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What is the best way to make chip carved boxes?

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Forum topic by helluvawreck posted 07-12-2011 03:23 PM 2317 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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helluvawreck

23134 posts in 2328 days


07-12-2011 03:23 PM

Topic tags/keywords: chip carved boxes box construction design of chip carved boxes

I have been practicing chip carving for about 3 months. I have been mostly carving free formed style patters that lend themselves to chip carved boxes. Now I want to start making some chip carved boxes. Other than simple boxes for my shop and tool boxes I’ve never made any nice boxes other than a few hand dovetailed boxes. I am no box expert like some of those I’ve seen on LJs. To me the design of a chip carved box needs to be done in a way that enhances the actual carving itself and not the box. I have nearly every chip carving book that there is but they say precious little about the box itself. Most of them recommend buying ready made boxes which I wouldn’t even consider doing. I have full confidence in my abilities to make reasonably nice boxes after I get a few under my belt. I have one box making book but I have many of my books packed in boxes right now and can’t find it. Thanks in advance for any help you might be able to offer on this.

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau


10 replies so far

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Gregn

1642 posts in 2444 days


#1 posted 07-12-2011 06:55 PM

Most of them recommend buying ready made boxes. I would take that as a clue to build the box and then transfer your pattern to the box and then do your chip carving. This way you could size your pattern to fit the box, allowing the box to accentuate the chip carving instead of the chip carving accentuating the box. This would allow for your pattern to wrap around the box uninterrupted.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

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helluvawreck

23134 posts in 2328 days


#2 posted 07-12-2011 08:36 PM

Greg, I don’t know where I can buy a really nice box that I can afford. And even if I could how could I say that it was a project that I made. Also most of the chip carved boxes that I see have patterns that do not wrap around the corners You can carve the top separately. If you make the parts accurately I’m not really sure that you can’t carve them before you glue and assemble them. Anyways, I want to make my own boxes.

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

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Jim Finn

2409 posts in 2383 days


#3 posted 07-12-2011 09:13 PM

I do some carving on my box lids, although not chip carving, and I carve the design first then make the lid and box using that piece of wood.

-- "You may have your PHD but I have my GED and my DD 214"

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helluvawreck

23134 posts in 2328 days


#4 posted 07-12-2011 10:09 PM

Jim, I don’t see any reason at all why you can’t go ahead and carve the tops and even sides if you already have the parts ready to assemble. Sometimes the pattern crosses a top if it is the type of box where the top has sides and which is sometimes made in a way where the top of the box is cut from the bottom on a table saw. Maybe in this case you might want to carve the box after it is assembled – at least the sides anyways. These things are the things that I am trying to find out concerning chip carved boxes.

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

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reggiek

2240 posts in 2731 days


#5 posted 07-12-2011 10:15 PM

A lot of the chip carved boxes I have seen are ones that have either a inlaid piece that is chip carved….or it is a box made completely from butternut or basswood. A lot of woods are not suitable for chipcarving (either too hard or too loosely grained to hold the detail) – thus the inlay.

A great source of info on this would be to pm – Marty (Mychipcarving- he is a fellow LJ) or to check out his page at mychipcarving.com…I believe his site sells premade boxes also. He is a great promoter of chip carving…and an excellent source of info and techniques.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

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Gregn

1642 posts in 2444 days


#6 posted 07-12-2011 10:22 PM

I meant the clue was to make the box. Then you could size your pattern to fit the box you built. You wouldn’t necessarily have to wrap the pattern around the box, but would have that option if you chose to do so. I would find it easier to build the box and then chip carve my pattern onto the box before attaching the lid, and chip carve the lid before attaching it. I’m sure you could even dry assemble the box parts first making sure all the parts fit, then chip carve it before final glue up assembly. This would make it completely your own project that you made yourself. In this way the box you built would be the medium to use for the chip carving you want to display. Sorry if you thought the bold print meant it was a clue to buy the box.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

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helluvawreck

23134 posts in 2328 days


#7 posted 07-12-2011 11:26 PM

I appreciate that, Reggie, Marty’s the one who got me started. He’s a very good teacher.

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

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helluvawreck

23134 posts in 2328 days


#8 posted 07-12-2011 11:34 PM

No, Greg, I didn’t think that. I think that the reason that a lot of chip carvers buy boxes is because there are a lot of chip carvers who are not woodworkers. Obviously chip carving is a form of woodworking but I mean there are a lot of chip carvers whose total wood working is the carving or cutting the blanks.

For me it would be much more difficult to carve a completed box especially with free form chip carving because when I carve I spin the blank when doing a lot of the curves. It would be difficult to do this I think with an assembled box.

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

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MyChipCarving

577 posts in 2586 days


#9 posted 07-15-2011 03:15 PM

Hi Charles, If you’d like some dimensions and construction details for any of the boxes I sell, I’ll be glad to share them with you.
There’s enough to go around!

-- Marty, https://www.MyChipCarving.com, 866-444-6996

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helluvawreck

23134 posts in 2328 days


#10 posted 07-15-2011 04:14 PM

Hi, Marty. I’d appreciate just a general recommended construction method – a paragraph or so. Mainly corner details. I want to make my own just out of general principal. I need to keep my interest up in chip carving and in order to do it I think that it’s time to start making some boxes and other projects instead of just practicing on wall plaques. I’ll PM you. Thanks

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

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