|Project by a1Jim||posted 556 days ago||4476 views||4 times favorited||94 comments|
How this box came about: I had a neighbor drive up in his pick-up and asked me to take a look. I went over to his pick-up and he had 4 slabs of 3” thick by 24 wide by 4-5 ft tall pieces of black walnut with great figure. I told him it was nice wood and asked what he was going to doing with it?” He said he just wanted to know what it was worth. My guess was from $100-$200 each. He asked me if I was interested, I said I didn’t have a lot of wood storage or a lot of money. He said he had lost his storage and he might be interested in a trade. I asked what was he looking for and he said he needed a jewelry box made. Right away I pictured a free-standing case with tons of dovetails, partitions, fancy pulls and claw feet. I said I would be willing to trade, but that he would have to furnish the wood for the jewelry box separately. He agreed and brought me four more pieces of 5ft tall by 24”wide by 1 1/2 “thick walnut and asked if it would do. I said that we would need to discuss the details of the box first. He said it would just need kind of a beveled top and a simple lid with contrasting maple panel, no hinges and about 8”- 10” long and 6” wide and around 4” tall. I asked about a handle for the lid, drawers or dividers and he said no thanks. I told him that this would be a lot different than what I thought he wanted and he said he was willing to throw in some more wood. What he wanted was a lot smaller and simpler than I thought and I was getting the best end of the deal, but this was okay with him. I have to admit, I don’t make many boxes. I thought this would be a slam dunk… a day or so plus finishing.
I don’t have a miter jig for my table saw so right off, I fought the miters on the top and then every piece of molding for the top was blowing up as I routered it. After finally getting the moulding cut for the top and getting the top raised panel made and sanded I shot it with some Seal-a-Cel and set it outside on the canopy of my wife’s little pick-up. After about 10 minutes, after my wife left on some errands, I realized she had taken the little pick-up with the little raised panel on top of it’s canopy. I frantically called my wife and asked if the panel was still on the canopy. Of course it wasn’t. I asked if she would look for it on the way back and she shot off looking for it right away. Little did I know that she would risk life and limb running out in the street in front of on coming log trucks just to retrieve the little raised panel. To my surprise the little raised panel survived being run over with no damage to the top but some road rash on the bottom. After some tweaking on the jointer I was able to save it. There were other mishaps along the way, but after 2 weeks off and on, this little puppy was done and delivered with a very happy neighbor saying at least six times how beautiful the box was.
I will never look at another box on LJs or anywhere else and dismiss it as a quick easy project. I have to chuckle at myself, thinking what my students would think if they were here with me, with all the goofs and mishaps on this so- called simple project.
-- W James Brokenbourgh Custom furniture maker http://artisticwoodstudio.com/