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English Yew Document Box

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Project by RogerBean posted 1056 days ago 3324 views 11 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This box is a bit of a departure from the complex shaped boxes I’ve posted recently. My wife wanted a box to hold the clutter of miscellaneous papers that tend to accumulate next to her laptop in our living room.

This 9” x 13” x 2 1/2” box is relatively straightforward, and she specifically wanted it made of pippy yew. I really love yew, but it’s a brittle and difficult veneer to work. Quality figured yew veneer is also pretty scarce here in the U.S., so I consider myself fortunate to have found about 45 small 5×8 sheets that were appropriate. Enough for a couple more boxes.

The lid is a four-way book-match on both the inside and outside. The sides are a two-way match. These sheets needed to be flattened anyway, so I liberally applied softener to soften and flatten the veneer prior to matching. The substrate is Baltic ply. The edging is boxwood, bordered with a black/black/pear/black line inlay.

Because of the size of the lid I chose to hinge it with a pair of Andrew Crawford’s gorgeous SmartHinges. They install beautifully and look superb. I used this box for my LJ review of these hinges. See lumberjocks.com/reviews/2321 They are a delight to install and have become my favorites.

By the way, Andrew has recently posted an excellent video about installing these hinges at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEhM9nuUPm8

For most boxes these days, a lock is superfluous, but, as “box jewelry” I always prefer to include one. Originally, locks were there to protect the contents (tea, spices, liquor, etc.) from the servants, not from burglars. This half mortise lock and small brass escutcheon are from WhiteChapel.com. I polished the lock and screws to match the hinges. The lid has a banding of figured Asian satinwood bordered with a black/white/black line. The line continues around the lid/base edges as well. The lid veneer is laid out to place the more open portion in the center to frame the satinwood fan inlay.

On the underside of the lid the same banding frames a veneer layout that places the figured portion in the center. I also used this box to review Andrew Crawford’s corner inlay chisel jig. See lumberjocks.com/reviews/2270 In that review I demonstrated the method used to do these inlays.

The interior is green pig suede. Because it will hold papers, there is no need for trays or dividers. The ribbon lift allows the papers to be easily lifted for access.

I generally avoid bases and feet, but this box seemed to need a stronger stance at the bottom, so I added a low base of cherry to supplement the low, flat shape. The underside is veneered with quarter cut cherry. The finish is French polish.

Anyway, I’m still clunkin’ along, trying to make the best box I can. Thanks for looking in.

Roger

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





23 comments so far

View hingeman's profile

hingeman

49 posts in 1283 days


#1 posted 1056 days ago

Lovely box, Roger. Very nice choice of the pippy yew – so much better with some less pippy bits as well, the flame in the centre of the leaves gives the lid great movement, inside and out. Using denser, more even pippy or burry stuff it’s easy to lose the point of the bookmatch.

And lower, shallower boxes do indeed work better with a base/plinth as in this case – looks good to me. And I ike the idea of the ribbon – very practical addition.

Many thanks for the plug for the hinges and corner jig. Oh, and you should really be careful about saying to all LJ readers: ‘I really love yew” – yew might get some responses yew’re not expecting.

Andrew C.

-- Andrew Crawford, Shropshire, UK http://www.box-making.com

View SPHinTampa's profile

SPHinTampa

548 posts in 2318 days


#2 posted 1056 days ago

Amazing work

-- Shawn, I ask in order to learn

View BritBoxmaker's profile

BritBoxmaker

4358 posts in 1669 days


#3 posted 1056 days ago

A beautiful box, Roger. I agree with Andrew on the book-matching . Like the plinth also. Now I wonder where I’ve seen that idea, only joking. As for strange replies, aren’t yew yewsed to theses by now?

Joking aside a nice lift to the day seeing this box. Well done and keep posting them.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging. http://www.theartofboxes.com

View CharlieM1958's profile

CharlieM1958

15689 posts in 2851 days


#4 posted 1056 days ago

Another spectacular offering, Roger. And thanks for the link to Andrew’s hinge installation video. Do you know if there are any plans to make those SmartHinges available in the U.S.?

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Bertha's profile

Bertha

12951 posts in 1326 days


#5 posted 1056 days ago

Holy mother of nature, that’s wonderful. To think I have a “clutter” box of my own. You have officially raised the clutter bar. The matching is masterful. The dimensions are grand.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View CiscoKid's profile

CiscoKid

317 posts in 1506 days


#6 posted 1056 days ago

Absolutely brilliant work again, Roger. You are truly an artist.

Saw an ad for the smart hinges in the new edition of Fine Woodworking magazine.

-- Al, Culpeper VA

View shipwright's profile

shipwright

4928 posts in 1431 days


#7 posted 1056 days ago

This would be an extravagant highly detailed box for many of us Roger, but coming from you I would call it “tasteful understatement”.

Your wife is indeed a lucky lady to have such a bit of perfection in which to keep her “clutter”.

It is simply elegant. Thanks once again for the inspiration.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees. http://prmdesigns.com/

View Gary's profile

Gary

7108 posts in 2066 days


#8 posted 1056 days ago

So beautiful. Thanks for such a great post.

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View Billp's profile

Billp

784 posts in 2833 days


#9 posted 1056 days ago

As always, excellent.

-- Billp

View Tootles's profile

Tootles

688 posts in 1135 days


#10 posted 1056 days ago

I’m with Shipwright – your wife is fortunate to have such a beautifully made box. Nothing I could make would even approach that level of detail and skill. It’s superb.

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

View Greg..the Cajun  Box Sculptor's profile

Greg..the Cajun Box Sculptor

5015 posts in 1941 days


#11 posted 1056 days ago

Your work is always outstanding and impressive Roger. I would say that as you clunk along you do some mitey fine clunkin’. The green pig suede really adds a nice touch to the beautiful wood.

-- If retiring is having the time to be able to do what you enjoy then I have always been retired.

View Ian Hawthorne's profile

Ian Hawthorne

291 posts in 1282 days


#12 posted 1056 days ago

Great looking box Roger – I agree with Greg mighty fine clunking.

Cheers

Ian

-- Coming soon the new improved Neat hinge! http://hawthornecrafts.com/our-blog/

View larryw's profile

larryw

294 posts in 1295 days


#13 posted 1056 days ago

Beautifully and tastfully made roger.

-- "everything is beautiful, but not everyone sees it" ~confucius-551-449 b.c.~

View RogerBean's profile

RogerBean

1127 posts in 1586 days


#14 posted 1056 days ago

Andrew and Martyn: Oh, my goodness. I must be more careful around Englishmen who are more clever than I. Charlie: I just order them on line from his website at www.box-making.com. They arrive in four or five days. Bertha: It’s self defense, really. My wife has a greater appreciation for clutter than I do. Paul: My wife is not nearly as impressed with me as the box might imply. :-) Cisco Kid: Yes indeed. I noticed the Doug Stowe review of the hinges in the new FWW.
Roger

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

View YorkshireStewart's profile

YorkshireStewart

1106 posts in 2534 days


#15 posted 1056 days ago

Absolutely exquisite! Thanks for bringing Andrew’s lovely hinges to our attention.

-- Res severa verum gaudium - True pleasure is a serious business. http://www.folksy.com/shops/TreeGems

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