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My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer #1044: The Christmas Box

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Blog entry by Sheila Landry (scrollgirl) posted 431 days ago 2074 reads 3 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1043: Busy Day! Part 1044 of My Journey As A Scroll Saw Pattern Designer series Part 1045: Nativity Key Ornaments Finished »

After a somewhat bumpy road of construction and design, I have finished my Christmas box.

I say the road was ‘bumpy’ because there were a few issues that I had in both the design and the execution of creating this box. I can however say that I have ironed out all of those bumps and recreating this pieces should be very easy for those who wish to do so. I am happy with the results.

Those of you who read saw that my first attempt of cutting the lid design included the misspelling of the word ‘divine.’ After several hours of work, with a satisfactory result, I showed the lid of the box here on my blog, only to have a kind reader point out that the word ‘divine’ was spelled incorrectly. It was a bit aggravating.

After feeling like someone threw a safe on my back while I was climbing up a muddy hill, I decided to switch gears and do some other cutting for the next project just for a change of scenery. (I will be showing that project tomorrow.)

The change did me good, and got me away from the dreaded piece long enough to help take the sting out of having to cut it out all over again. During my day away, I rationalized that I didn’t quite like the darkness of the wood that I used originally (in the above picture) and I wanted a lighter piece of maple anyway. “Things happen for a reason . . . blah, blah, blah . . . ” and all of that.

While I was doing the other project, Keith had gone to the wood store and purchased some additional maple, among other things. We were getting to the bottom of our supply, which was why I had chosen the darker piece originally. He had returned with some beautiful maple that was a bit lighter in color and I felt would look much better for this box.

I had also in the mean time decided that the lid that I had originally cut was a bit too small. I wanted the sides of the box to be slotted, with decorative scrolling on the slot extensions and while this looked proportionally correct on paper, as I had the lid cut out, I realized that there was very little overhang that I allowed and the lid would have appeared too small. Because of the way the design was placed on the lid, with the liner covering just the inner part of the design and the trim around the edges being left open, simply shrinking the sides down was not an option. The lid liner would have come about half way between the holly trim, looking sloppy and unplanned.

By cutting the lid over, I extended the edges by 1/2 inch all around, and I think that it made a vast improvement.

Since I made this box to coordinate with the new set of 12 ornaments that I cut, I needed to figure a way to incorporate the 12 designs into it. The front of the box has the holy family:

The left side shows the shepherd and a sheep:

The back has the three kings and the right side has the camel and an angel:

I lined the lid with 1/8” walnut. This also served to hold it stable on the top of the box when in place:

The joints of the box are slotted, which is a nice way to make a box using only the scroll saw. It is very difficult to cut a perfectly straight line on the scroll saw and the slotted joints are probably the best way to join pieces, as they are somewhat forgiving. With the added decorative edging, even if there are small gaps, they are barely noticeable, as your eye is drawn to the decoration rather than the joints themselves.

Keith had suggested that I line the sides also, but I liked the look of the open scrolled work.

I finished the box in my usual mineral oil/spray lacquer finish. I love the soft look it gives the piece, and how it enhances the wood without making it look shiny or plastic-y.

All in all, I am pretty happy with the project. Not only will it make a beautiful holder for the companion ornaments, but it would be a nice stand alone project too, as you can store your Christmas cards or even candles in it. It measures approximately 7” x 10” x 4” tall and is made of maple.

The pattern will be available in the holiday issue of Creative Woodworks and Crafts magazine, as well as on my site after the publication date which is scheduled for late August. I know many of you want it now, but it will still be out in plenty of time for people to make for holiday fairs and gift giving.

I hope you all like it. I liked seeing it finally be finished when I glued things up yesterday. It seemed to be a long time in coming, but that was probably because I had hit a couple of hurdles along the way. I suppose it just goes to show that sometimes it is best to take a breath and get away from something for a day or so when things go awry. When we return to it, we have a better perspective and a little more patience and more so than not, we are able to pull the project out of the fire pile and make it something we can still be proud of.

Have a wonderful Monday today! Happy Memorial Day to my friends in the USA.

-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts Magazine, If you like reading my blog, come visit at Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"



18 comments so far

View BritBoxmaker's profile

BritBoxmaker

4340 posts in 1642 days


#1 posted 431 days ago

A veritable tour de force, Sheila.The simplicity of the box construction contrasts beautifully with the intricacy of the scroll work. The finish is perfect. Whilst I might agree with Keith over lining the box sides (it would match the lid) this is a minor point as the depth of the material gives a sharp edge contrast in any case. I really hope it sells well. It certainly should.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging. http://www.theartofboxes.com

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile (online now)

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7490 posts in 1526 days


#2 posted 431 days ago

Thanks, Martyn! You are the ‘box maker extraordinaire” and your work is something that I admire so much. If I were doing it for myself, I may have thought to line it, but I did try to keep the instructions as simple as possible for a couple of reasons – the limitations of space in the holiday issue, as well as the limitations that I previously mentioned on the scroll saw. Many scrollers don’t have access to a table saw on a regular basis (myself included) and the precision cutting required to line the inside would be very difficult to accomplish with just the scroll saw. Of course, if one feels so inclined to line the sides, that would be wonderful too. :

I do appreciate your point of view very much and thank you for your compliments. :)

Sheila

-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts Magazine, If you like reading my blog, come visit at Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"

View BritBoxmaker's profile

BritBoxmaker

4340 posts in 1642 days


#3 posted 431 days ago

Just a suggestion for your customers who might like to line the sides (I’m not trying to labour the point) you could use heavy duty card,cut-able with a craft knife. By heavy duty I mean about 1.5 mm or 1/16” thick. Available at art shops in various colours.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging. http://www.theartofboxes.com

View scrollsaw's profile

scrollsaw

13026 posts in 2460 days


#4 posted 431 days ago

Great job on your design I like the scroll work to

-- Todd

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile (online now)

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7490 posts in 1526 days


#5 posted 431 days ago

That is a good idea, Martyn. I never even really thought of that. I even have some thin veneers that could be cut with a knife that may work. Good option!

And thank you Todd! :)

Sheila

-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts Magazine, If you like reading my blog, come visit at Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"

View Rick13403's profile

Rick13403

212 posts in 2110 days


#6 posted 431 days ago

Good morning Sheila, And another great pattern. My pile of to be cut just keeps getting bigger and bigger. Thank you and Keith for the fine job of creating such beautiful patterns.
Rick

-- Rick - DeWalt 788 - www.thescrollerandtoler.com

View Dan Krager's profile

Dan Krager

1481 posts in 840 days


#7 posted 431 days ago

Love that box! I did get caught up in the misspelling at first! LOL (now, not then). I’m about to get some more patterns and like Rick, the pile keeps getting bigger and bigger.
FTR, I just bought a New Rogers pedal scroll saw in great shape. We’ll see how that works soon as I get a belt.
DanK

-- Dan Krager, Olney IL http://www.kragerwoodworking.weebly.com

View twokidsnosleep's profile

twokidsnosleep

1063 posts in 1580 days


#8 posted 431 days ago

It is beautiful!

-- Scott "Some days you are the big dog, some days you are the fire hydrant"

View Celticscroller's profile

Celticscroller

748 posts in 679 days


#9 posted 431 days ago

LOVE this box Sheila! I will definitely be getting that pattern! And I won’t be giving it away as I do with a lot of my work! It will be a great place to store my scrolled Christmas ornaments and a nice legacy to pass on to grand kids after I’ve had many years of use :)
The carving show went well on the weekend – just some administrative stuff to put it all to bed and then it’s back to the workshop for the rest of the summer. Yea!
Enjoy your day. Cloudy but mild here today.

-- Anna http://richmondcarvers.com/

View jjw5858's profile

jjw5858

1110 posts in 1208 days


#10 posted 431 days ago

It looks fantastic! You did a hell of a good job on that. Sit back, look at it and be proud of your efforts Sheila.

Take care,

Joe

-- "Make something you love tomorrow...and do it slowly" JLB

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile (online now)

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7490 posts in 1526 days


#11 posted 431 days ago

Thank you all so much! I didn’t see your posts until now for some reason. I usually get notifications from LJ’s.

Whatever . . .

I really appreciate your nice comments – especially after the troubles that I was having. I am glad you like the design too. It was fun to cut and not really difficult at all. Lots of comma strokes and curves – the fun kind of cutting!

As I progressed on the cutting, I liked it more and more. I am happy that I stuck with it and saw it through to the end.

I can see more boxes of this type in the future. Again – thank you all for the cheering on! Working here at home, it is nice to know I have my cheering section with you all. Have a great night!

((HUGS)) Sheila

-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts Magazine, If you like reading my blog, come visit at Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"

View BertFlores58's profile

BertFlores58

1644 posts in 1528 days


#12 posted 431 days ago

Hi Sheila,
Everyone had said what I like with your box… I am personally glad the you are now a member of the boxmakers. I was surprised about the simple lap joint. In this way, you can even make variety of designs. You can alternately assemble boxes of different sides, lid and bottom. Only locking pin is missing.

Really beautiful box.
Have a nice day.

-- Bert

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile (online now)

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

7490 posts in 1526 days


#13 posted 430 days ago

Thanks, Bert. I will never be able to make boxes like you and Martyn though. Not with a scroll saw anyway. I saw a show on the History Channel on how the Myans built their temples and pyramids and didn’t even use mortar because the stones fit so well together. It was amazing when you think about it. There are small gaps in the joints, but that is part of the nature of the beast I suppose. Fortunately the decorative corners pull your eyes away from the flaws. When designing for many levels of woodworkers, I think that stuff like this is useful because then many people with different skill levels can still be successful in making it. (AND with limited tools!) I am glad you think it is nice. :)

Sheila

-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts Magazine, If you like reading my blog, come visit at Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"

View littlecope's profile

littlecope

2889 posts in 2108 days


#14 posted 430 days ago

I didn’t get a chance to see this until today Sheila…
Congratulations to you for a Beautiful Job on your first Box!
I have to warn you though, they can be very addictive… :)

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6646 posts in 2585 days


#15 posted 430 days ago

Beautiful work, Sheila!!!!!!

Great job.

Lee

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

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