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Boxguy's El'phunt Holder

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Project by Boxguy posted 761 days ago 1278 views 1 time favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Pictured: This is a box designed to hold alphabet blocks for my grandson. It is 14 inches long, 9 inches wide and 6 inches tall. The sides and internal dividers are Makore from a tree in West Africa. The top and corner splines are Movingui from a tree that grew on a sunny hillside in Ghana, Africa.

Story: Many of us lucky enough to have children in our lives know the joy of watching them grow, learn, and play. At 18 months, my grandson is learning his colors, letters, and animals. At the moment what he knows is ahead of what he can say clearly. So, “elephant” is now “el’phunt.” If you are the boxguy, it is only logical that you make him a box for his upcoming birthday…so I did.

I can’t claim credit for the elephant carving on the top. I bought it at a shop in Santa Monica, CA, while we were there on vacation. It just looked like something my grandson would love. My thanks to the anonymous Indonesian carver who made it. Likewise, the detailed wooden blocks came from Toys R Us. I would like to make the point that it is possible to combine your talents with other artist’s talents and make something working together that you could not create working separately. Last year I worked up a whole show of “Teamwork Boxes” and had great fun doing it.

By the way, look closely at the front of the box in the 6th picture. Does that look like an eye or what? Isn’t wood grain surprising?

Techniques: Makore is a dream to work with, and it even smells good when you cut it. I recessed the carving by making the edges a little higher, and after much thought decided to screw it on from the inside. The carving may not make it through childhood, but the box might. So I thought I’d make the carving removable in the hopes that the box will be repurposed later. I also added thin corner splines near the top and bottom to make the box a little stronger and reinforce the weakest points.

Thanks: As always, thanks for looking and a special thanks to all you Lumber Jocks who take the time to make comments and suggestions. Your support helps keep me playing in my shop.

-- Big Al in IN





14 comments so far

View robert triplett's profile

robert triplett

1481 posts in 1708 days


#1 posted 761 days ago

That is beautiful wood and design. Those are woods i have never had a chance to use. You did a good job with them. Great idea to start early on letters and sounds. I love getting 2nd graders who can read well.

-- Robert, so much inspiration here, and so little time!

View nomercadies's profile

nomercadies

498 posts in 942 days


#2 posted 761 days ago

Now you have to do the other party … don’t you? ... and one for Ron Paul?
On another note, really good stuff again. Thank you.

-- Chance Four "Not Just a Second Chance"

View Monte Pittman's profile (online now)

Monte Pittman

13355 posts in 942 days


#3 posted 761 days ago

You make your boxes look effortless. Extremely nice work. Great personal touch.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View MonteCristo's profile

MonteCristo

2094 posts in 792 days


#4 posted 761 days ago

Nice box ! BTW, most accounts of makore I have seen warn of its potential health effects, including damage to the blood and central nervous system. Also, it has a high silica content which means it dulls cutting edges quickly; carbide recommended !

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile (online now)

TopamaxSurvivor

14617 posts in 2279 days


#5 posted 761 days ago

You did good Boxguy ;-) I’m sure there are hours of fun in that box.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Boxguy's profile

Boxguy

1410 posts in 871 days


#6 posted 761 days ago

Robert, he seems really bright, but of course I can’t be too objective.

Nomer, I thought about the political implications…but decided that the elephant was more of a totem than symbol.

Montie, if you knew how long it takes me to hand sand and final finish a box you would re-assess the “effortless.” However a good planer, duel drum sander, and work stations sure do speed up the process.

Monte, thanks for that information. I have lots of dust collectors and work with the 16 by 12 foot door open, but your advice is well taken. I didn’t know that about makore.

Topamax, I already have had hours of fun out of this box.

-- Big Al in IN

View grizzman's profile

grizzman

6813 posts in 1907 days


#7 posted 761 days ago

a beautiful box for your grandson, i like the ele funt on the top, you should venture into some carving, some of it is not that hard…might give a challange to the box guy…lol…..very nice woods, very appropriate for the occasion, there could be a a whole grandson series ….think of the possibilities…..:)........grizz

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

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6646 posts in 2583 days


#8 posted 761 days ago

Hi Big Al,

That is a beautiful el’phunt box.

Great job.

Lee

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

View itsmic's profile

itsmic

1419 posts in 1722 days


#9 posted 761 days ago

Nice Box Big Al, the carving is perfect for the box and it’s purpose, making through childhood for a box can be difficult, caryons and markers can some of the least of worries, Great job on this, thanks for sharing

-- It's Mic Keep working and sharing

View Roger's profile

Roger

14175 posts in 1407 days


#10 posted 761 days ago

Super nice big Al. Really like the way you did the opener. He’s gonna really like this

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Kentuk55@bellsouth.net

View dustyal's profile

dustyal

1195 posts in 2079 days


#11 posted 761 days ago

It is staring at me! Yes, nice eye!

Very well done design and build. ah, so much for me to learn, so little time.

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

View Boxguy's profile

Boxguy

1410 posts in 871 days


#12 posted 761 days ago

Grizz, I gave him a box for his first birthday as well. So, the series is on.

Lee, thanks.

Mick, yes it is a perilous journey, but I hope some of the boxes make it through childhood…but if they don’t it is how it goes.

Roger, at this point he likes slamming the lid and getting out the blocks.

Al H., thanks for noticing the eye. It seems the process of learning, which I see in my grandson, never ends in any of us if we are just curious enough.

-- Big Al in IN

View stefang's profile

stefang

12597 posts in 1938 days


#13 posted 758 days ago

Charming box and if it survives your grandson it may become a family heirloom.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View maplerock's profile

maplerock

399 posts in 403 days


#14 posted 403 days ago

I think this will be a cherished keepsake. Beautiful.

-- Jerry... making sawdust in the Knobs of Southern Indiana

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