I Found My Treasure (Box)

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Project by maplerock posted 07-25-2015 02:23 PM 6684 views 10 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve been wanting to try something like this for a long time. Finally, I got around to it. An old oak board called out to me a few weeks ago. “Make something out of me” it said. It was a 1×8 about six feet long. The box I had in mind was kind of complicated for me, and since this board was basically scrap, and begging me to make it pretty, I said “OK.”

I planed it and the old stains of dirt and oil disappeared. There were a few blemishes, but all in all, it was a pretty handsome board. I cut it into the proper lengths for my box, sanded it, put a dado in for the bottom, and got to work.

I used a 45 degree jig on my table saw to cut the mitres and I glued it up with titebond trim and moulding glue. I used to use modified cargo ratchets to clamp my boxes, but now I use the retractable clamps with a squeeze grip. An awesome addition to my shop.

Ordinarily I put splines in my mitred corners, but for this box I only used glue. The reason being that I used wooden straps for detail, and the splines might have caused problems. I planed the same oak for the top, cut pieces for the tray and the runners from it, and glued on the top. I use a press with threaded rods to tighten the press. After a few hours I cut off the excess top and trimmed it flush.

On most of my boxes I rout all of the edges with a ½ roundover, but for this one I needed a rectangular box with squared corners. I then cut off the top with my tablesaw (a very dangerous step), installed the rails, and sanded out the thumb lift. Then it was time to cut the mortises for the hinges, and install those painful contraptions. I dread it much of the time, but luckily It went well!

After that I cut walnut straps about 1/8th inch thick. Mathematically I calculated how to space them and began gluing them on. That glue makes wood slippery at times, and great care is needed when clamping to be sure they don’t move. I cheated with a few ½” pin nails.

After all the glue is set, I turned it over to my wife for finishing. This is a rare box for us, as we used walnut stain. It gave the oak a nice warm look, and it affected the walnut straps very little. After the stain and multiple coats of Minwax wipe on poly, it was time to install the carpet tacks. It was tedious, and I had to measure, punch and drill perfectly. They went on pretty smoothly and give the box a really neat look.
Finished off the box and tray with suede bottoms, brass chain, and felt pads on the bottom, and it was ready.
All in all it was time consuming and different from any of my previous box building experiences. It has become my favorite box to date (but I say that after every box I build!) I get a warm and fuzzy feeling when I look at it… is that weird?

I hope you like it! *

-- Jerry... making sawdust in the Knobs of Southern Indiana

15 comments so far

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 3343 days

#1 posted 07-25-2015 03:01 PM

Fifteen Men On The Dead Man’s Chest !
AAARRRRRGH ! Looks fantastic there Matey!

Yeah, yeah, I know. Terrible pun, but somebody was gonna do it, so why not me? :-)

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4202 days

#2 posted 07-25-2015 03:25 PM

That is a nice design and well done. Congratulations.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Ivan's profile


17138 posts in 4203 days

#3 posted 07-25-2015 03:58 PM

It’s awesome how you imitated metal parts with wood.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View BurlyBob's profile


9517 posts in 3601 days

#4 posted 07-25-2015 04:21 PM

That is really nice.

View tyvekboy's profile


2151 posts in 4349 days

#5 posted 07-25-2015 05:59 PM

A stout looking chest matey!

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View leafherder's profile


1991 posts in 3288 days

#6 posted 07-25-2015 06:12 PM

Great looking box. Seems to me that the REAL treasure is a wife who finishes your projects for you. Where can I get one of those? :) Thanks for sharing.

-- Leafherder

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4670 days

#7 posted 07-25-2015 06:32 PM

Looks great, the straps really give it an authentic strongbox appearance.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Jerry's profile


3508 posts in 2984 days

#8 posted 07-25-2015 08:49 PM

Oh, I am going to shamelessly copy this! Thanks for the post, this is rustically magnificent!

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be.

View maplerock's profile


529 posts in 3136 days

#9 posted 07-26-2015 12:31 AM

Jerry, thank you. I had fun making it.

Joe, humor is always appreciated! Thank you!

Mike, I had the strap idea, but deciding where to place them was tough. It came out nice though.

Leafherder, you are so right. She’s a peach! I am lucky to have a partner that likes the same things I do.

Aye aye Tyvekboy! She’s a solid one.

Thanks Burly Bob!

Ivan, you are kind. Glad to hear from you from over the pond!

Charles, I always enjoy your comments. Thank you.

-- Jerry... making sawdust in the Knobs of Southern Indiana

View Mean_Dean's profile


7057 posts in 4483 days

#10 posted 07-26-2015 12:56 AM

That’s a great looking treasure chest/box! I’m glad that oak was calling to you—you certainly did it justice!

By the way, since Titebond I has about 10 minutes of open time, I’ve learned that if you apply the glue to the wood, and let it sit for a minute or two, then put the pieces together and clamp, you virtually eliminate the slipping.

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

View doubleDD's profile


10924 posts in 3379 days

#11 posted 07-26-2015 01:35 AM

Well done. Excellent detail on the straps. I have been wanting to do the same thing for a long time. I guess that piece of wood hasn’t spoke to me yet. At least I have the tacks.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Rockfoot's profile


28 posts in 2375 days

#12 posted 07-26-2015 02:04 AM

Very cool box, I like it.

View Boxguy's profile


2905 posts in 3603 days

#13 posted 07-26-2015 04:58 AM

Jerry, this is really nice. It looks like you had way too much fun with this. This shows your playfulness and some real creativity on your part. However, if you keep talking to your wood pile (like I sometimes do) someone with a white coat and an ambulance is going to haul you away to the booby hatch. It is OK to talk to your woodpile, but when you write about it, they begin to get suspicious. I know because they have been suspicious of me for some time.

Nice job and keep boxing and keep posting.

-- Big Al in IN

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 3848 days

#14 posted 07-27-2015 12:15 AM

That is a Beauty, I think you’ll be ok without splines, Greg the cajun doesn’t use them.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View Roger's profile


21055 posts in 4140 days

#15 posted 08-02-2015 02:34 PM

Way cool Jerry. I’ve been wanting to build some boxes similar to this.

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

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