The Ghost of Wolf

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Project by Woodhacker posted 05-28-2008 11:52 PM 3691 views 17 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is the third in my series of boxes using the Woodsmith Plan from Vol. 29, No. 174. Each one is unique in it’s own way, depending on who it’s for. I made this one for one of my nephew’s wife. She likes to collect wolf figurines, etc. I’d purchased this wolf pattern some time ago from a scrolling magazine. I had to shrink the plan down to about 1/3 size to fit it onto the top of this box. This made the cutouts very small. I drilled 216 starter holes for all the various cutouts. (I know, it’s kind of strange to keep track of things like that, but this was the first time I’d scrolled anything this intricate.) Doing this box gave me newfound admiration for those LJs that have posted all the great scroll work projects I’ve seen out here on since becoming a member.

I call this box “The Ghost of Wolf” because the wolf face seems to be transparent through the grain of the wood…or even hiding behind the grain in some respects. I think this is partially because the pattern was reduced so much, which made the cutouts so much smaller…the image is much more subtle than with the full blown pattern. I’m not sure this effect totally comes out in these pictures though.

The sides and top are bubinga with figured maple for the front and back. The sides are joined to the front/back with blind mortise/tenon joinery approx. 2 inches long by ¼ inch wide. The base is hickory and is tongue/grooved on all four sides. The finish is 9 coats of wipe-on satin poly/oil blend…enough to completely fill in the grain. Final sanding of the finish was 1500 grit followed by hand rubbing using Behlens buffers polish. The lid is fastened with a 95 degree stop piano style hinge.

Note about the pictures…I couldn’t quite seem to get the lighting right because they all have slight orange-ish hue…more so than in real life. The color in the close-up below is perhaps a little too dark but is closer to the actual richer color of the bubinga, (although this picture does give the wolf a “shiner” in its left eye).

I just completed this box and her birthday is not until July. I’m not sure I can pull this off as planned, but as a way of presenting this gift, I’m planning on giving her the web path to with this project link, and let her see it first here on-line before handing her the real thing. …kind of a “web-based” wrapping paper. So please…no one tip her off. :)

If you’re interested, my first two versions of this plan can be seen at:

-- Martin, Kansas

18 comments so far

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 3730 days

#1 posted 05-29-2008 12:06 AM

Awesome job Martin. I love your choice of timber, attention to detail and finish. Thank you for sharing.

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

View Bigbuck's profile


1347 posts in 3626 days

#2 posted 05-29-2008 12:07 AM

Very nice. I am shure your nephew’s wife will love it.

-- Glenn, New Mexico

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3951 days

#3 posted 05-29-2008 12:10 AM

Great looking box. The ends are great!

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

View Taigert's profile


593 posts in 3803 days

#4 posted 05-29-2008 12:28 AM

That looks and sounds like it took a lot a patience to do such fine scroll work wow 264 holes. It turned out great. Very nice job!!!!!!!

-- Taigert - Milan, IN

View Greg3G's profile


815 posts in 4048 days

#5 posted 05-29-2008 03:16 AM

Very nice job. Great wood selection and a wondefull finishing job.

Not sure I would have had the patience to do all the scroll saw work. I agree, it seem to be looking at you through the grain of the wood.

Beautiful work.

-- Greg - Charles Town, WV

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3731 days

#6 posted 05-29-2008 03:42 AM

awesome job. that is a great box and i love the attention to detail on the wolf. thanks for the post.

View CharlieK's profile


552 posts in 3756 days

#7 posted 05-29-2008 03:47 AM

Fantistic! I thought for sure that that was cut by a laser. Even after I read about the 216 starter holes it still looks like it was cut with a laser. Great work, great choice of mateial, and a great design, too. Congratulations!

-- Adjustable Height Workbench Plans

View Chip's profile


1904 posts in 4055 days

#8 posted 05-29-2008 03:57 AM

Been away for a few months doing a remodeling project and am just catching up on stuff around here and just wanted to say your work is really outstanding Martin. Went back and looked at your other projects and each is wonderful in its own way. Look forward to seeing more and thanks for sharing with us.

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3784 days

#9 posted 05-29-2008 04:30 AM


This is simply a wonderful box. The wolf pattern adds a nice detail to the box.

Thanks for the post.

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

View SPalm's profile


5317 posts in 3844 days

#10 posted 05-29-2008 02:46 PM

Very nice. I also am impressed with the sculptured sides, top, and front. Excellent work all around.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Bradford's profile


1434 posts in 3785 days

#11 posted 05-29-2008 03:04 PM

Your niece will surely be thrilled after seeing it here first and reading how many people are part of the surprise. The workmanship is top notch. Amazing appearance and scrollwork “216”. Your should have her buy an insurance policy for that box. “Irreplaceable”.

-- so much wood, so little time. Bradford. Wood-a-holics unanimous president

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4181 days

#12 posted 05-29-2008 05:55 PM

Beuatiful box. Gorgeous wood and finish.

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

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 3837 days

#13 posted 05-30-2008 01:56 AM

That scroll work sure is tight. Your patience paid off, this is spectacular.

-- Happy woodworking!

View blackcherry's profile


3337 posts in 3786 days

#14 posted 05-31-2008 04:08 AM

Thats a WOWerrrrr…just a super sweet design….Blkcherry

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4209 days

#15 posted 05-31-2008 05:14 PM

Beautiflul box, unique design, and the wolf is a real neat piece of art. mike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

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