz and artistic flair you so admirably demonstrate on all of Your work, Very cool references to it’s inspiration as well, thanks for sharing

-- It's Mic Keep working and sharing

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3114 days

#12 posted 08-27-2011 05:28 PM

Great looking box, my mind has to keep telling my eyes that the legs are curved and the box sides are
straight. You really know how to make a wonderful visual presentation. I find that the more time I spend
making something the more defects I find in it, even if no one else can see them. I like your approximate
miter angle. Thank you for sharing and upping the challenge level for those who want to try something
different and elegant.

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

View wrench's profile


320 posts in 2643 days

#13 posted 08-27-2011 05:33 PM

Love your work man very cool stuff.

-- J Wrench Syracuse New York

View RogerBean's profile


1605 posts in 2982 days

#14 posted 08-27-2011 05:45 PM

One could do much worse than be inspired by Akira Kurosawa. The Japanese tradition of architecture, art, and case goods, etc. offer a wealth of shapes and icons to work with. I admit, I’ve not had the courage to try them in my boxes, though I very much admire them. This box, and your last one, are both worthy efforts. My compliments.

Both boxes have a sort of stark shoji sort of beauty.

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

View Spoontaneous's profile


1334 posts in 3359 days

#15 posted 08-27-2011 06:20 PM

Uh…. first off….. Exquisite! Both in form and tonality. I got the Seven Samurai reference immediately… as I am a big fan of that movie and even more so, Zatoichi (my hero). Visually, your box has the delicacy of the Shoji, but somehow reminds me of a lantern. IN any case, what a box!!

-- I just got done cutting three boards and all four of them were too short. (true story)

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