Shameless copy of "Lotus" by Lois Ventura

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Project by douginaz posted 12-09-2012 02:14 PM 1420 views 1 time favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hi All, it has been a while since I posted and thought I would share my latest project. For those not familiar with Lois Ventura, she is a woodworker who devotes most of her skills to the making of band sawn boxes. I used the patterns and process’s described in her book “Building Beautiful Boxes with your band saw”. This is the left half of her “Lotus” series. It started life as 8/4 American walnut. I did the usual four square plane and glue up. The finished size was about 6-1/2” X 11-1/2”. I didn’t want to mess with the sizes and tried to stay pretty true to the original design. Why mess with success? I used a 3/16”X 10 T.P.I timberwolf blade in my Griz, G0555. Cutting is pretty straight forward and Lois does an excellent job of stepping you through the process. If you don’t like sanding, stay away. I have over 40 hours of sanding in this box This is mostly due to my limited means of getting a machine of some sort to do the leveling and flattening. I learned a few new tecniques and curse words. I fondly refer to the box as the black hole of sanding:) The biggest issue was the room between the second drawer and the “stem” of the upper box. I have a Ridgid spindle sander but the smallest diameter sanding sleeve would not fit between the two pieces. I eventually glued some velcro to a piece of quarter round and was able to attach the sand paper from my hook and loop sander and work out the inconsistancies left by the band saw. What an ordeal. Not for the faint of heart but very rewarding once completed. The Pictures I have posted are not the final product, there is still clean up and waxing to perform. I sanded through 220, applied about 6 or 7 coats of Deft varnish and sanded with 400 between coats. The “right” hand side is on the bench now and I have started the rough sanding with a pattern file. Wish me luck, I will post the second half with the base when completed.

I know I don’t post often but I do visit and look forward to all the projects and banter. You guys/girls are my woodworking buddies. Keep up the good work and keep making sawdust :)
Doug in AZ.

-- If you need craft books - please visit our small business at

10 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

21591 posts in 1762 days

#1 posted 12-09-2012 02:19 PM

These are always cool. Really nice job.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Dale 's profile


412 posts in 2605 days

#2 posted 12-09-2012 02:35 PM

Do did a good job Doug. I’ve made a bunch of these, and your right, they should be called sand boxes :) :)

-- Dale West Central Pa. Do it all, before last call.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

8111 posts in 2853 days

#3 posted 12-09-2012 03:05 PM

Doug, Great job. It’s going to be a beautiful piece…it already is.
I sympathize with you about sanding them. I ran into the same problems and found the same solutions. If I ever make another set of these, the plans will definitely be altered to accommodate the spindle sander’s sleeves.
Maybe, you could alter the right side piece and save some frustration. It’s a supposed to be bit taller, anyway.
I cut mine both mine out BEFORE sanding. Bad move.
Good luck!
Gene in Snowflake.

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View Roger Clark aka Rex's profile

Roger Clark aka Rex

6940 posts in 2859 days

#4 posted 12-09-2012 03:44 PM

Very nice Doug, looks like all the sanding paid dividends.

-- Roger-R, Republic of Texas. "Always look on the Bright Side of Life" - An eyeball to eyeball confrontation with a blind person is as complete waste of Time.

View UncleStumpy's profile


707 posts in 1737 days

#5 posted 12-09-2012 07:49 PM

Shameless is ok by me!

-- "They don't want it perfect - they want it SPECIAL"

View dee2's profile


277 posts in 1760 days

#6 posted 12-10-2012 12:20 AM

It looks very nice to me. Sanding can seem endless, for sure. I’ve learned to alter the pattern to fit my spindle sander, that helps. Also, it’s quite a challenge to use a 4” belt sander on any box wider than 4”. I recently got a new HD Grizzly 6”. It cut my sanding time in half or more! After dozens of BS boxes, you do get better with practice for sure, when it comes to sanding.

-- Dee2, OH Aromatherapy....fresh cut wood!!

View gfadvm's profile


14932 posts in 2114 days

#7 posted 12-10-2012 01:53 AM

Great BS box. I have glued various grit paper to a section of dowel, chucked one end in the drillpress and the lower end in a hole in a piece of ply on the DP table. You need to keep the workpiece moving but it works for those tight spots.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View douginaz's profile


220 posts in 3426 days

#8 posted 12-10-2012 11:13 AM

Thanks all for the comments and encourgment. Unfortunately the “right” side or the other box has been cut so I’m on the stick/velcro sanding system again :( I have finally bit the bullet and used my rasps to knock off the high ridges and get to a point where I can sand and not sculpt LOL. I fought the cross grain sanding untill I finally had to admit that in certain cases it does work. I mean, after all, turners sand across the grain all the time right? I’l keep plugging away.

Time is our most precious commodity – I appreciate you spending some of yours on me. :)

-- If you need craft books - please visit our small business at

View Surfside's profile


3389 posts in 1598 days

#9 posted 12-10-2012 07:18 PM

Awesome project! This is your second band saw box, right?

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View bushmaster's profile


1255 posts in 1707 days

#10 posted 02-02-2014 03:01 PM

I love it, A passion of mine was to build bandsaw boxes after I retired and have all the equipment required but have got sidetracted on other things, mailnly toys grandkids and lathe work. Check my toys out. You inspire me, I am not short of wood and I have her book. I have no excuse. thanks

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

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