Friendship shrine #1: The beginning.

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by mafe posted 08-08-2021 10:55 PM 834 reads 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Friendship shrine series Part 2: Joints and planes..._ »

Friendship shrine
The beginning.

This is a story and project, that has been on it’s way, for a long, long time.
Some of the materials arrived in my workshop, for more than ten years ago, the build started in 2016 and had several holds on it’s way, for many reasons.

It’s a project that emerged out of friendships, that I made on LJ, some that grew over the years, some that vanished and some of them went into personal friendships, one even to a brother, with a different mother.

So a project that came out of care, respect and love, but got it’s own will and to the form of pure joy, distress, frustration, gratitude and love.

At the end of the day, it’s just a box, yes, just a simple box, but with a lot of stories growing deep within it and this is what I will try to tell about, as well as a little bit about how it was made.

Let’s get started.

The background:
Over the years a lot of LJ friends, has send or given me little packs, some with tools, but for this story, most importantly with pieces of wood, from all over the planet and a lot of these pieces had just been collecting dust, as I had no idea, how to use them, others are long gone into projects.
So back in 2016 I decided to see if I could figure out a project, that could have all these pieces of wood incorporated and this is what gave birth to this project.

The project:
I decided it had to be a personal thing for me, as it would hold this wood, that were given to me from others with love. After some weeks of thinking I decided that a man’s shrine (valet), would be such a thing and that the word shrine, would have a sacred feel to it.
Next up were a wee time at the sketch block and the drawing table and the idea were born.

Let’s take of from here:

We are back in 2016, where I were starting to put up some of all the wood, to see where the individual pieces could be used.
Here some spaletd wood from Scotland, that my dear friend and brother with different mother Jamie, have spalted him self and gave me, when I were up visiting him in Scotland, I don’t remember the spieces.

Here next to mahogany, from old Scottish library shelf’s, that he gave me as well. Thanks Jamie.

As you can see, I put the pieces on the left corner of the workbench.

Ran them through the thicknesser, to expose the inside beauty.

And yes amazing stuff came out.

Here the first sketch, not a fixed project, just an idea and a direction to go.
A shrine, inspired by old Japanese and Chinese boxes and with joints made as old Japanese boxes, just as I did, when I made the shrine for my daughter and yes that project were also in my mind, as it could make a beautiful connection to her and this shrine, will become hers one day. Thank you Mathilde.
The basic idea is a box, where I can put my personal stuff, things I have a special connection to, watch, cufflinks… and perhaps even look in the mirror and remind my self of who I am, from time to time.

Jointing the first pieces, so there’s a straight edge to start from.

Making the first saw cuts, for the basic box, to get started and lock in on something specific.

This was where this wonderful picture were taken, MaFe in his workshop, deeply focused on the shrine.
(Now it is often found on the web, with the text: ‘an amazing workshop, somewhere in Italy’. The truth is, that it’s my little workshop in Copenhagen, Denmark – big warm laugh).

The photo were taken by this wonderful lady Camilla, who asked me if she could take pictures of me, for an exhibition of pictures of hers, with men and their workshops, hands and working situations. A lovely exhibition, with a lot of intense pictures captured by her. Thank you Camilla.

While she were there I cut the first finger joints.

Then transferred to to matching pieces.

Sawn by hand, with Japanese saw, as it’s a Japanese technique I’ll use.

First fingers shaking hands.

Like this the basic box were born and I could go from there, with the measures.

Mahogany from the Scottish library shelf’s were lined up, to make a lid and bottom.
Also some ship mahogany, from a longe gone LJ member Napoleon, that were a good friend for a while, even in real life and then vanished. Thank you anyway Napoleon.

Sides planed, for perfect fit.

Carpenters white glue.

Clamped up to dry.

Run through the planer again, into final thickness.

A few test cuts and then rabbets for the bottom, could be cut into the box sides, on the table saw.

The lid were just cut to fit inside the box.

The bottom a wee bigger.

So it could get lips, to fit in the rabbets.

The matching pair.

Like this we now had a box, basic, but a box.

The lips were trimmed with one of my self made shoulder planes, one more thing that came out of my LJ time and friendship.
After this the project came to a stop, I had too many other things to do, life love, daughter, projects and much more, but most of all I realized, that I could not put all the wood gifts and all the persons that I wanted into the shrine, without making it a mess, so it just ended up on the left side of my workbench, as a frustration and I felt I lost in a way.

In 2018 I turned fifty and after that some quiet came back, so I think this was in 2019, where it was time to sit down with a good whiskey, that my friend Ty gave me for my birthday and make a real drawing of where the project should go from there.
To make it realistic and buildable, also made a few design changes, that would make it more simple and more me.
Thank you Ty, for that lovely whiskey.

All the wood pieces were put up on the table and a realistic judgement made, both out of design and what was possible and I felt I made a compromise I could live with, but had to give up on wood from a few LJ’s, to you I send this thank you and you are still in there, as you have been a part of the process and in my mind as I build it.

Wood made into right thickness as I now knew what I wanted to build.

Jazz and good tobacco.

Wood pieces in right thickness and all labeled up.

The new design includes a hidden drawer, so if you read this you will have to eat poison…
A drawer behind the drawers.

My favourite tobacco.

Here you can see the new design.
A box, with a loose flip lid, four drawers that fit within, mirror and a shelf.
Less is more and more is hidden inside…
This was where I got my allotment, so time again became little, but I worked from time to time and made progress slowly.

Fingers made on the hidden drawer, in ship mahogany.

That’s a start!

Jointing wood for one of the other drawer bottoms, lovely to joint like this.

Just running the over a number six in a pair.

Box with lid.

Shelf and shelf front cut to size.

Shelf front have a rabbet.

Hidden drawer under, that also function as divider.

This is as far as we get today, will be back as soon as possible with next part, think there will be about six.
Nice to be back, missed a lot of you, but life is wonderfully busy, with things I love to do and make, so there have been no time, for following up on you all, sorry for that, as I’m sure I missed a lot of wonderful projects.

See you soon.

Hope it can be to some inspiration, or inspire to friendships.

Best thoughts,


-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

14 comments so far

View icemanhank's profile


561 posts in 3398 days

#1 posted 08-08-2021 11:31 PM

Just wonderful to watch you work Mads, you are truly an inspiration to me.
I look around your workshop and see a lot of myself, even to the Lagavulan and the jazz.
I am unable to contact you via Facebook any more so hope we can find another way to share our life experiences.

Best wishes Dave

-- "These are my principles. And if you don't like them, I have others." ... Cheers, David from Sydney Australia

View sras's profile


6345 posts in 4371 days

#2 posted 08-08-2021 11:32 PM

Your stories are a pleasure to follow! Thanks for sharing.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View lew's profile


13425 posts in 4997 days

#3 posted 08-09-2021 12:14 AM

So happy to be able to follow along with the creation of this shrine.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

8417 posts in 1824 days

#4 posted 08-09-2021 02:33 AM

Good to hear from you, Mads. Glad you’re doing well and if you’re too busy to post, that good too.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View snowdog's profile


1181 posts in 5225 days

#5 posted 08-09-2021 09:04 AM

Its been a while since I have posted, Nice work as always.

-- "so much to learn and so little time"..

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26784 posts in 4347 days

#6 posted 08-09-2021 11:56 AM

Mads, that is a great idea to incorporate all those woods into the project. Will have be labeled somehow…like with a wood burner for you to remember?

cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View MrLaughingbrook's profile


277 posts in 3209 days

#7 posted 08-09-2021 07:27 PM

Very nice photography by Camilla!

-- MrLaughingbrook

View pottz's profile


20657 posts in 2226 days

#8 posted 08-09-2021 08:22 PM

your stories and projects always make me feel good mads (big smile)

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View a1Jim's profile


118253 posts in 4819 days

#9 posted 08-09-2021 09:37 PM

I always enjoy your blogs Mads along with what are always interesting stories and builds you photos many times are art on their own.


View swirt's profile


6627 posts in 4214 days

#10 posted 08-10-2021 01:43 AM

A cool project, and an even better story. Big smiles.

-- Galootish log blog,

View mafe's profile


13334 posts in 4331 days

#11 posted 08-10-2021 11:32 AM

Hi there,
Yes good to be back, to see you guys and get a few words, it really warms my heart, some of us have know each other for more than ten years now, so for me it’s friendships, even though a lot of us, might never meet. Thank you for sharing so much.

Iceman, Hmmmmm I’ll send you a mail. Thank you from my heart Dave, I have enjoyed our friendship over the years and to get news about the family, follow your life, quite closely, so I will miss that a lot if you stop sharing – so dont!. ;-) You are also an inspiration to me, the fighter, father, runner, musician and much more.

sras, Big smile thank you, I’m often told I talk too much… perhaps less on the blog… Laugh. I love stories, to see life as more, than just a number of hours we have to go through.

Lew, Smiles, I am so grateful to have you along, always enjoy that a lot, your wood is rolling pasta. ;-)

Dave Polaschek, yes I am thinking the same, even though I feel a little sad not to care enough for all of you guys, but a busy life, where we are busy doing what we love, is a good life, as long as some of it is taking care of us and others, as well as being able to being happy on others behalf. Thank you for your compassion.

Snowdog, makes us two, smiles thanks. ;-)

Jim Jakosh, I love that name, something cinematic about it, the good guy, strong and fair, perhaps a cowboy! I have saved the labels, but some of the woods I don’t remember who send me and I decided it will represent you all, so I will not put names, it’s all of you lovely guys, that I have shared all these years with, that I see when I see the shrine. Thanks and cheers. ;-)

MrLaughingbrook, yes I love that picture, she took quite a few.

She just hang out in shop with her camera, as I were working, so she really got the intenseness of it, managed to get pictures of the zen, not just tools and wood, that was what I really appreciated. Thank you Camilla.

Pottz, Your comments and having you around, always makes ME feel good, thank you. Big smile.

a1Jim, Now my hed turned red, thank you. It touch me deep, as I love taking pictures, I also photograph in other parts of my life, nature, animals, food, building, people, gardening and often just what ever makes me curios, so I have endless folders of photos on my computer, as well as a load of never posted projects for LJ, simply because there are no time… I don’t look a lot in the pictures, what I enjoy, is capturing a moment, like this it often stays in my body, just for the reason, that I took that moment of time, to focus on what is special here. So thanks a lot.

swirt, A big smile and a even bigger thank you, always a joy to see you.

Best of my thoughts, also to all of those who are not around,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View Brit's profile


8442 posts in 4085 days

#12 posted 08-11-2021 04:52 PM

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Brit's profile


8442 posts in 4085 days

#13 posted 08-11-2021 04:57 PM

...and no you can’t have all my tools. LOL.

Looking good Mads!

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View mafe's profile


13334 posts in 4331 days

#14 posted 08-13-2021 10:13 AM

Ha ha ha, I would never do that to you, even for all your tools!
Thank you, hope life is good and the sun is shining on you, still looking forward to our get together.
Best of my thoughts to you and the family,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics