Two Walnut Boxes

  • Advertise with us
Project by RogerBean posted 03-15-2012 03:11 PM 3603 views 11 times favorited 37 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)

37 comments so far

View JoeyG's profile


1275 posts in 1713 days

#1 posted 03-15-2012 03:14 PM

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

-- JoeyG ~~~

View grizzman's profile


7631 posts in 2391 days

#2 posted 03-15-2012 03:25 PM

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


14935 posts in 2422 days

#3 posted 03-15-2012 03:35 PM

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


1818 posts in 1355 days

#4 posted 03-15-2012 03:43 PM


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

795 posts in 1400 days

#5 posted 03-15-2012 03:52 PM

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


16143 posts in 3306 days

#6 posted 03-15-2012 03:56 PM

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


19499 posts in 1954 days

#7 posted 03-15-2012 03:58 PM

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


4586 posts in 2124 days

#8 posted 03-15-2012 04:10 PM

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


2434 posts in 3173 days

#9 posted 03-15-2012 04:19 PM

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


2474 posts in 2128 days

#10 posted 03-15-2012 04:47 PM

Nice Boxes !!!

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

View majeagle1's profile


1423 posts in 2584 days

#11 posted 03-15-2012 04:49 PM

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

2703 posts in 2374 days

#12 posted 03-15-2012 05:21 PM


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

View shipwright's profile (online now)


6270 posts in 1886 days

#13 posted 03-15-2012 05:28 PM

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


856 posts in 2167 days

#14 posted 03-15-2012 05:54 PM

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


333 posts in 1962 days

#15 posted 03-15-2012 05:57 PM

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

-- Al, Culpeper VA

showing 1 through 15 of 37 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics