Box for Sister in Law from Thomas Haapapuro Design

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Project by RussInMichigan posted 12-29-2012 01:21 PM 2010 views 9 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hello Fellow Lumberjocks,

I made this box for my sister-in-law from a Thomas Haapapuro design. This design is called Arabian Box and it comes from his book “Fresh Designs for Woodworking”. This is my first cut of this design, so I consider it a prototype, but it should make an interesting trinket box for her.

The woods are walnut, maple and oak. I finished it with a couple coats of Watco’s Natural Danish Oil.

This design is beautiful but it isn’t really practical to be cut on the scroll saw. Even with #9 double skip tooth blades and the saw at top speed, it took several hours to make the heavy cuts. Cutting the fretwork lid and the lid liner, sanding, and finishing added many more hours.

The next time I work with this design I will cut the exterior with the band saw with a 1/8” blade and I will simplify the interior design to avoid making so many curved cuts. The tiny interior cavities in the arms are too small to serve any practical purpose, and, since I think the WOW factor of this design comes from the exterior shape and the fretwork top, making so many additional cuts is a monumental waste of time.

It is beautiful, but I will approach it differently next time.

Thanks for looking in.

13 comments so far

View MasterSergeant's profile


1372 posts in 2860 days

#1 posted 12-29-2012 02:11 PM

WOW, extremely impressed!!

-- Kelly, woodworker under construction

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29955 posts in 2510 days

#2 posted 12-29-2012 02:18 PM

Stunning. Impressive

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9237 posts in 3091 days

#3 posted 12-29-2012 02:23 PM

It is really pretty! I know what you mean about cutting several thicknesses on the scroll saw. I did some boxes years ago that had solid sides about an inch thick. Add to that the top and bottom and it was quite a labor to cut. I used poplar which is pretty soft for the sides, but it still went as slow as a snail and I got really tired. I can only imagine how long it took you to do those arms!

You did beautifully though! The effort did pay off in the long run as the results is great!

Please post your revisions if you do another one. I would love to see the comparison and how you changed things to make it easier.

Beautiful project! :)


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View lanwater's profile


3111 posts in 3106 days

#4 posted 12-29-2012 05:42 PM

That’s a pretty box. Very intricate.

Just seeing the first picture one can tell that it require many, many hours and lots of skill.

Great job.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View a1Jim's profile


117270 posts in 3749 days

#5 posted 12-29-2012 05:43 PM

Sheee Zaaam that’s and amazing box.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Ken90712's profile


17592 posts in 3360 days

#6 posted 12-29-2012 06:03 PM

Now that is some scroll work, really beautiful. Some great details! I’m sure she loved it.

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

View Roger's profile


20949 posts in 2976 days

#7 posted 12-29-2012 11:39 PM

Wow! Reminds me of a Pazell. I think that is a cookie that my Mother, and my Aunt used to make around the holidays. Very kool.

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

View tomakazi's profile


686 posts in 3455 days

#8 posted 12-30-2012 12:19 AM

thats amazing!!

-- I didn't go to college, I was too busy learning stuff - Ted Nugent

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

21504 posts in 3277 days

#9 posted 12-30-2012 02:23 AM

Very cool design and build!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View redryder's profile


2393 posts in 3273 days

#10 posted 12-30-2012 07:21 AM

Your right about the “wow” factor and probably about the amount of work….................

-- mike...............

View Paul Stoops's profile

Paul Stoops

352 posts in 2732 days

#11 posted 12-30-2012 05:43 PM

Beautifully done! What a lovely intricate design. Yes, it would be much more easily done if the center cavity was circular or a 10-sided polygon with the vertices at the center of the “fingers”.

-- Paul, Auburn, WA

View Thomas Haapapuro's profile

Thomas Haapapuro

1 post in 2073 days

#12 posted 03-13-2013 02:27 AM

Beautiful job man! You are right about it taking a while to cut thick wood on a scroll saw. It is not fast, but on the plus side you dont have to sand it. A small benefit I know. I would love to see any other projects from the book that you complete!

View QueenofGreen's profile


1 post in 1895 days

#13 posted 09-07-2013 01:15 AM

As owner of this beautiful box, I can say we love it and it has a permanent spot on our mantle.

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