Alexis' handgun box

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Project by bake posted 07-04-2012 05:06 AM 3485 views 3 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


333 posts in 2378 days

#1 posted 07-04-2012 06:34 AM

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


2760 posts in 2467 days

#2 posted 07-04-2012 07:01 AM


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


14470 posts in 3790 days

#3 posted 07-04-2012 12:14 PM

Very finely done! I like the color combi.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View dustyal's profile


1299 posts in 3675 days

#4 posted 07-04-2012 01:05 PM

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


2735 posts in 3798 days

#5 posted 07-04-2012 01:33 PM

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


701 posts in 3512 days

#6 posted 07-04-2012 01:43 PM

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


11822 posts in 3888 days

#7 posted 07-04-2012 06:31 PM

Very well done : )

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

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2890 days

#8 posted 07-05-2012 01:15 AM

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


4017 posts in 2608 days

#9 posted 07-05-2012 01:39 AM

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

1200 posts in 3287 days

#10 posted 07-05-2012 01:54 AM

Congratulation for DT3. Nice box.

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

View DamnYankee's profile


3312 posts in 2762 days

#11 posted 07-05-2012 02:02 AM

Looks great to me.

The box and the pistol.

-- Shameless - Winner of two Stumpy Nubs Awards

View japanesewoodworker's profile


75 posts in 3252 days

#12 posted 07-05-2012 03:16 AM

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


253 posts in 3844 days

#13 posted 07-05-2012 04:53 AM

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


2600 posts in 3161 days

#14 posted 07-05-2012 04:57 PM

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...'s profile

Rick S...

10913 posts in 3232 days

#15 posted 07-07-2012 06:50 AM

Very Nice Project! Thanks for Posting!


-- I Chose "The Road Less Travelled" Now I'm Totally Lost! (Ontario, CANADA)

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