|Project by RogerBean||posted 12-19-2013 05:51 PM||4427 views||46 times favorited||55 comments|
It’s been a while since I’ve posted a new box, so here’s the latest. This is the fourth in a progression of “shaped front” boxes, and the first to incorporate a hidden release drawer. The box is designed to hold my modest collection of fountain pens, but could equally serve as a jewelry box. While I enjoy making a number of different things besides boxes, my clear preference is for traditionally styled, functional boxes; ones that might have been made around 1800.
This box is 11 1/4” wide, 5” tall, and 8 1/2’ deep. It is veneered in walnut burl. The lid is a four-way match, and the sides are a two-way match. It was a challenging box to veneer, as the combination of curved surfaces and very close tolerances converge to create challenging shapes.
The substrate is Baltic birch ply, walnut solids, and MDF. The edging is boxwood, bordered by a black/black/white/black line. The lock escutcheon is brass, from www.WhiteChapel-Ltd.com as is the full mortise lock. The English made Queen Anne handles are from www.LeeValley.com .
The drawer front is shaped on the inside to reflect the exterior shape and provide a bit more usable space inside. The release mechanism is spring loaded, and activated by the small turned betel nut knob located at the rear of the open lid. When raised, the drawer pops out a bit so it can be easily opened. When the drawer is pushed back in, the drawer latches back into the closed position. It is an elegant and reliable mechanism designed by Andrew Crawford.
As with all my boxes, I try to provide a surprise when the box is opened or turned upside down. Sort of a philosophical thing, I guess, but “Why complete part of the box, and not the rest?” The interior is lined with dark green leather, and incorporates a single offset tray of African blackwood, and inner partitions that hold a single bottle of Pelican “Edelstein” ink, chosen in part for the lovely glass bottle.
The inner edges of the lid and base are highlighted by a subtle white/black/white line. The hinges are Andrew Crawford’s precision smartHinges. I decided to also cover the bottom with leather, complementing the interior.
The finish is French polish. There are many ways to get a mirror finish, but there is something very tactile about French polish. I would enjoy seeing more LumberJocks giving veneered boxes a try. Veneer opens a whole new world of choices not possible with solids.
A number of folks have expressed an interest in how these boxes are made. I’ve created a 112 page “photo documentary” which allows the reader to “look over my shoulder” throughout the construction of the box. It includes nearly 200 photographs and describes each step in considerable detail. It is available for download from www.smartBoxmaker.com. It is, perhaps, the most complete description ever published for a single box. LOL
More to come. I have a couple more projects on the bench. Thanks everyone for looking in.
-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)