Boxguy Builds Jabba The Hutt's House

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Project by Boxguy posted 05-10-2012 07:38 AM 1777 views 1 time favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Pictured here are four shots of one of my most unusual boxes. It started simply enough. I wondered if I could insert vertical splines in each corner, and then add legs between the sides. I could.

Then I decided to let the splines remain below the body instead of sanding them down level with the side of the leg. Neat look.

The dado for the bottom needed to be cut in the legs then the bottom board was nipped off at 45 degrees in each corner, another problem solved.

Now how to make a top for this? I cut a square block of scrap and sat it on top. That didn’t look right…too heavy. I sloped the sides. A pyramidal top wasn’t right…too stodgy. The base sat in the living room by the TV, and night after night I looked at the box…night after night the box looked back at me. In shear desperation I put my 10 inch dinner plate on top of it one evening and to my great surprise it looked just about right.

Off to the lathe then. Turn one side…leave an indent for the chuck…turn the other side. I just didn’t like the indent when you opened the lid. OK then time for a Movingui moon to appear. I liked it…it was a surprise when you raised the lid…one more solution.

I wanted to keep the woods contrasting, but simple in grain on the sides and legs. The legs and lid are Black Walnut and the splines and sides are African Mahogany. The lid is one solid piece and speaks for itself, but I wanted the form to be the focus of this box. When I looked at the finished product, I was reminded of a shot of Jobba the Hutt’s house in an old Star Wars movie; hence, the title for this box.

This project required lots of problem solving, but it was the box that got me accepted by my first art gallery, and I will always be grateful to this box for that breakthrough. Today it holds tea in a friend’s home and is admired daily…lucky little box.

-- Big Al in IN

15 comments so far

View Ken90712's profile


16864 posts in 2609 days

#1 posted 05-10-2012 07:44 AM

Interesting, nice work.

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

View Roger's profile


19714 posts in 2224 days

#2 posted 05-10-2012 11:37 AM

Unusually nice lookin box

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

View Woodbridge's profile


3451 posts in 1838 days

#3 posted 05-10-2012 11:49 AM

very cool design. great box.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View grizzman's profile


7781 posts in 2723 days

#4 posted 05-10-2012 12:11 PM

now that is surly different, i like the lid, and im so glad it opened some doors for you and is now admired in someones home, what more could any box ask for….:)

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

View JoeyG's profile


1275 posts in 2045 days

#5 posted 05-10-2012 12:26 PM

This is such a cool box in a lot of ways and I totally see Jabba’s hut. I am now asking that question I do so many times when I get on LJ’s, “Why didn’t I think of that” I have a few boxes that have been setting around because I have not been able to come up with a lid for them.

Thanks for sharing it and the idea to keep the projects with incomplete visions in a place that they can be seen until the inspiration comes.


-- JoeyG ~~~

View IndianJoe's profile


425 posts in 1670 days

#6 posted 05-10-2012 01:00 PM

Love it a vary nice box a new look keep up the good work

-- Nimkee** Joe

View Bertha's profile


12989 posts in 2113 days

#7 posted 05-10-2012 01:35 PM

I love it! What’s going on with the floor of the box? I can only see a bit peeking through but I’m intrigued!

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

View helluvawreck's profile


22669 posts in 2287 days

#8 posted 05-10-2012 02:41 PM

That is very unusual but seems well done. congratulations.


-- 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 jbschutz's profile


498 posts in 2111 days

#9 posted 05-10-2012 03:36 PM

Al, great box! I was most surprised by the hinged lid…...because of the square box and the circular lid, I expected it to be a lift-off. I like the black legs and the little surprise under the lid, too.

-- jbschutz

View Boxguy's profile


2122 posts in 1688 days

#10 posted 05-10-2012 07:39 PM

Bertha, I often cut and fit liners for the bottoms of trays and boxes with cloth that I buy as scraps from shops. I prefer gaudy swatches. It adds color and picks up contrasts.

John, good observation about the hinge. On the back side of the box, I added a top board between the legs with a 45 on each end. This board is pinned and glued to the two back legs and the back of the box so it is held strongly in place. Rounding the outside-back edge kept this board from looking too thick.

Using a larger hinge let the pin in the hinge’s knuckle extend beyond the edge of the leg and thus lets the lid open fully as the pivot point is now outside the outer reach of the box legs.

I find lift-off lids cumbersome if you really use the box. Much of the time, you have to have some place to set down the top and then you have to set it back on. Hinges make boxes much, much easier to use. On later versions of this form I used darker hinges and rounded them a bit on the ends.

-- Big Al in IN

View lumberjoe's profile


2893 posts in 1668 days

#11 posted 05-10-2012 09:11 PM

View gfadvm's profile


14929 posts in 2110 days

#12 posted 05-11-2012 12:51 AM

Very unique design with beautiful execution and great finish. I can understand why an art gallery went for this one. It is very artistic. The sides are splined into the legs? That looks complicated to accomplish but you did it very nicely.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Martyroc's profile


2711 posts in 1726 days

#13 posted 05-11-2012 04:09 AM

Now that is “Thinking outside the box” no pun intended. I love this design, very creative and a great looking piece

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

16797 posts in 2525 days

#14 posted 05-25-2012 04:25 AM

You’re a man after my own heart with your cool designs!!

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

View OhValleyWoodandWool's profile


970 posts in 2540 days

#15 posted 10-17-2013 12:17 AM

Very Very Cool! I especially like the contrasting wood under the lid. Well Done

-- "All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then Success is sure." Mark Twain

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