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Curly maple pagoda box

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Project by DHS posted 02-11-2013 12:28 AM 2733 views 17 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I will be heading to Japan next month (March 2013) to visit family in Tokyo and need to bring a gift. (Gift giving is a big deal in Japan.) Although I have not made many boxes, I really like the asian-style boxes made by a local woodworker in Bellingham, WA named David Selditz. This box is fashioned after a set of plans he published a few years ago. The box is figured maple, the lid is cherry, and the handle is bubinga. The handle is supported by two tiny pieces of 1/8” brass rod.

I cut the maple for the sides to width, planed it to thickness and then beveled the sides on the tablesaw. I clamped the workpiece to a long piece of plywood so that I could slide it along the rip fence all the way past the tablesaw blade to cut the bevel while keeping my hands clear. I then smoothed the sides and created a soft curve using a No. 4 smoothing plane. After cutting the sides to length and mitering the corners I glued up the box using a bunch of clamps and cauls, keeping the pieces in order so the grain would wrap around the box.

I built two jigs to cut and sand the curves in the lid. The first jig held the lid at around a 13 degree angle and I sanded a curve in the bottom of the lid using a sanding disk in my drill press. The second jig held the lid at an angle so I could cut the curves on top. I removed most of the material with the bandsaw and then smoothed the curves with a 3” sanding drum at the drill press.

I finished the box with many coats of blonde shellac. After brushing several coats, I sanded to 320 grit and rubbed the rest of the coats with a pad until I achieved a smooth finish. I then applied a coat of paste wax. Now if I can just get it to Japan in one piece.

-- Dave S., Bellingham, WA





19 comments so far

View Greg..the Cajun  Box Sculptor's profile

Greg..the Cajun Box Sculptor

5180 posts in 1998 days


#1 posted 02-11-2013 01:48 AM

Awesome…A great gift for the family that they willl appreciate foreve.
That is a clever method you used for the cutting and sanding.

-- We all must start somewhere in our journey of doing what we love to do.

View ChuckV's profile

ChuckV

2440 posts in 2217 days


#2 posted 02-11-2013 02:12 AM

That is a great box. It will make a wonderful gift. I really enjoyed the photo with all the clamps!

-- “While the world with closed eyes sleeps, The sky knows and weeps - steel rain. ” ― Nathan Bell

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

5089 posts in 1267 days


#3 posted 02-11-2013 02:35 AM

And a great gift it is Dave. Your family will appreciate your thoughts and
efforts.

Have a great time in Japan and enjoy your family time.

Maybe bring back some Shapton honing stones, hehe.

View DHS's profile

DHS

111 posts in 1914 days


#4 posted 02-11-2013 02:37 AM

I plan to shop for a fine waterstone for honing chisels and plane irons…

-- Dave S., Bellingham, WA

View HillbillyShooter's profile

HillbillyShooter

4768 posts in 982 days


#5 posted 02-11-2013 02:40 AM

Beautiful design and great build.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View kiefer's profile

kiefer

3186 posts in 1357 days


#6 posted 02-11-2013 03:02 AM

Dave that’s a beauty !
The family will cherish this box forever and knowing the craftsman that made it will make it a heirloom passed down for generations .
Pack it well for the trip ,that is one special one of a kind gift !!!!!!!
Thanks for posting the shaping process pics ,very interesting .

-- Kiefer 松

View scoot1111's profile

scoot1111

76 posts in 2103 days


#7 posted 02-11-2013 03:05 AM

very cool..

-- scott

View jap's profile

jap

1232 posts in 744 days


#8 posted 02-11-2013 03:10 AM

lovely

-- Joel

View Bearpaw's profile

Bearpaw

210 posts in 2410 days


#9 posted 02-11-2013 03:16 AM

I have had the opportunity to build this box and it is a challenge. You did a great job on it. I have mine posted if you want to compare. I gave my box to a school for a silent auction. I e-mail David to ask his permission which he gave willingly.

I hope that you have a nice trip and they appreciate your effort.

-- "When we build, let us think we build forever." John Ruskin

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112326 posts in 2267 days


#10 posted 02-11-2013 04:23 AM

This is a wonderful pagoda box,very very nice work.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View MonteCristo's profile

MonteCristo

2097 posts in 878 days


#11 posted 02-11-2013 06:10 AM

Neat design; beautiful wood !

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View SPHinTampa's profile

SPHinTampa

548 posts in 2375 days


#12 posted 02-11-2013 12:14 PM

Great design, fantastic execution.

-- Shawn, I ask in order to learn

View Maveric777's profile

Maveric777

2691 posts in 1766 days


#13 posted 02-11-2013 12:51 PM

Very Cool!

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View djwong's profile

djwong

135 posts in 1909 days


#14 posted 02-11-2013 07:01 PM

I like the way you shaped the top – thanks for sharing. Here are a couple of links I found to woodworking related stores in Tokyo.
Hardware store near Shibuya station
Stone shop

My wife has been to the stone shop. She says the owner is very nice, and proud that he has foreign visitors. I don’t think he speaks english however.

-- David W. Cupertino, CA

View Dave Dufour's profile

Dave Dufour

248 posts in 668 days


#15 posted 02-11-2013 07:41 PM

Great design

-- Dave, from Canada, http://simplywoodproducts.ca

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