A careers worth of mistakes later. . .

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Project by USCJeff posted 05-05-2008 05:47 AM 1663 views 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This box was a love hate thing. I actually had made a very similar box in the past for my Mom and I think I got a little comfortable when I attempted a second for my wife. I made some changes from my Mom’s which were new, but it was really a matter of lack of concentration that led to overall changes that saved it. The box was originally about 3” taller. As picture 3 shows well, the sides there was really no room for error installing the quad hinges. I blew out one of the dovetails the first time. That resulted in chopping off the 3” for another shot. It went OK, but you can see flaws around the hinges that irk me. Blum sells a template that is well worth purchasing if you install these often. Hadn’t used it, but a forum responded to my plea in that regard a while back.

The other issue was finishing. I wanted to try using wax as a last coat for the experience. I left white spots in unfilled pores everywhere. If only I’d read Flexner’s book prior. . . After some damage control I stuck with the Walnt Danish Oil and Poly coats and called it complete. Got good reviews from the wife, but man, it kicked my butt more than a basic box should.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

8 comments so far

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4016 days

#1 posted 05-05-2008 06:56 AM

I haven’t used quadrant hinges yet, but I do have a pair just waiting for the right application.

The box looks nice!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3850 days

#2 posted 05-05-2008 11:11 AM


The box ended up looking pretty good. Boxes are a deceptively difficult build. They look simply enough but when you get into the actual construction their complexity is revealed. You did a good job on this one!!

Nice post.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Joey's profile


276 posts in 3843 days

#3 posted 05-05-2008 11:56 AM

i learned the hard way too about wax. now i keep 2 cans, light and dark. At the time i didn’t know it even came in dark.
great looking box though.

-- Joey, Magee, Ms

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 3795 days

#4 posted 05-05-2008 02:03 PM

Nice looking box. Sometimes things that look the simplest can be the most complex. Way to stick with it.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4246 days

#5 posted 05-05-2008 04:53 PM

Boxes are always a challenge. Especially when you think you’ve got it all under control. lol!

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

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18291 posts in 3704 days

#6 posted 05-05-2008 05:01 PM

Nice work and post. Reminded me of what I told an apprentice one time when he was apologetic about not knowing something. When you see someone who is an ace, you can be sure they have a lot of meistakes under their belt. The only time you really learn and remember is by making mistakes.

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

View Texasgaloot's profile


465 posts in 3728 days

#7 posted 05-05-2008 07:17 PM

Number-one lesson, Daniel-san: no such thing as “basic box.” Just call it tuition. I see that it passed the burn test: if you can’t burn it, it doesn’t suck as bad as you think it does. Remember this, too: those who have created something, and sweated over it, will see everything that those who are busy admiring the creation do not. The trick is to have the self-control not to tell them!!

-- There's no tool like an old tool...

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 4033 days

#8 posted 05-07-2008 10:23 PM

You know the difference between a journeyman woodworker and an apprentice don’t you? The latter hasn’t made enough mistakes to learn from.

Nice box! And i bet your next one will be better.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

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