Elliptical Box

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Project by davidtheboxmaker posted 05-17-2008 09:19 AM 2525 views 5 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made this box from some mahogany that a neighbour gave to me some time ago. The handle is amboyna burr. Overall dimensions are 10” x 8” x 3 1/2” (excl. handle). Lining is a plush red fabric.
I’ve had 2 previous attempts at this box, both of which failed after gluing up the body and discovering that the angles were not correct.
Once I mastered the management of the 14 body pieces it became surprisingly straight forward.
This is a design I’ll be developing in the future.

13 comments so far

View TedM's profile


2002 posts in 3695 days

#1 posted 05-17-2008 12:09 PM

I like the design, Dave! Certainly looking forward to seeing more.

-- I'm a wood magician... I can turn fine lumber into firewood before your very eyes! - Please visit and sign up for my project updates!

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3784 days

#2 posted 05-17-2008 12:46 PM


This is simply gorgeous. You have created a nice design as well.

This would make an interesting blog, if you have the time.

Thanks for the post. I enjoyed looking at this piece.

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

View Woodhacker's profile


1139 posts in 3685 days

#3 posted 05-17-2008 01:25 PM

Wow Dave, that is so COOL... using Amboyna burr and all! (sorry I coudn’t help myself)

Seriously, I love this design. It’s beautiful and you did a fantastic job with it.
I’m with Scott regarding a blog. Let’s see how you do this, because I’d like to steal this design and add it to my growing list of box designs to try, since joining LJ.

It looks like a slight eliptical pattern. I assume the middle segments of the longer “sides” are a little wider than the “end” segments. Is that the case?

Great choice of woods too.

Thanks for posting it.

-- Martin, Kansas

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 3729 days

#4 posted 05-17-2008 01:47 PM

Very nice looking box.

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

View jjohn's profile


390 posts in 3676 days

#5 posted 05-17-2008 01:49 PM

Made a small jewelry box using the band saw. I could see this type of box working quite well made that way also. You did a great job on this one. If I get the time I am going to try this out using the band saw.
Yours looks great.

-- JJohn

View Billp's profile


804 posts in 4162 days

#6 posted 05-17-2008 03:31 PM

Great job dave, I your research check out how they make segmented drums (instrument). I know they give all the correct angles depending on how many pieces you want to use.

-- Billp

View Hawgnutz's profile


526 posts in 4039 days

#7 posted 05-17-2008 03:53 PM

Very nicely done, Dave. Looks like you have nailed this style, now. What next?

God Bless,

-- Saving barnwood from the scrapyards

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 3848 days

#8 posted 05-17-2008 05:30 PM

Nice box really cool.

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3837 days

#9 posted 05-17-2008 05:47 PM

That is really nice. It sure made your perseverance pay off.

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3950 days

#10 posted 05-17-2008 06:59 PM

That is a really cool looking box! Great finish.

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

View ShannonRogers's profile


540 posts in 3750 days

#11 posted 05-17-2008 07:26 PM

Ditto on all the blog comments above. You LJs are killing me. My must try project list keeps getting longer and longer.

I love the color of the amboyna burl too. I have never seen it this blond before. That is unique!

-- The Hand Tool School is Open for Business! Check out my blog and podcast "The Renaissance Woodworker" at

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4181 days

#12 posted 05-17-2008 08:27 PM

This looks like a tough design, and you pulled it off beautifully. Great box!

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

View davidtheboxmaker's profile


373 posts in 3768 days

#13 posted 05-19-2008 12:19 AM

Thanks for all the positive comments.
Woodhacker – each piece is a different size to the pieces beside it, and all the angles are different.
I got the idea from a booklet from Charles Roberts. it shows a neat way to draw the required pieces for the elipse, and for those with a table saw, it shows how best to cut the pieces. I don’t have a table saw, so I used my Nobex mitre saw.
His website is at – well worth a visit.

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