Brass, Sydney Blue Gum and some wooden hinges.

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Project by ruddy posted 02-26-2014 08:29 AM 1552 views 5 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was recently asked if I could restore an old box that had been damaged over the years. The box had been made in England and my best guess is that it was made circa 1880 to 1900. It had been made with brass inlays and restoring it gave me the impetus to make a box using brass and wood. The box had 5 generations of people prising open the lock and it was in a bad state of repair with a large hole where the original lock was housed. The box looked like it was made from some type of cedar and then veneered with a walnut or similar veneer. The fine workmanship in the box was still evident. This is a picture of the original box.

Rather than try and copy the original design I wanted to incorporate wooden hinges and I wanted to create a much larger document size box. This box measures 375mm x 285mm x 130mm high.
This started out as a 6”square Sydney Blue Gum post that I got from an old factory that was being demolished and so was well and truly seasoned. I used box joints on the corners and then used a router on the edges and fitted square brass. The brass corners have been pinned and all assembled using high quality epoxy.
The lid inset is an elm burr veneer and compliments the Sydney Glue Gum.
The box has been made for my Godson and the central brass plaque is engraved with his name.
I like wooden hinges and here the hinges are flush inlaid and are made from Purple Heart. The hinges should not suffer stress as the box is fitted with Brusso stays. I think there is something very appealing about the combination of an oil finished hardwood and brass.
Regards from Sydney
Ian R

-- And my head I'd be a scratchin'

17 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

17876 posts in 1372 days

#1 posted 02-26-2014 09:01 AM

Beautiful work as always sir

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View aussiedave's profile


3090 posts in 858 days

#2 posted 02-26-2014 09:08 AM

Very nice box, beautiful wood and joinery and the inside is great….excellent job.

-- Dave.......Keep calm and make more sawdust....

View grizzman's profile


7617 posts in 2337 days

#3 posted 02-26-2014 12:24 PM

beautiful box ruddy, as always i love your hinges, and all of the woods here work together very well, more inspiration , thanks

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View jbschutz's profile


465 posts in 1725 days

#4 posted 02-26-2014 12:38 PM

Beautiful, box, Ruddy. I like the old one, too…. Your creation has an old-world, classic look to it, especially the addition of the brass edges and name plate. I see one little detail I will be borrowing for one of my boxes; the little hinged lid on the interior compartment….very cool!

-- jbschutz

View RogerBean's profile


1483 posts in 1987 days

#5 posted 02-26-2014 12:49 PM

Much to like about this box. Love the hinged compartment in the tray. And the nice lid detail. Well done.

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

View steve_in_ohio's profile


1195 posts in 644 days

#6 posted 02-26-2014 12:59 PM

wow, the box turned out beautiful, great work

-- steve, simple and effective

View SPalm's profile


5173 posts in 2916 days

#7 posted 02-26-2014 01:21 PM

Very nice Rudy.
Lots of cool details on this one. And remarkable workmanship.

Well done,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Roger's profile


17666 posts in 1838 days

#8 posted 02-26-2014 01:32 PM

Excellent redo. Lotsa gr8 details. Very nice build.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

View Jim Rowe's profile

Jim Rowe

767 posts in 1346 days

#9 posted 02-26-2014 02:23 PM

Another excellent piece of work. The old box also looks very interesting as well.

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

View Net55's profile


78 posts in 621 days

#10 posted 02-26-2014 02:26 PM

Beautiful craftsmanship, love the wooden hinge!

-- Bill, SW Florida

View 49er's profile


119 posts in 638 days

#11 posted 02-26-2014 02:51 PM

I love wooden hinges. I am going to have a go at them soon.

-- Correlation is not causation but I did loose my Doctor !!!

View a1Jim's profile


113725 posts in 2611 days

#12 posted 02-26-2014 03:20 PM

That’s one fine box.

-- Custom furniture

View RogerBean's profile


1483 posts in 1987 days

#13 posted 02-26-2014 03:22 PM

Your hinges deserve another comment. Perhaps the most attractive wood hinges I’ve seen. Inlaying them flush eliminates the usual heavy, clunky appearance usually associated with wooden hinges. The Brusso stays are a very attractive and effective way to deal with any potential strength problems. Nice work indeed. My compliments.

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

View tomd's profile


1930 posts in 2804 days

#14 posted 02-27-2014 12:47 AM

Great looking box, very nice work inside and out.

-- Tom D

View gfadvm's profile


13737 posts in 1724 days

#15 posted 02-27-2014 01:54 AM

I always love everything that you post and this is no exception! VERY classy.

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

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