Box for a Christmas Gift

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Project by Mosquito posted 12-23-2012 04:33 PM 1505 views 1 time favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This box is going to be a Christmas gift for my girlfriend.

It represents a couple of “firsts” for me.
It’s the first time I’ve made a hinged box (or box, for that matter).
First time using my new Stanley #46 irons for a project.
First time mortising hinges.
The first time I’ve ever tried half blind dovetails.

The dovetails aren’t perfect. There’s some gaps in places, but for a first attempt, I’m happy with them.

The box front and back are 3/4” mahogany, as is the bottom. The bottom has 4 rabbets all the way around to sit into the box. The sides are 1/2” red oak. The inside is lined with 1/4” hard maple.
The lid is mahogany, padauk, and curly maple.

It’s 7 1/8” square, and 4 1/2” tall.

The finish is 1 coat of Zinsser SealCoat, 2 coats of Zinsser clear shellac, both applied with cotton rags, wiped on. I finished it off with paste wax applied with #0000 steel wool, and buffed with a cotton rag.

This one was 100% done with hand tools. I even got to use my eggbeater drill for the pilot holes for the hinge screws :-)

Thanks for checking it out.
Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays :-)

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

17 comments so far

View Brit's profile


7460 posts in 2985 days

#1 posted 12-23-2012 04:53 PM

That is a box to be proud of Mos and I’m sure she’ll love it. Not many people can say that their first half-blinds turned out that well. Great job.

-- - Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Gshepherd's profile


1727 posts in 2343 days

#2 posted 12-23-2012 04:55 PM

Nice job there MOS, I am sure she will love it.

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

View Mosquito's profile


9459 posts in 2434 days

#3 posted 12-23-2012 05:00 PM

Thanks guys, I’m sure she will too. Though it is “shiny” and I know she doesn’t like that as much, but I wanted to finish it that way because of the contrast and curly maple on the lid.

I must admit, that there were 2 practice sets of half-blinds before I did these…

I just realized I didn’t put any dimensions for it… I’ll edit it to add those shortly.
It’s 7 1/8” square, and 4 1/2” tall.

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View a1Jim's profile


117232 posts in 3719 days

#4 posted 12-23-2012 05:07 PM

Looks great very nice work

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View waho6o9's profile (online now)


8406 posts in 2719 days

#5 posted 12-23-2012 05:10 PM

Beautiful work Mos.

The accent pieces blend well and it’s a very nice contrast of
grains, good job.

View Mosquito's profile


9459 posts in 2434 days

#6 posted 12-23-2012 06:05 PM

Thanks Jim, I appreciate it :-)

Thanks Waho. I am definitely glad I decided to do that for the lid, instead of just mahogany like I was originally thinking. The hardest part about making the lid like that was deciding, stripes vertical or horizontal… eventually I decided to keep the endgrain on the sides…

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View bhog's profile


2238 posts in 2832 days

#7 posted 12-23-2012 06:14 PM

Pretty stylish box you made there Mos.The finish looks really good.

-- I don't drive a Prius.

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 3129 days

#8 posted 12-23-2012 06:23 PM

Wow, all hand work.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View Grumpymike's profile


2310 posts in 2457 days

#9 posted 12-23-2012 07:02 PM

You should see it from over here, the light really pops off the grain of that lid.
Great build, and now that you are hooked on making boxes …
I’ll bet you get extra huggs for that beautiful project.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29865 posts in 2480 days

#10 posted 12-23-2012 08:39 PM

Good job. Learning a lot as you go.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View ShaneA's profile


7032 posts in 2740 days

#11 posted 12-23-2012 08:47 PM

Pretty stylish Mos. Looks like you made some quick progress on the tails. Well done.

View Mosquito's profile


9459 posts in 2434 days

#12 posted 12-23-2012 10:41 PM

Thanks Brandon, I’m kind of starting to like the look of the waxed/buffed shellac

Thanks SASmith, maybe for “the next one” I can use your mallet for making the dovetails ;-)

Thanks Mike, I get distracted by curly woods… I just like to sit there and play with it in the light to watch it “dance”. Boxes are kind of fun…

Thanks Monte, I was impressed at my ability to do those half blinds. Don’t get me wrong, they’re gappy as all get out, but FAR better than I thought they would be, going into it.

Thanks Shane, like I said above, they’re still kind of gappy, but the tails are at least pretty close to most of the tail boards lol.

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

View LeslieC's profile


151 posts in 2240 days

#13 posted 12-24-2012 03:26 AM

Great job. I’m sure your girlfriend will love it!

-- There is nothing like a Grateful Dead concert.

View Mauricio's profile


7144 posts in 3293 days

#14 posted 12-24-2012 03:29 AM

Nice work Mos, the DT’s came out great.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View Mosquito's profile


9459 posts in 2434 days

#15 posted 12-24-2012 04:04 AM

Thanks Leslie and Mauricio.

The dovetails look better in the pictures than they do close up, but thanks :-)

-- Mos - Twin Cities, MN - -

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