Dovetailed Walnut Knock Box

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Project by Luke Addington posted 03-20-2015 07:56 PM 5321 views 6 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The client wanted a pretty spartan knock box, so I made sure the joinery really shone through. This is some air dried walnut again from my Amish friends in Ohio. It’s a little plain but this is the nicest piece of wood I have ever worked with. It sawed, planed, and took a chisel beautifully. These are the best dovetails I have ever cut.

Here’s a photo from the client with the metal insert in place.

Made sure the grain wrapped all the way around. The client also requested the scribe line remain.

I like to saw two sides at once. It saves time and makes sure your dovetails match.

Using a shopmade dovetail alignment board to perfectly transfer the tails to the pins. If you don’t have one of these I highly recommend it, it makes a big difference in efficiency and quality of transfer. Here is David Barron’s youtube video on making one:

Here is a video of the box being joined together:

Couple photos of my alignment boards.

Thanks for taking a look!

-- Luke,

19 comments so far

View ignatz's profile


77 posts in 1639 days

#1 posted 03-20-2015 08:04 PM

Another gorgeous project. What did you finish with? Tried and True, or something a little more waterproof?

-- "I have learned from my mistakes, and I am sure I can repeat them exactly" — Peter Cook

View Luke Addington's profile

Luke Addington

80 posts in 1555 days

#2 posted 03-20-2015 08:07 PM

Another gorgeous project. What did you finish with? Tried and True, or something a little more waterproof?

- ignatz

Thank you! I hope the amount I am posting isn’t annoying, I’m kind of back-filling my profile here with projects.

For this project I used two coats of Osmo polyx hardwax oil. I really like that stuff for non-period pieces.

-- Luke,

View Patricelejeune's profile


383 posts in 2308 days

#3 posted 03-20-2015 08:21 PM


-- Patrice lejeune

View gepatino's profile


217 posts in 2511 days

#4 posted 03-20-2015 08:45 PM

Very beautiful!

I had to search the term ‘knock box’... for the finished picture I thought it was a toilet paper holder, but a very classy one.



View TimberMagic's profile


114 posts in 1566 days

#5 posted 03-20-2015 08:49 PM

Project postings are never annoying, especially something like this. Nice! Heck, if people don’t want to look, they can move along to something else!

And I too had to look up “knock box”. Turns out we have one too—it is by Rubbermaid, and we keep a plastic liner in it, in the kitchen … :-)

-- Lee

View rtbrmb's profile


718 posts in 2776 days

#6 posted 03-20-2015 09:36 PM


You can annoy us all day with the type of projects you are building.

Thanks for sharing.

Bill in MI

View siavosh's profile


674 posts in 2258 days

#7 posted 03-20-2015 09:55 PM

Simple and perfect, great work.

-- -- Discover the most interesting woodworking blogs from around the world

View Luke Addington's profile

Luke Addington

80 posts in 1555 days

#8 posted 03-20-2015 10:09 PM

Thank you guys! I think I should have linked to what a knock box is!

-- Luke,

View pintodeluxe's profile


5934 posts in 3200 days

#9 posted 03-20-2015 11:30 PM

Wow, those dovetails look perfect. Impressive accuracy for hand cut joints.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Mean_Dean's profile


6965 posts in 3534 days

#10 posted 03-20-2015 11:59 PM

Very nice looking dovetails! And thanks for posting—now I know what a knock box is!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View shipwright's profile


8305 posts in 3185 days

#11 posted 03-21-2015 12:59 AM

Good one.
I too had to look up “knock box” and I make espresso every afternoon at 4:00.
Who knew?

You can actually see the quality in that walnut!

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

View majuvla's profile


14498 posts in 3255 days

#12 posted 03-21-2015 08:56 AM

Beautiful made dovetails, they are perfect!

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View JanKrompan1's profile


60 posts in 2214 days

#13 posted 03-21-2015 09:49 AM

Beautiful wood and very tight dovetails, congratulations.

-- Jan, Free State Province, South Africa

View CueballRosendaul's profile


484 posts in 2527 days

#14 posted 03-21-2015 01:18 PM

Awesome. Makes me want to get a better backsaw and scrap the idea of buying a dovetail jig. Those might be the best dovetails I’ve ever seen.

-- Matt CueBall Rosendaul. I don't think I've ever had a cup of coffee that didn't have cat hair or sawdust in it.

View Woodbridge's profile


3688 posts in 2805 days

#15 posted 03-21-2015 03:11 PM

beautiful work. Thanks for the tip on the alignment boards. I’ve not seen that before.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

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