Granddaughters' Ribbon-Whatnot Boxes

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Project by Geedubs posted 12-10-2011 09:58 PM 1971 views 1 time favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

While also working on a workbench for my grandson (see earlier post) I built some ‘whatnot boxes’ for my four granddaughters (ages 4-11). This is essentially the Ribbon Box that was demonstrated on the Woodsmith Shop…with my own touches…and flaws :-). Like all projects, this was a learning experience. The basic box is made of maple. Once I purchased it and got into the construction I learned that there is a difference between soft maple and hard maple (shows you how elementary my knowledge is). I found this soft maple very difficult to work with, especially in terms of precision and jointing with complementing hardwoods. Maybe that’s just me but I won’t use soft maple on a project again. The primary hardwood accent on all four boxes is walnut. Working primarily with scraps that I had, each of the other boxes was uniquely accented with either oak, purpleheart, mahogany or rosewood. This was my first effort at doing inlay…and it was reasonably successful. I used a router inlay bit/bushings kit and created the letters on my scroll saw. I filled the ‘hole’ created by the inlayed letter using epoxy. I finished using Danish natural oil, wipe on poly and paste wax. This was my first venture using wipe on poly (used Minwax) and I AM IN LOVE. The ease with which it went on and the ability to avoid the drips and runs (Battle of the Brush) was exhilarating. I am a wipe on poly convert! I am reasonably pleased with the product but will be striving for better precision in future efforts. I don’t think my grand-daughters will be a critical as I am. My wife picked up the miscellaneous items for each box to give the girls an idea of use…but realistically, a whatnot box is for whatever you want. Right?

-- Todos los dias aprendemos algo nuevo.

4 comments so far

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 2432 days

#1 posted 12-10-2011 11:58 PM

Very nice. I really like how the handles turned out.

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20594 posts in 3129 days

#2 posted 12-11-2011 12:30 AM

Cool. They will love them!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Ken90712's profile


17563 posts in 3212 days

#3 posted 12-11-2011 01:12 AM

Great project and how fun to make for them! I watched the show on this ans will be making one soon. I agree I am not a big fan of soft maple to much tear our and splintering. Great work.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3601 days

#4 posted 12-11-2011 02:14 AM

Super gifts great job.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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