Alexis' handgun box

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Project by bake posted 785 days ago 2485 views 4 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

One of my employees had me make this for his daughters 16th birthday.
Her name is Alexis and that is the model of the revolver, it is engraved “Alexis” on top of the barrel, the gun is about 120 years old, it is chambered in .22 rimfire and is in good shootable condition.
The box is made from padauk and hard maple.
The maple is reclaimed flooring from the Cabela’s store in Lehi, UT where we work.
The Finish is Minwax wipe on poly.
I had difficulty getting the finish to dry on the padauk, I finally had to put it under a lamp for a couple of days after each coat.
I cut the shape of the gun out with my router freehand, in hindsight next time I would either make a pattern and use a pattern bit or cut it out with the scroll saw (probably the easiest).
It did not turn out perfect but it was a good learning exercise and I am pleased with the overall result.

-- I love the smell of Home Depot in the morning, it smells like.......carpentry. Bake, Bar Lazy U Woodworks, Lehi,UT.

17 comments so far

View BenI's profile


326 posts in 810 days

#1 posted 785 days ago

Looks great to me. I’d say you did a good job, especially if you did the routing freehand.

-- Ben from IL

View Boxguy's profile


1445 posts in 900 days

#2 posted 785 days ago


Nice color combination. It will look even better as the Padauk ages and deepens in color. The box is well designed and looks great.

I use the same finish. Sounds like maybe you were putting it on a bit too thickly or it was a rainy or cold day. You might also have been using an old can of finish. It has a fairly short shelf life once you open the can. Also, don’t pour unused finish back into the can.

You might consider a felt or cloth lining over your cut-out surface. It will work for everything except the individual bullets and those will just need to be set into a block and then inset into a felt-lined hole. Oversize your cutouts and just let the liner sort of wrinkle into place, wrap it around the edges of the cutout board, staple the back or edges, trim the excess, and install a “frame” or rim around the inside to neaten the look. Include finger divots on each side of the balance point of the gun to make it easier to grab and remove the gun itself.

Keep boxing and keep posting. You are doing very nice work. Thanks for sharing.

-- Big Al in IN

View woodworm's profile


14125 posts in 2223 days

#3 posted 785 days ago

Very finely done! I like the color combi.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View dustyal's profile


1196 posts in 2107 days

#4 posted 785 days ago

Well done… I’ve run into the problem of a oil finish—BLO or Tung, similar, not drying as I think it should. Seems to me it was weather and or freshness of the finish. I have my best luck sticking with tung oil, rubbing it out with 0000 steel wool, and doing another, rubbing it out, then another. First coat takes good 24 hours plus to dry, and subsequent coats overnight, or less.

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

View sedcokid's profile


2672 posts in 2231 days

#5 posted 785 days ago

Beautiful box!! Love the color combo and the best part if that you got it from your work, one of my favorite stores next to WoodCraft!! I have had problems with some finish drying as well and always have problems deciding why. I am sure that the young Lady will treasure her gun as well as the box forever!

P.S. I don’t see anything wrong with this project either…

Thanks for sharing

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View Cato's profile


641 posts in 1945 days

#6 posted 785 days ago

Nice work!! I have never tried Padauk, but it looks like it came out quite nicely.

I had great results recently from using a water based GF topcoat poly in semi gloss. Dries much faster than oil base, generally in about 2 hours.

I like the way that it goes on thin. Several coats can go on in a day.

View Dusty56's profile


11644 posts in 2320 days

#7 posted 784 days ago

Very well done : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View gfadvm's profile


10737 posts in 1322 days

#8 posted 784 days ago

Very nice box for a VERY nice heirloom gun. The paduk/maple was an excellent combination. If you dilute your poly with mineral spirits, it will dry faster. I also put mine in front of a big shop fan which seems to help speed the curing process. Don’t put it out in the hot sun and don’t ask how I know this!

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

View jaykaypur's profile


3316 posts in 1040 days

#9 posted 784 days ago

Very nice build and design. Lovely box and revolver.

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View Sam Shakouri's profile

Sam Shakouri

978 posts in 1720 days

#10 posted 784 days ago

Congratulation for DT3. Nice box.

-- Sam Shakouri / CREATING WONDERS WITH WOOD.....Sydney,Australia....

View DamnYankee's profile


3233 posts in 1194 days

#11 posted 784 days ago

Looks great to me.

The box and the pistol.

-- Shameless - Winner of two Stumpy Nubs Awards

View japanesewoodworker's profile


68 posts in 1684 days

#12 posted 784 days ago

Gee Whiz, I keep my 22 Johnny Rifle in a “plastic” case, with a “master” lock.

It is the law in the “People’s Republic of Kaliforni-ya” spoken with an Austrian Accent’.

“I’ll be back….with Maria Shiver”.....opps…

View Jim's profile


225 posts in 2277 days

#13 posted 784 days ago

Nice job. Wow you actually did the cutout freehand! I’m impressed, can’t imagine what it would look like if I tried doing that. Cool gun too, 120 years old, it deserves a nice classy presentation box!

-- Jim in Langley BC Canada ---

View Knothead62's profile


2364 posts in 1593 days

#14 posted 784 days ago

Nice looking case. Freehand routing? I have a difficult time with a fence.
I recommend it be locked securely in a heavy locker or safe. A pistol like that might be valualbe. Has your employee checked into the collector’s value?

View Rick's profile


6454 posts in 1665 days

#15 posted 782 days ago

Very Nice Project! Thanks for Posting!


-- COMMON SENSE Is Like Deodorant. The People Who need It Most, Never Use It.

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