White Oak and Walnut Box

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Project by michaelray posted 09-19-2009 06:17 PM 2409 views 6 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

White oak and walnut – all reclaimed. Finished with BLO and beeswax/orange oil combo. All the parts came from a single piece of oak and a single piece of walnut. Many, many thanks to Doug Stowe for the books on box making and the inspiration as well as all the LJs on here that have inspired me as well.

The spline crosscut sled is directly from one of Doug’s books that I bought recently. The thin piece of walnut on the jig is a story stick used to gauge where the stop block is placed.

Almost forgot, the lid strap is made from scrap leather and the inside of the box is deerskin. I found a couple of deerskins at a yard sale recently for really cheap and thought they would be good for box interiors. I used spray glue to attach it to a thin piece of cardboard and then fit it to the box.

The walnut:

I was driving down a backroad after tearing down a shed for another reclaimed lumber project and I noticed a huge pile of junk with some wood on top. The junk was sitting next to some grain bins across the road from a farm house. I pulled in the drive next to the machine shed and asked the man that came out if I could go through the pile to see if I could find any usable wood. He told me he was going to throw a match in it anyway so I was welcome to pack off whatever I wanted. I found some pine, oak, and the walnut used in this box even though I didn’t realize what it was at the time. Looked like it was a piece of base board trim from an old house (still had some paint on it and the original cut nails). I almost didn’t bring it home.

The oak:

A local farmer that my father in law knows was tearing down an old barn close to his house. I mentioned that I would have liked to have had some of the wood before he pushed it over. He said I was welcome to go through it but most of it was pine. He then told us that he had another barn he was going to tear down next spring which had a lot of oak in it and I was welcome to take whatever I wanted out of it. We went out to take a look one afternoon and found out that there is quite a bit of oak inside. The box is made from a small, loose plank I brought back that day. The barn itself is in the middle of a bean field at the moment so I have to wait until after harvest to get a truck out there and start tearing in to it. Can’t wait!

Thanks for looking. Any comments/criticizm on how to impove is always welcome.


-- [email protected]

8 comments so far

View DuaneEDMD's profile


115 posts in 4695 days

#1 posted 09-19-2009 06:35 PM

Great box and a great story behind it. Looks great, well done.

-- --It's not how long you live, but how you live that makes it a life.--

View LesB's profile


3259 posts in 4786 days

#2 posted 09-19-2009 06:38 PM

Great find of old reusable wood. Nice work on the box.

-- Les B, Oregon

View Dudley's profile


742 posts in 4603 days

#3 posted 09-19-2009 07:54 PM

I like it. BZ

-- Dudley Young USN Retired. Sebastian, Fl.

View littlecope's profile


3136 posts in 4845 days

#4 posted 09-19-2009 09:08 PM

Very handsome box, Michael! Nothing beats that old wood for character, and you’ve still got a barn full to go and “harvest”? You’re a lucky man!
Great Job!!

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View Loucarb's profile


2388 posts in 4788 days

#5 posted 09-20-2009 01:03 AM

Very nice box and that reclaimed Oak is awesome.

View dustyal's profile


1322 posts in 4818 days

#6 posted 09-20-2009 02:54 AM

Nice and well done box. Great story about the wood.

I didn’t know about a Doug Stowe book. I made a similar sled based on another LJ project post. It worked fine even though I kind of made it by guess. Thanks for adding the story stick part.

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

View bigike's profile


4059 posts in 4631 days

#7 posted 03-15-2010 04:57 AM

good looken box

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://[email protected]

View Ecocandle's profile


1013 posts in 4409 days

#8 posted 03-21-2010 08:52 AM

That is a cool story. There are lots of old barns in Jones county. I should think about seeing if there is some wood to be salvaged. Great looking box too!

-- Brian Meeks,

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