Knotty box, with a couple secrets

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Project by scottb posted 01-31-2009 05:00 AM 8498 views 3 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This box is made with a couple types of pine. I found the darker – what I’m guessing is fir, in that it’s similar to the wood I used in my take on the Thorsen table – in the basement.

The lighter wood, used on the lower portion of the lid, I snagged out of a stack of balusters at the BORG. Was labeled Hemlock (despite being thrown in with the Red oak ones… so lets go with that.) I knew when I saw those twisty knots in the wavy grain, (quartersawn on all 4 faces!) that it would redefine my project in progress.

This box is approx 8” x 5” x 5”, sanded smooth and finished with Howard’s Feed N’ Wax.

I cut two grooves in the fir, about 1/2 inch apart to fit in a bottom, as well as a permanent false bottom. three sides of the box are glued together, the 4th side is only held in with brass pins. I also glued in brass pins on the glued side for the sake of the illusion. I thought I’d also have to use magnets to keep the side nice and snug, but between the friction fit of four 1/8th inch brass dowels, and the snug fit of the bottoms (1/4” ply) there isn’t the need.

The secret compartment in the bottom would hold a secret stash of several bills, small notebook or somesuch.

I also snuck a secret compartment into the lid. The base of the lid is a mitred frame made from 2×2 stock, with a 1/4 ply bottom to the secret compartment, and the lid of the lid (as it were) is more of the same fir (two pieces glued up into a panel, with a thin band of the hemlock down the middle), attached with a friction pin (which also works as a hinge) and magnets to register it back in place.

Luckily I only needed two sets of 1/2” magnets, they are strong enough to snap the lid back into place, and you can even lift the lid off the box by the upper lid and it will pick up the entire lid assembly as one unit. The top compartment is much easier to open and close then the lower one, and is therefore more likely to be discovered… yet who would suspect such a small box to have a second secret to it? The one helps to hide the other, don’t you think?.

Oh, and aren’t these knots awesome?

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

12 comments so far

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4564 days

#1 posted 01-31-2009 05:21 AM

Well, that was fun, wasn’t it?

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View griff's profile


1207 posts in 4363 days

#2 posted 01-31-2009 06:03 AM

Great idea. looks great good job

-- Mike, Bruce Mississippi = Jack of many trades master of none

View CharlieM1958's profile


16284 posts in 4820 days

#3 posted 01-31-2009 06:49 AM

Very creative, Scott.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View SteveKorz's profile


2139 posts in 4315 days

#4 posted 01-31-2009 06:56 AM

That is exceptionally cool… I love those knots. Very creative.

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View Danette Smith's profile

Danette Smith

161 posts in 4881 days

#5 posted 01-31-2009 07:06 AM

Wonderful box! I like the secret compartment.

Good luck in the contest…Danette

-- Danette Smiths Pyrography and Easels -

View BarryW's profile


1015 posts in 4508 days

#6 posted 01-31-2009 09:25 AM

Scott…these postings are astonishing…remarkable…

-- /\/\/\ BarryW /\/\/\ Stay so busy you don't have time to die.

View lew's profile


12931 posts in 4357 days

#7 posted 01-31-2009 05:31 PM

Beautiful Job!

The knots really add to the beauty!

Good Luck in the contest.


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

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14182 posts in 4584 days

#8 posted 02-01-2009 03:52 AM

well done … good luck in the contest

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18781 posts in 4277 days

#9 posted 02-09-2009 09:09 AM

Nice Box, great idea on the compartment.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Andy's profile


1713 posts in 4510 days

#10 posted 01-26-2010 06:21 PM

Sorry I missed this Scott.
I like your secret panel and those knots are beautiful, not very common either. You took some wood considered trash by most people and made something very nice.
Well done!

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

View a1Jim's profile


117905 posts in 4178 days

#11 posted 01-26-2010 06:23 PM

Shhhh it’s a secret!!! well done Scott


View WistysWoodWorkingWonders's profile


12790 posts in 3758 days

#12 posted 02-22-2010 10:34 PM

nice work on this box Scott, looks great…

-- New Project = New Tool... it's just the way it is, don't fight it... :)

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