Two Walnut Boxes

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Project by RogerBean posted 889 days ago 2993 views 10 times favorited 35 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Two Simple Walnut Boxes

Two more boxes from Autumn’s figured black walnut. Since they’re similar, I’ll post them together. I’ve long been seeking the “simple, beautiful box”. Something I always think about, never seeming to really get there. But it doesn’t hurt to keep working on it, so these two are my latest shot.

I like period boxes, and typically design mine to look as though they could have been made around 1800, but these two are sort of “period neutral”. They began as two simple solid walnut boxes from the same plank re-sawn and finished to a 5/16” thickness. Each has a raised panel lid, while slightly different in size (to compensate for a couple hidden worm holes).

This wood is probably not technically “burl” as it’s not from a separate growth on the tree. It’s more like a cluster of pin knots in a gnarly tree. I still have a couple of 4” thick planks of this wood, so you’ll probably see more of it someday.

The larger box is 9 3/4” x 6” x 2 1/4” and the smaller is 8 1/4” x 4 7/8” x 2”. The finish is Sutherland-Welles tung oil over a coat of Herter’s French red. Hinges are Brusso 1 1/4” stop hinges, hand polished with slotted screws.

The smaller of the two received a lift which began as a disc turned from a betel nut. The nut piece, by itself, didn’t seem quite right, so I added a turned ring of African blackwood. The only other adornment is the pig suede lining. The underside of the lid shows the burly figure of the lid.

The larger one has a circular blackwood lift with a recessed ivory inlay. This little domed inlay was contributed by my wife from an orphaned ear ring stud, so she claims this box.
The second box is a bit larger and has a 3/8 coved wenge base, where the smaller is left plain.

The different base structures called for different ways of presenting the maker’s mark.

Thanks for looking in.


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

35 comments so far

View JoeyG's profile


1234 posts in 1251 days

#1 posted 889 days ago

Very nice boxes Roger. The wood is beautiful and I really like how you present your maker’s mark.

-- JoeyG ~~~

View grizzman's profile


6917 posts in 1929 days

#2 posted 889 days ago

very beautiful looking boxes roger, they certainly do look period and with all of the wonderful touches, these are perfect examples of a wonderful elegant box…right on the money…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View stefang's profile


12873 posts in 1960 days

#3 posted 889 days ago

Both are beautiful and meet your design criteria. I love the Betal nut lift. Excellent work!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Boxguy's profile (online now)


1442 posts in 893 days

#4 posted 889 days ago


Well done, well written. I especially like the lifts and the beautiful wood in the top. It is always a joy to see fine wood put to a good use.

-- Big Al in IN

View Jim Rowe's profile

Jim Rowe

547 posts in 938 days

#5 posted 889 days ago

Beautiful boxes! I can see several “faces” on the inside lid of the smaller box.

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

View CharlieM1958's profile


15684 posts in 2844 days

#6 posted 889 days ago

There is something about a simple design, executed to perfection as these are, that just can’t be beat in my opinion, Roger.

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

View helluvawreck's profile


15582 posts in 1492 days

#7 posted 889 days ago

Roger, these boxes are elegant and very nicely done.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4354 posts in 1662 days

#8 posted 889 days ago

Lovely piece of wood, definitely done justice to, here. Simple is good, Roger. Well like this it is.

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

View BarbS's profile


2433 posts in 2711 days

#9 posted 889 days ago

That is some mighty fine walnut, Roger (and your work too, of course.) I, too, have benefited from Autumn’s generosity in her wood stash, and her black walnut is one of my favorite woods. Nothing as colorful and swirly as yours, but walnut is nice no matter what it looks like! Very nice boxes.


View DaddyZ's profile


2380 posts in 1666 days

#10 posted 889 days ago

Nice Boxes !!!

-- Pat - Worker of Wood, Collector of Tools, Father of one

View majeagle1's profile


1416 posts in 2122 days

#11 posted 889 days ago

You have truly succeeded with “simple and beautiful” Roger!
Not only is your wood choice superb, but your “fine touch” with the added
unique lifts and the beautiful but simple edging on the lids and the base
set both of these boxes off to be superbly but simply, “beautiful”.

-- Gene, Majestic Eagle Woodworks,,

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2697 posts in 1912 days

#12 posted 889 days ago


-- She thought I hung the moon--now she just thinks I did it wrong

View shipwright's profile


4900 posts in 1424 days

#13 posted 889 days ago

Sweet Roger.
I look forward to your “simplicity” period with high anticipation.
You do such nice work !

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees.

View Triumph1's profile


833 posts in 1705 days

#14 posted 889 days ago

Very nice looking boxes Roger. I I think the simpler designs really let the craftsmanship stand out…and with these it does. Their beautiful.

-- Jeff , Illinois Please...can I stay in the basement a little longer, please!

View CiscoKid's profile


317 posts in 1499 days

#15 posted 889 days ago

Beautiful work as always, Roger. Elegant boxes from premium timber.

-- Al, Culpeper VA

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