Watch Box #6: Handle replaced, shaping started

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Blog entry by Andy posted 01-11-2012 12:07 AM 8343 reads 7 times favorited 27 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: Hinges, Handle, Dividers Part 6 of Watch Box series Part 7: OOPS!! »

The handle.
I did not like how the handle was looking, it appeared to lack any of the swirling grain that the top inset panel has. That happens sometimes after shaping, the good stuff ends up on the floor.
Also… if you look close, you will notice in the picture below that I sanded too deep into the right corner of the handle and exposed the spline! Oops!

So I made a new one from Black Palm Wood, a first time for me. The black color ties in with the Wenge corner splines, plus I love the weird grain which looks like small straws all bound up together. I want this box to look organic with the shaping, but to have a little class too, since it will be the home of a very nice watch collection.
I think the Black Palm dresses it up. Very cool wood anyway and a perfect place to try it out.

First, I had to cut off the old handle without so much as scratching the edge of the lid or it would change the profile if I had to resand it, meaning there was no way to fix any damage. I cut the handle off close to the edge of the lid and scraped the rest off very slowly with a chisel.

Then I recut the mortise for a new spline. (I just dont trust edge glueing the handle on a lid this large, the spline ensures it wont snap off.)
Very slow and tedious work.

Then I shaped the bottom of the handle exactly like the old one so it would nestle into the wavy saddle I had already shaped in the body of the box. After that I shaped the top edge of the handle to blend with the waves in the lid.

Here are some additional photos of the box with rough shaping and a smoother sanded surface, one with mineral spirits wiped on. (The wetted surface shows up scratches that I mark out in pencil and sand after its dried.)

I still have a lot of sanding and the dividers to complete.
Stay tuned.
Thanks for looking

-- If I can do it, so can you.

27 comments so far

View majeagle1's profile


1426 posts in 4232 days

#1 posted 01-11-2012 12:12 AM

Lookin’ good Andy !!!! Love that quilted maple inset !

-- Gene, Majestic Eagle Woodworks,,

View Andy's profile


1713 posts in 4644 days

#2 posted 01-11-2012 12:13 AM

Thanks Gene.

-- If I can do it, so can you.

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4039 days

#3 posted 01-11-2012 12:19 AM

very beautiful andy, the switch of the handle was done very well, i know what you mean about just edge gluing it onto the box, i have used a biscuit before also and so far they seem to work well, or im sure as your doing , using a spline of some thickness..but it all looks wonderful…thanks for the continued blog…always something new to learn…grizz

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

View cwdance1's profile


1161 posts in 3995 days

#4 posted 01-11-2012 12:20 AM

You make it looks so easy.

Mine never look anywhere near as good as yours do. I’ll keep trying though.

Great looking box.

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4039 days

#5 posted 01-11-2012 12:21 AM

oh i wanted to ask you, what did you use to cut the handle off so carefully…would like to know…

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

View will delaney's profile

will delaney

329 posts in 3371 days

#6 posted 01-11-2012 12:24 AM

The original box was beautiful Andyl. Now with the Black Palm Wood handle that brought it to another level. As always thanks for inspiring.

View Karson's profile


35221 posts in 5136 days

#7 posted 01-11-2012 12:49 AM

Andy: The Palm wood looks great . A nice recovery.

That’s what makes great woodworkers.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 4801 days

#8 posted 01-11-2012 01:20 AM

Andy you make it all look so easy – and we both know that it’s not easy at all. Nice work as usual.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 3144 days

#9 posted 01-11-2012 01:24 AM

Excellent workmanship. It is beautiful.

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View Andy's profile


1713 posts in 4644 days

#10 posted 01-11-2012 01:36 AM

Thank you everyone!
@ Grizzman- Yes biscuits work great too.
I cut the handle off on with the bandsaw, very carefully, in fact all I had left on the box was half of the glue line and a see thru slice of wood in one place.

-- If I can do it, so can you.

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 4044 days

#11 posted 01-11-2012 01:37 AM

I know you are having fun! Admit it…Looks like another classic and the wood choices are great.

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10920 posts in 4788 days

#12 posted 01-11-2012 01:40 AM

You’re coming along very nicely!

Thank you for sharing the BAD along with the GOOD!

It’s nice to know that you’re human too! LOL

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View Dale J Struhar Sr's profile

Dale J Struhar Sr

508 posts in 3866 days

#13 posted 01-11-2012 01:48 AM

Very nice Andy.

-- Dale, Ohio

View DocSavage45's profile


8932 posts in 3578 days

#14 posted 01-11-2012 03:52 AM

Is this a larger box than you normally make? The stool gives it some relative perspective. I’m with the gallery. A lot for us to live up to. At least for me to live up to. lol

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Skylark53's profile


2795 posts in 3796 days

#15 posted 01-11-2012 04:21 AM

Andy, while you were building this watch box, I was building one for my son-in-law for Christmas. He was very pleased, thankfully. I could’ve built it ten times over and not touched the degree of finesse and skill you exhibit here. Again, beautifully done and thanks eversomuch for sharing the journey…

-- Rick, Tennessee, John 3:16

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