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Project by Douglas Bordner posted 09-26-2012 05:07 AM 2833 views 5 times favorited 37 comments Add to Favorites Watch

For years our neighbor to the north had been an older woman who was not very active in policing the outside of her home. When Pam moved here before we married, the area adjacent to our drive (approx. 30×10’) was overgrown with sunflowers and weeds. Only about three feet of depth is on our property. We convinced her to let us build a raised bed garden there for vegetables and we have practiced organic gardening there for about fifteen years. The arrangement was that she could help herself to produce as she wished.

She finally decided to move into a managed care facility and sold the property to a young couple, who were promptly burglarized. I helped the husband sheath in their broken basement window, another neighbor gave them a TV he wasn’t using; generally giving them the Heartland welcome as best we could after the miserable intrusion and theft.
Pam and I decided to also give them a little housewarming gift which we collaborated on. I figure they should have some idea what all the infernal racket coming from the garage was about. I hope they like it, and (selfish, I know) I hope they like vegetables.

Box is Oregon Bigleaf Maple, and Cherry, with what I believe is striped African Mahogany bottom panel. All the wood was from donated/scrounged lumber (Lumberjocks Schroeder and Dennis Zongker, and a contractor neighbor). Dimensions 5” x 7” x 2.5”, made from .325” thick stock with two Veritas round shelf pins as the hinge. Shellac and wax finish. I usually burn my logo into the bottom of my boxes with a custom torch-fired branding iron from Brand New, but as I was not lining this one, and Pam woodburned the lid design, I decided to put it face up inside the box.

Thanks for looking!

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

37 comments so far

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Douglas Bordner

4033 posts in 4261 days

#1 posted 09-26-2012 05:15 AM

Forgot to blow it out after leveling the finish. Kinda dusty in there. I’ll spiff it up before the hand-off.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4177 days

#2 posted 09-26-2012 05:57 AM

Very nice box and gesture, Douglas.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View ruddy's profile


546 posts in 3137 days

#3 posted 09-26-2012 07:11 AM

Nicely done Douglas.

-- And my head I'd be a scratchin'

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30050 posts in 2536 days

#4 posted 09-26-2012 08:41 AM

Nice box and a very nice gesture.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18618 posts in 4358 days

#5 posted 09-26-2012 09:50 AM

how wonderful … and beautiful.

Tell your neighbours that the LumberJocks said, “hi” and “welcome to the neighbourhood!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View DustyNewt's profile


690 posts in 4060 days

#6 posted 09-26-2012 10:10 AM

Beauty Box, Doug. They should overlook the noise and encroachment now ;D)

BTW ~ Thieves make excellent compost.

-- Peace in Wood ~

View Boxguy's profile


2756 posts in 2465 days

#7 posted 09-26-2012 10:13 AM

Doug, this is a nice, solid, practical design with your usual great craftsmanship. “Box of Rain” is a catchy name…I like it. This project has a Shaker feel to it.

I do have some questions. I am trying to figure out the sides. Is it a blind joint or did you veneer over the box joint side or what? I can’t really tell from the pictures you have posted, and I just don’t get it.

Sometime I would like to see a blog about how you make the pivoting tops on your work. I like that it doesn’t swing down into the box when it opens, and it seems to have a built in stop. What do the “pins” look like?

Your wife did a beautiful job of burning in the top design. Is it an abstract design of trees, or am I missing something?

One of the nicest things about your posts is that you tell a story that goes with the box. It makes them much more fun to read and makes the box much more than just some lovely wood. Here’s to neighbors who love veggies…sparingly.

As always…keep boxing and keep posting.

-- Big Al in IN

View Karson's profile


35145 posts in 4598 days

#8 posted 09-26-2012 11:40 AM

Dennis: great box and a nice welcoming present.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia †

View CharlieM1958's profile


16280 posts in 4416 days

#9 posted 09-26-2012 12:28 PM

Outstanding, Douglas! And a great story as well. The world could use more neighbors like you.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4033 posts in 4261 days

#10 posted 09-26-2012 01:17 PM

Model B used here.

Al, thank for the questions. It’s a blind hole in both of the case sides and holes in both sides of the lid. I ground a shorter “leg” on the outside pins to accommodate the slender thickness of the sides. On the sides I also counterbored to accommodate the flange on the pins. I drilled the lid upright on the drill press with a big handscrew holding it. I punched starter holes with the Veritas Optical center punch on all holes over knifed layout lines (Incra 12” T-rule)

The dent captures a brad point bit and helps with the drilling. I typically make the box sides the same height while cutting the joinery (Incra Ultra router fence) and then saw off the high front and back to fit the lid thickness.
The back wall is rounded over, stopping short of the of the box joint intersection so it won’t show to the outside. I also gingerly round over the inside bottom edge of the box to allow lid travel. This one locks right up at 95° when opened. I’m finding that box joints are easier to assemble during glue up than half-blind doves, and it minimizes the wear and tear of repeated assembly to check the lid and box round-overs, but will continue to use doves when my vision of the box demands it.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4033 posts in 4261 days

#11 posted 09-26-2012 01:29 PM

Father Karson, it’s me, Doug. I just scrounged the lumber off Dennis. But to be thought of in the same sentence or even momentarily confused with Mr. Z. is pretty darned cool!

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2490 days

#12 posted 09-26-2012 01:49 PM

Truly outstanding in design and craftsmanship. Have to love your wife’s design on the top—a real eye catcher.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View Roger's profile


20952 posts in 3002 days

#13 posted 09-26-2012 01:56 PM

A nice build, and nice gesture.

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

View Ken90712's profile


17594 posts in 3386 days

#14 posted 09-26-2012 03:01 PM

Well done!

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

View shipwright's profile


8163 posts in 2996 days

#15 posted 09-26-2012 03:05 PM

Very nice Douglas and very meticulous on the hinge.
The story is wonderful.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

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