Old School Pine Box

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Project by jjw5858 posted 07-17-2014 07:47 PM 2258 views 3 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I really have no explanation of exactly what this box is. I know it is an idea sparked from an old box I saw for sale a while back on Etsy. The box featured some old mason jars stored in it and for some reason It really caught my eye. I always seemed to get motivated by older looking items, perhaps it’s a woodworking

I knew that if I was going to go strictly with hand tools that creating this curved section for cutouts to meet the lid would be a sure challenge. It was…lol. This box is all about seeing what you can make with what you have, and so I just dressed it out as I saw fit to set a mood of a more simple time when people made things with pride. Many of my pine boards had marks from other jobs but I just felt this would only add the aged look to it once stained. So I went forward.

The handles were off an old timer carpenters box I once bought (more for the old tools in it and not for the box) at a local Flea Market. It felt great to rescue these fine handles since the old box was just about a total wreck for using.

The hinges were all custom filed into their shapes with a pattern I drafted. I got these at lowe’s and wanted something more interesting than rectangles. Again the satisfaction in the learning….I want I teach myself how to make it the best that I can. I decided to use some black Krylon engine enamel to sharpen the hardware up a little to play off of the coats of Tung Oil, Danish Oil, and BLO. Something new while making it look aged. Well just as I thought the paint was easy to scratch off if you tried to do so, I was a little bummed out. But I looked at it again and I thought why not use some sandpaper and a little file to dress some antique like scratches into it! I played around a bit and I think it looks cool with the purposeful aging I gave to the hardware.

The piece of Pine I used for the drop in bottom was wood taken off of the curb on bulk pick up day and it looked like it may have sat in the persons cellar/garage for a good many years.
The board was totally twisted from warping so my 3/4 boards twisted thickness soon became a handy shave under a 1/2 inch courtesy of my Stanley number 4. I was really proud with how how level and true I got her to look. Have to thank my Grandfathers Red Diamond marking gauge for aiding me and striking the lines along the sides for true guidance.

Once the bottom piece was leveled out I was ready to address the dimensions for the bottom.
I ripped and crosscut to my desired length and chiseled out some dados for some wall cleats to stop the bottom from falling through.

I later added a strip of 1/4 pine that I brad nailed to the back of the top to help the folding lid so it could rest level on itself. For some ornamentation I carefully scalloped the edges using a pair of old dividers and applied careful chip carving.

You should have seen the fun in ripping my 3/4 pine board down to create the 1/4 thickness for that piece…lol. Steady moves and crossed fingers on that one. I also was sure to gently drive the brads into the finished piece hoping for no splitting….I got lucky…hahahaha.

I made a little slip lock with an Oak dowel and I was lucky to get a nice snap to it as well. For some smaller things I use my carving experience from all of those spoons to help produce certain curves and catches for locks.

This was a fun build and I think it may look cozy in a rustic household.

I enjoyed the time spent learning from mistakes and also seeing the improvement in my ideas. I just call it the Old School Pine Box and looking back at my text it really was made with some older things as well as new. A little tip of the hat to any of those in the past that may get a kick out of this in the present.

The box was finished with 100, 250, and 400 sandpaper. 2 coats of Danish Oil
3 coats of Tung Oil, 2 coats of BLO. Black Krylon engine Enamel for the Hinges and Handles.

Well anyway, I surely thank you if you took a look and got a kick from it. Have fun with your ideas friends and keep making sawdust!


-- "Always continue to learn, laugh and share!" JJW

9 comments so far

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4180 days

#1 posted 07-17-2014 08:24 PM

Very nice Joe, the finish came out great too.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile


16901 posts in 3464 days

#2 posted 07-17-2014 09:23 PM

Ditto to what Mike said. I like the box very much, the story adds so much as well. A fine Galoot Index going with the hand tools, and you had fun. Sounds like you knocked this one out of the park!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View Oldtool's profile


3024 posts in 3037 days

#3 posted 07-17-2014 09:31 PM

Nice looking antique style box, maybe it could be a pirates money box? Like the hinges, nice touch. It could be used as a tool box, but as it sits with the lid open, it would be a nice book or magazine rack in a colonial home.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3702 days

#4 posted 07-17-2014 10:28 PM

Very neat Joe looks like it was a fun project
Looking forward to your next project


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

25176 posts in 3951 days

#5 posted 07-18-2014 12:54 AM

Nice job on the box, Joe!!

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

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3650 days

#6 posted 07-18-2014 12:37 PM

I like it, no matter what it holds.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3713 days

#7 posted 07-18-2014 02:10 PM

That’s very attractive. It will be a nice conversation piece.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30566 posts in 3184 days

#8 posted 07-18-2014 02:51 PM

Cool design. Good job sir.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View woodworker59's profile


560 posts in 3047 days

#9 posted 07-22-2014 02:16 AM

once again you have made art from what others threw away. you have done well…I always look forward to your posts.. keep up the great work brother… all the best to you and yours..

-- Papa...

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