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Old Wooden Box with Interesting Lid Construction

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Forum topic by Beeguy posted 1377 days ago 3565 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Beeguy

173 posts in 2270 days


1377 days ago

A while back we came across some old wooden (cigar??) boxes. The only marking is a large X on the two sides. What caught my interest was the flip up metal strap used to secure the lid. I thought they were a little different and wanted to make a few. All the material is 3/8” solid wood except the lid. The sides are joined using a standard box joint. The solid wood bottom is screwed on (end grain exposed) with small wood screws and the hinges are on the back and not mortised in. The wood differs throughout, some soft edge joined to hard to make one side. There are no gaps and you really have to look close to see the joint line. What has really intrigued me is the lid and is the reason for the post. It consists of three laminated 1/8” layers with the center being a darker wood.

How this lid was assembled is what seems so different to me and I hope I can describe it. A 3/8 strip was used in the rear where the hinge attaches. I am guessing a spline groove was cut into the edge which the center layer of dark wood was inserted, but on the two ends the center layer center layer goes all the way through, like a through mortise design, about one inch wide. Then two 1/8” pieces matching the back piece and the rest of the box are laminated on top and bottom of the center dark wood. Except for the front of the top piece which is narrower thus leaving an 1/8” rabbit where the metal strap swings into to secure the lid. What amazes me is parts of the box are quite complicated using some interesting woodworking techniques and then it looks like it was assembled quickly without detail. The edge joining is flawless making the joint almost invisible. It looks to be fairly old and because the guy selling them had few I am guessing they were cigar boxes.

Has anyone ever seen this type of lamination to make a lid? It makes a lot of sense especially since the hinges are screwed into the edge so they go into a solid piece rather than a layer. I have never seen this before and was quite impressed that it would be used in what could have been mass produced item that really may have only been a package for something else.

I am not sure how well I have described the technique but I plan on trying to duplicate it as it really impressed me. Or you are all going to tell me this is commonplace and I just need to get out more.

-- Ron, Kutztown, PA "The reward is in the journey."


8 replies so far

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lilredweldingrod

2495 posts in 1740 days


#1 posted 1377 days ago

picture?

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Beeguy

173 posts in 2270 days


#2 posted 1377 days ago

I was going to post some pics but because the condition of the box, you really cant see the detail. And my wife has forbidden me from refinishing or cleaning it up too much.

However, I did do a little scratching and was able to come up with something. I was wrong about the laminated three layers. It appears the dark wood is just a wide spline on each grain end side of the lid. This is sort of an internal bread board style spline. This would give the lid stability from warpage and add a nice visual effect. Although different than what I first described, it is still somewhat unexpected and a surprise on this type of box. Sorry about the wrong description.

-- Ron, Kutztown, PA "The reward is in the journey."

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Beeguy

173 posts in 2270 days


#3 posted 1373 days ago

Sorry iI have been trying to figure out how to add pictures. No matter how long I wait it will not upload the image. I tried both from my PC and from Photobucket. Here are the links to the box if you are still interested.

http://i1080.photobucket.com/albums/j325/bogansrj/Cigbox1.jpg
http://i1080.photobucket.com/albums/j325/bogansrj/Cigbox2.jpg
http://i1080.photobucket.com/albums/j325/bogansrj/Cigbox3.jpg
http://i1080.photobucket.com/albums/j325/bogansrj/Cigbox4.jpg

Since I have never used Photobucket before and only registered to upload these pictures, I am not even sure if you will be able to view them.

-- Ron, Kutztown, PA "The reward is in the journey."

View Dennisgrosen's profile

Dennisgrosen

10850 posts in 1748 days


#4 posted 1373 days ago

Oh yes we can see them :-)
looking interresting with that lock

thank´s for sharing
Dennis

View lilredweldingrod's profile

lilredweldingrod

2495 posts in 1740 days


#5 posted 1373 days ago

It reminds me of the boxes that C-4 came in.

View Beeguy's profile

Beeguy

173 posts in 2270 days


#6 posted 1372 days ago

C-4, hmmmm, would make an interesting cigar. I really don’t know what they were used for, and only assumed cigars because the dealer had a few of them. As I said, they are quite puzzling because they have some very intricate and some very basic construction styles.

Thanks for looking.

-- Ron, Kutztown, PA "The reward is in the journey."

View jakeprater's profile

jakeprater

53 posts in 222 days


#7 posted 179 days ago

Just taking a stab here, but my guess is that the splines on the edges of the lid are to add strength, to keep the lid from bowing or provide support to prevent breakage. That it also provides a nice aesthetic detail is a bonus.

-- All this sawdust.......wait........ what happened to my board???

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jakeprater

53 posts in 222 days


#8 posted 179 days ago

Wow, I should have read your post before replying!

-- All this sawdust.......wait........ what happened to my board???

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