Second Small Tool Box

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Project by RogerBean posted 11-17-2014 08:11 PM 4818 views 15 times favorited 31 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is the companion box to the little box I posted a couple weeks ago which holds my little mini router plane. This one is larger, 12 3/8” x 9 3/4” x3 3/4” high. The boxes are similar in design, but not intended to be a matched set. This one is fitted to hold my Steve Latta/Lie-Nielsen inlaying tools and the various blades. In the case of each box, the tools have a number of small, easy to lose, parts, so I thought a fitted box was the way to keep things all together.

The box itself is made of intensely figured imbuya veneer over Baltic birch substrate. I’ve been quite taken with this veneer ever since I first saw the picture on line. It’s very dark, almost black in places, yet the “snakeskin” like pattern is so fierce that it still comes through clearly. I’ve been looking for the right project for it for a while, and this is it.

There are numerous ways to complete inlays, and I probably use them all at one time or another, but Steve Latta designed this set to do the stringing inlay common to Federal period furniture. And, they do this job really well. As with all Lie-Nielsen tools, they’re also attractive in their own right, so a box to hold them seemed appropriate. (Not to mention keeping track of all the little blades and accessories.)

Edging is black dyed boxwood, with white/black/white accent lines. The interior is veneered with nutmeg burl, and the fitted bottom tray lifts out to reveal the original tool documents. I used a contra partie (reverse pattern) of the same cipher (monogram), using the dark version for the larger box, and inlayed it on the inside of the lid. It was stack-cut on my chevalet from ebony, cherry and curly maple.

The hinges are heavy extruded brass butt hinges from a hardware store in Wales. The catch is a brass slide catch from Andrew Crawford. The hardware has been hand polished. The finish is French polish. Probably not the smartest idea to put a mirror finish on a shop box, but what the heck. Beauty is beauty. Practical, well, that’s a different thing. LOL

No ebook on this one. It’s essentially the same process as the Pepperwood Writing Box edition available from

Thanks for taking a peek. Now, I need to get busy on a couple Federal tables.


-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

31 comments so far

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4457 days

#1 posted 11-17-2014 08:40 PM

Beauty to behold. I have a love for fine boxes and these are both really fine. Excellent work Roger.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View ToddJB's profile


8772 posts in 3253 days

#2 posted 11-17-2014 09:03 PM

You, Sir, are amazingly talented.

-- I came - I sawed - I over-built

View rustynails's profile


955 posts in 3652 days

#3 posted 11-17-2014 09:27 PM

Looks great, another great box Roger.


View Roger's profile


21054 posts in 3927 days

#4 posted 11-17-2014 09:44 PM

That is a first class tool box for sure.

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

View dclark1943's profile


270 posts in 3310 days

#5 posted 11-17-2014 09:47 PM

Roger, Continually amazed at your work ! gorgeous boxes, and they will serve you well.

-- Dave, Kansas City

View jbschutz's profile


613 posts in 3814 days

#6 posted 11-17-2014 10:01 PM

Roger, you always amaze. I Can’t decide which one I like better…..both are magnificent! The veneer choices, marquetry, finish ….....everything comes together in a highly pleasing whole.

-- jbschutz

View Jim Rowe's profile

Jim Rowe

1131 posts in 3435 days

#7 posted 11-17-2014 10:34 PM

Another excellent piece of craftsmanship. Is there a third one in the pipeline?

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

View shipwright's profile


8731 posts in 3921 days

#8 posted 11-17-2014 10:51 PM

Just a beauty Roger. I love the burls and all your “special” touches that make the prestigious Bean Box the aiming point for the rest of us. (Not to be confused with the bean bag which is completely different)

As for your reservations about the finish, my plane box has lived happily in the shop for several months now, dormant in scorching Az summer heat and in frequent use when I’m here, and the French polish still looks just fine. If it gets a scratch a quick buff will restore it’s former glow. I think it is the exactly correct finish for this box. You will get a warm glow not only every time you open it to use the tools inside but every time you walk by it.

Congrats on another show stopper Roger.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View Mark Kornell's profile

Mark Kornell

1171 posts in 3654 days

#9 posted 11-17-2014 11:37 PM

Very nice detail, Roger.

-- Mark Kornell, Kornell Wood Design

View Randy63's profile


252 posts in 4015 days

#10 posted 11-17-2014 11:40 PM

A beautiful box for some beautiful inlay tools. I don’t think any of us expect anything less than top quality work from you.

-- Randy, Oakdale, Ca.

View Eyal's profile


91 posts in 2689 days

#11 posted 11-18-2014 12:52 AM

Tastefully and artfully done. I like the idea of how you contrasted the monograms. The black dyed edging comes together with the tone of the veneer very well. I especially like the color and look of the nutmeg burl.
The eyes of any well known designer or artist will have a feast taking in the all the details of a box, which was created with thought, and an exceptional sense of design by it’s maker, which may aptly describe any box with the initials “RB” affixed to it.

View steve_in_ohio's profile


1195 posts in 2733 days

#12 posted 11-18-2014 02:37 AM

wow, beautiful job

-- steve, simple and effective

View SBinMT's profile


3 posts in 2410 days

#13 posted 11-18-2014 03:18 AM


View Xanthoman's profile


7 posts in 2409 days

#14 posted 11-18-2014 03:38 AM

I find it perfectly apt to have a beautiful inlaid box for your tools for inlay. I hope to make similar boxes in the future for matching board game sets. Excellent quality, great work!

-- -'Tis easier to govern the populous if they do not hate you.

View AnonymousRequest's profile


861 posts in 2672 days

#15 posted 11-18-2014 04:29 AM

Beautiful box, well done!

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