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Project by KnickKnack posted 08-10-2012 06:14 AM 4152 views 20 times favorited 34 comments Add to Favorites Watch

...or “Finger Joints Reloaded”

I’ve had this idea for a while – basically to “work on” the joins of a basic finger joint box and see what happens.

To tell the truth it took a bit of nerve to start hacking away at what was a pretty well made, all be it simple, box, but I figured that that was the plan. In any event – what was I going to do? Wait until I’d built a “bad” box and hack at that? I’d also picked the woods (I’m very much enjoying the ash/jatoba combination) with the specific idea that the end-grain ash tends to “muddy up” and not contrast very much with the jatoba – as you move around the thing the stripes sort of fade into one another as the ash darkens and the jatoba lightens with the grain changing.

Aside from the circular ends, I didn’t have much idea what I was going to do with the sides, or the top, or the handle – I have this tendency to get focused on the one concept and not think things through – I think perhaps my vision isn’t what it might be. I even took the (for me) unprecedented step of putting oil on before it was finished in order to see how it was going to come out. All those complex ideas of horizontal contrasting stripes and rebates and contours went out the window in favour of the simplicity you see. The top was originally going to have a horizontal stripy handle, but I think that would have been a bit too much and I’m pretty happy with what I went with in the end – a handle that somewhat “mirrors” the box.

The sharp eyed amongst you might notice that the top doesn’t really match the ash sides as well as it might. I did have a top from the same plank, but I messed up the cutting on that one. I’d run out of ash from that original batch of 2 years ago, so I had to wait for the new delivery, hoping I’d get something similar. This top is probably not from the same tree, possibly not even the same forest, let alone from the same board. Still, I’d overcut the first top and I give myself (a little) credit for not “just pressing on” regardless.

I call it “Camelot” because it sort of reminded me of those tents you see in King Arthur films. A stretch, OK, but I find names tend to stick once I start using them.

It all looks a bit complicated and difficult, but in fact it isn’t – steps were as follows…

Start with finger-jointed box…

I didn’t need this step, but I was going to lose this wood anyway, and straight 10mm bits (of which I have several), are very cheap in comparison to the (unique) bit I used in the next step…

Now the ovolo bit to round the internal corners, sneaking up on the join…

I think a 45° might have worked, and I toyed with doing that and insetting a vertical strip, but in the end I stuck with rounded using a roundover bit…

I’m fairly pleased with how it came out. I tried oh so very hard to pay attention to the details, and to make everything smooth and just-so. I think the demons and I drew 2-2 on this one.
The wife’s comment: “It looks alright actually.”

Ash and Jatoba. 16cm x 23cm x 10cm. Linseed oil finish.

All criticisms welcome – that’s how I’m going to improve.

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."

34 comments so far

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18390 posts in 3877 days

#1 posted 08-10-2012 07:14 AM

Turned out very well. Too good for a litter box! ;-))

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

View Oldtool's profile


2736 posts in 2392 days

#2 posted 08-10-2012 07:27 AM

Nice, very nice. Excellent work. Thanks for showing.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View GlennM's profile


26 posts in 2479 days

#3 posted 08-10-2012 09:33 AM

Only goes to show that a plain piece can be enhanced and be a totally different and artful item. Well done. It also shows that the expression “Thinking outside the box” applies here.

-- Glenn, Nova Scotia

View EMVarona's profile


437 posts in 3037 days

#4 posted 08-10-2012 10:42 AM

Love it. Great design and excellent execution.

-- Ed "Real happiness is one that you share."

View Ken90712's profile


17594 posts in 3390 days

#5 posted 08-10-2012 11:10 AM

Great project and some cleaver thinking. What size thickness did you start with 1 inch? what athe dado size and depth you used? And the size of round overbit?

Great looking box you have made here! Nice post!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Roger's profile


20952 posts in 3006 days

#6 posted 08-10-2012 11:40 AM

Wow! Really came out nicely.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View KnickKnack's profile


1094 posts in 3768 days

#7 posted 08-10-2012 12:23 PM

What size thickness did you start with 1 inch? what athe dado size and depth you used? And the size of round overbit?
The planks started at 19mm (3/4”) thick.
The beading/ovolo bit is ~6mm radius with ~6mm flat spot (1/4”).
The round over bit is 9.5mm (3/8”). For the handle I used the same ovolo and a 6.4mm (17/64”) roundover.

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."

View Tom Godfrey's profile

Tom Godfrey

488 posts in 2377 days

#8 posted 08-10-2012 12:29 PM

Just the other day I sketched out a drawing of something that looks like that you have created. I knew I wanted round corners but just couldn’t get it in my head how to make that work. You have done a great job on this and I hope maybe I can come up with something even close to this.
Thanks for the post. Another project to add to my favorite list.

-- Tom Godfrey Landrum South Carolina (

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

6226 posts in 3555 days

#9 posted 08-10-2012 01:11 PM

I love projects that make you think! When I saw this my brain went right to work trying to figure out how you did it. I gave up and read your post! Nice job, I like it and nice job on the pictorial!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View Kookaburra's profile


748 posts in 2426 days

#10 posted 08-10-2012 01:26 PM

The work-in-process pictures really surprized me – I never would have guessed this is how you accomplished this. Thank you for sharing those.

Camelot is a fine name – I can see the pennants waving over the jousting match right now. The color contrast is very jaunty and supports the overall sense of a festival.

I am not 100% sure about the handle – I will have to ponder that a little more.

I am about to head out on a 6 hour drive home , so I shall be dreaming of chivalrous knights, knights errant, and a princess’s right to bestow tokens of her esteem on the tournament competitors. . . . .sorry, I wandered off there.

A final comment though – I do hope the critter does not have squatter’s rights on this box! She looks much too young to appreciate it.

-- Kay - Just a girl who loves wood.

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10323 posts in 4254 days

#11 posted 08-10-2012 01:29 PM

You have been watching the lead-ins to the London Olympics!

COOL Castle Box!

Thank you!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View KnotCurser's profile


2027 posts in 3270 days

#12 posted 08-10-2012 01:39 PM

Wow – you would think with this many boxes and this many lumberjocks that everything to be done with a box would already have been, however…...........

This is really cool – I think it will inspire others to come up with their own ways of doing this.

Great job!


-- Robert Rhoades WoodWorks / Email: /

View helluvawreck's profile


32087 posts in 3068 days

#13 posted 08-10-2012 01:41 PM

It looks like it turned out to be a good experiment. It’s very different and unusual. Congratulations.


-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View balidoug's profile


495 posts in 2680 days

#14 posted 08-10-2012 01:56 PM

A really original, and effective, approach which worked out wonderfully. Now, just try and get the kitten out.

-- From such crooked wood as that which man is made of, nothing straight can be fashioned. Immanuel Kant

View abie's profile


878 posts in 3973 days

#15 posted 08-10-2012 02:03 PM

Nicely done and explained..
Iv’e added it to my favorites
thought you might have used a different type of router bit.
again TNX

-- Bruce. a mind is like a book it is only useful when open.

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