Knotty Alder and Texas Cedar Elm

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Project by Blackie_ posted 09-02-2013 12:06 PM 2045 views 2 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is another practice box, getting a feel for the finger joints MLCS Multi Joint System was used and once again I optioned for Knotty Alder due to it’s easiness and cost accounting for mistakes, this is a new venture for me in box making and also a learning experience as I just figured out how to do the upper kerf in the walls for the lid panel also venturing into mortises for hinges and lid lifts, though only the lid lift was mortised on this box, the bottom feet cutout in the box is also my first, the tray I optioned for a bandsaw tray as I had scrap blocks laying around, they offer easy access to items due to the rounded walls and they are quick to make, the wooden hinges are made from walnut, the lid inlay and the lid lift are made from Texas Cedar Elm that I harvested via chainsaw from my parents next door neighbor, it was a tree that had been dead for over 2 years still standing. This box measures 9 1/2” Long x 5” High x 6” Deep it is finished in a single coat of tung oil and several coats of wipe on poly my own mix and a final coat of paste wax.

Thanks for looking hope you enjoy and also comments are always enjoyed reading and replying to.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

15 comments so far

View Donna Menke's profile

Donna Menke

617 posts in 4506 days

#1 posted 09-02-2013 12:20 PM

Very nice, Randy. You are getting good at this woodworking thing. I like everything about this box- but of course I have some suggestions.
I think it would be a super seller if made mostly with mesquite- and maybe Texas ebony hardware. A real Texas box. Then, I’d personally find a shallower box more appealing, both visually and practically.
Having said all that- this box has lovely grain and the hardware is extra nice. Just a thought- but couldn’t you taper the hinges as they move away from the hinge itself? They don’t need much strength there. The way they are is fine though- more masculine.

-- "So much wood. . .so little time!"

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2533 days

#2 posted 09-02-2013 12:25 PM

Another great looking box with finger joints! The only suggestion I have is that you might want to make your top a litte thicker (more height when taken as part of the overall dimensions) and make the finger joint space where you’re going to cut to separate top from bottom wider by the thickness of your saw blade. The addition thickness is removed when you cut your box apart and then all your finger joints are evenly spaced. Just an idea to consider.

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

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30153 posts in 2578 days

#3 posted 09-02-2013 12:38 PM

Really nice job again

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

21973 posts in 3346 days

#4 posted 09-02-2013 12:48 PM

Sweet box, Randy. You have got that finger joining down pat!
cheers, Jim

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

View Roger's profile


20965 posts in 3044 days

#5 posted 09-02-2013 01:07 PM

Lotsa gr8 details. I likes everythin abooot it

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

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 2753 days

#6 posted 09-02-2013 02:05 PM

Thanks Donna and Duly noted, yea since this was a practice box and everything was still new, I now know what I can and can’t do so I’ll be making several different configurations, woods and designs including the hinge tapering.

Thanks John, got yours noted as well, are you saying make the finger joint itself wider at the top? Not sure if this has any bearing on what you are saying as I’m not quite understanding yet but I use the router table with a 3/8” up spiral to make the finger joints not the table saw.

Thanks Monte, Jim and Roger

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View DocSavage45's profile


8735 posts in 3083 days

#7 posted 09-02-2013 02:36 PM


You might have found another exploration. Hey we may want to call you “Sponge Bob” ? LOL! Donna’s points are definitely valid. Look at Greg’s recent exploration?

I just wanted to say this box is on the money from perspective, design, and eye movement. Plus your precision is ever increasing. Maybe it’s a “guy thing” or my feel for the wood…I like it!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3549 days

#8 posted 09-02-2013 02:55 PM

Sure looks like that practice is paying off and getting some great results. Such a nice box.

View maplerock's profile


529 posts in 2040 days

#9 posted 09-02-2013 03:58 PM

Great job! I am going to try some box joints real soon! Nice looking box Randy!

-- Jerry... making sawdust in the Knobs of Southern Indiana

View rctomps's profile


57 posts in 2217 days

#10 posted 09-02-2013 03:58 PM

Wow. Beautiful box. Great work. I love the look of finger joints, I haven’t seen that joinery system before Learning to make finger joints is at the top of my to do list. I love the look of the wood hinges.
Thanks for sharing.

-- Rob

View aussiedave's profile


3114 posts in 2064 days

#11 posted 09-02-2013 04:37 PM

Hey Randy, what a beautiful looking box…lovely wood choice in the Alder. Finger joinery and I love the hinges makes for a great piece….excellent box.

-- Dave.......If at first you don’t succeed redefine success....

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2930 days

#12 posted 09-03-2013 12:31 AM

I agree with Donna’s suggestions. And the grain on the underside of the lid is just spectacular!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View tomd's profile


2186 posts in 4011 days

#13 posted 09-03-2013 01:29 AM

Very nice, well done, I like it.

-- Tom D

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

6278 posts in 3593 days

#14 posted 09-03-2013 02:32 AM

Looks great Randy! Nice work, I like the hinges!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 2753 days

#15 posted 09-03-2013 09:47 AM

Thank you Greg I too like your new creations.

Thanks Jerry look forward to seeing some box jointing :)

Thanks Rob you will really like it.

Thanks Dave

Thanks Andy, I can see yours and Donna’s points, after more viewing on this box as I study it, I can see how the hinges on the back are a bit extreme and could/should have been made smaller such as in size and tapering them off.

Thanks Tom and Tony

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

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