|Project by Schwieb||posted 07-07-2012 01:51 PM||6398 views||9 times favorited||24 comments|
This box was made for my wonderful daughter, Laura, as part of my wedding gift to her. It would be used at the wedding reception to receive cards from guests. It partners with a previous post on LJs http://lumberjocks.com/projects/68224. I wanted it to be something special and it came to me that since both her grandfathers were woodworkers, that using wood that belonged to them would be pretty special. As I thought about it more, I saw it as a means to weave her heritage out of woods that were a part of her history into the gifts. I confess I borrowed freely from some ideas I got from fellow LJs and I acknowledge the inspiration. The box is about 10” x 16” x 6” to give a point of reference.
I had some Black Ash that came from enlarging a window opening in a log cabin that was built by my Great-grandfather around 1870 in NW Ohio. This log cabin still stands and is lived in today, and still in the family. There is a lot of story behind this that I can’t write about here but it seemed the perfect choice to re-saw and use for the main part of the box. It was really fine, tight grained and with a little calculating, I figure the tree began life 250 years ago, that would be around 1760. To honor this tree in this way was a George Nakashima moment for me. I had some beautiful Curly Maple and Walnut that belonged to my Dad, enough to do what I needed. I contacted her Uncle Gilbert, only son of Laura’s other grandfather and also a woodworker. I told him what I was planning and asked him to send me some wood that belonged to his Dad. He found some small pieces of Burr Oak. Keeping with the heritage thought I contacted Thomas (Sodabowski) and he was so kind as to send some wood from France which would connect her French heritage symbolically. http://lumberjocks.com/Schwieb/blog/30835 Now I just had to figure out how to incorporate all these parts and pieces of wood. I had no plans other than the sketches I made.
There are 3 basic elements, the main box, the top, and the base.
Here is a view of the separate base showing the 1/4” rare earth magnet arrangement, corresponding magnets were set in the bottom of the box. This was more than adequate to hold the base securely and created a secret compartment. I placed some special letters describing the heritage of the woods; what they were; and where they came from, in that compartment and plan to put a copy of this post as well.
I wanted some handles so I decided to turn them as seen here. I used the method of separating the segments with paper and it worked perfectly.
Thomas (Sodabowski) will recognize the Spalted Beech medallion he sent. I had it laser engraved. Hope you don’t take offense to being on the bottom, but everybody looks. I simply could not figure out how to incorporate the rest of the stuff you sent in this project, but I do promise you will see them somewhere in the future.
I developed a stop for the top to rest on when the box was open out of some walnut burl. You can also see the slightly raised lip of Walnut on the inside of the box with a corresponding inset in the top to help it seal, I borrowed this idea from the humidor builders. I planned the layout of this inlay and machined the dado before I assembled and then cut the box apart. Little room for error in doing that.
My photography cannot do justice to the Curly Walnut and Maple, it is simply beautiful. I incorporated the Burr Oak as splines in the corners of the top and base and the Walnut splines in the mitered corners of the box and the corner inset to reinforce the corners and add some contrast. I finished it with several coats of tung oil, light sanding, steel wool and elbow grease between coats. I cannot help but wonder what my Dad would have said about it and if I could coax a compliment out of him.
I submit the last photos out of humility. When you get busy and have a mission, the shop gets messy.
Thank you for looking and comments and critiques.
-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.