Brass, Sydney Blue Gum and some wooden hinges.

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Project by ruddy posted 02-26-2014 08:29 AM 1929 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

23529 posts in 1913 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


3114 posts in 1399 days

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

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

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

View grizzman's profile


7835 posts in 2878 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


512 posts in 2266 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


1605 posts in 2528 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 1185 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


5281 posts in 3457 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


20405 posts in 2379 days

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

Excellent redo. Lotsa gr8 details. Very nice build.

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

View Jim Rowe's profile

Jim Rowe

942 posts in 1887 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 1162 days

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

Beautiful craftsmanship, love the wooden hinge!

-- Bill, SW Florida

View 49er's profile


154 posts in 1179 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


115614 posts in 3152 days

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

That’s one fine box.

-- Custom furniture

View RogerBean's profile


1605 posts in 2528 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


2038 posts in 3345 days

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

Great looking box, very nice work inside and out.

-- Tom D

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2265 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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