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Project by maplerock posted 02-27-2016 04:51 PM 2129 views 4 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Long time no see Lumberjocks! I took a part time job… what the heck was I thinking? Since I retired, I forgot how early 9AM is. :-)

I have been working in the shop sporadically, and am always trying to find new designs that will intrigue me and are within my limited skill set. On a recent trip to see my newest grandchild, I saw some Asian style boxes at an art store. I liked the look, and tried to remember some details to incorporate into my boxes when I got home.

This box is called “Yin Yang”. In Chinese philosophy, yin and yang describes how opposite or contrary forces are actually complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another.

Here I have utilized a pair of frolicking fish to demonstrate the concept. I lasered them with a CNC machine.

The box is roughly 6” x 6” made of Cherry, with 9” legs of solid Afromosia. The lid is curly Maple with an Afromosia pull. Since the box is square, the lid will fit in any direction, but fits best on one side. To point that out I added a walnut circle on one side to show how to place the lid facing front.

I put rails inside to hold a tray, perhaps for earrings, rings, etc. The tray matches the box, and has decorative and structural splines. It, like the box itself is lined with suede leather.

I beveled the lid to give it an Asian feel, and hope that the overall appearance is pleasing. I think I pretty well achieved what I was trying to do. The legs were a first for me. I did a partial rip on two sides to make the “L” shape to wrap around the box corners, then beveled one side on the band saw… followed by lots of sanding.

I found it difficult to get a perfect fit on the corners after sanding. I glued the legs and dowelled them on one side to ensure contact and stability. I was please with the end result. I will try to sell it at a future sale.

I learn something with every box. Once in a while I get stuck, and I still make mistakes. That’s why I have Boxguy on speed-dial. :-) I hope you like it, and I will try to work less and play (post) more. Thanks for looking!

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

17 comments so far

View Tooch's profile


2016 posts in 3218 days

#1 posted 02-27-2016 05:12 PM

looks great, Jerry. the engraving on the front adds a real nice appeal

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

View DocSavage45's profile


9071 posts in 4185 days

#2 posted 02-27-2016 05:20 PM

Al would be proud.

Did the part time job cover the cost of the CNC? LOL!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View tyvekboy's profile (online now)


2153 posts in 4355 days

#3 posted 02-27-2016 05:21 PM

Nice project. I like the 2 fish.

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

View Boxguy's profile


2905 posts in 3610 days

#4 posted 02-27-2016 05:38 PM

Jerry, this is really beautiful. I like the tapered legs. The curves at the bottom and the angle on the top really help to sell this look.

Thanks for the “shout out” in the post. The photography is wonderful, as always. The story was fun to read. I made a jig for the table saw that cuts tapered legs out of one piece of wood. I’ll show it to you when we find time to do some shop stuff together.

Lumberjocks is a little short on articles about Oriental Philosophy. I am glad you are helping to fill that gap. Wabi-Sabi was my addition in this category. Did you do the laser work? Keep boxing and keep posting.

-- Big Al in IN

View johnhutchinson's profile


1243 posts in 2972 days

#5 posted 02-27-2016 11:56 PM

WOW !!!

Small world. I’m working on an animated Yin-Yang meditation lamp.
Should be up and running on LumberJocks in a couple weeks.

Too bad that your box just sits there. :-)

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

View Woodknack's profile


13586 posts in 3722 days

#6 posted 02-28-2016 01:14 AM

Love everything about it, has a Zen quality.

-- Rick M,

View maplerock's profile


529 posts in 3142 days

#7 posted 02-28-2016 01:40 AM

Thanks everyone. When I sit in my easy chair and look at the many boxes decorating my family room, I like to see variety. I try to never repeat a box exactly. Sizes differ, materials differ, and interiors differ. I like making trays and building in dividers. I think they make a box more useful.

Al, I pulled a design off of the Web, saved it to a thumb drive, sized it to the box front and pushed the button. :-)

Thomas, it is better to have friends with good equipment than to buy high dollar electronic tools. ;-)

John, If you design a box that will bring me a drink and a snack may I borrow the plans?

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

View Mean_Dean's profile


7057 posts in 4490 days

#8 posted 02-28-2016 02:06 AM

That’s a great looking box! I like the Asian look of it, the tapered legs, and the fish carving!

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

View Picken5's profile


327 posts in 4034 days

#9 posted 02-28-2016 02:58 AM

Gorgeous work, Jerry! Very, very nice!

-- Howard - "Time spent making sawdust is not deducted from one's lifetime." - old Scottish proverb

View johnhutchinson's profile


1243 posts in 2972 days

#10 posted 02-28-2016 04:51 AM

John, If you design a box that will bring me a drink and a snack may I borrow the plans?

- maplerock

I’ve trained this one to bring me snacks.
Still working on the drink part. :-)

-- John - Central Ohio - "too much is never enough"

View Ivan's profile


17148 posts in 4210 days

#11 posted 02-28-2016 05:02 AM

Beautiful design with those corner legs.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View madburg's profile


358 posts in 2185 days

#12 posted 02-28-2016 05:46 AM

Excellent in its simplicity!

-- Madburg WA

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4883 posts in 3855 days

#13 posted 02-28-2016 01:45 PM

What a unique and creative nice looking box.

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

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4209 days

#14 posted 02-28-2016 02:59 PM

Jerry, this is done so nicely.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View leafherder's profile


1991 posts in 3294 days

#15 posted 02-28-2016 03:36 PM

Beautiful box, your attempt at an Asian design theme was highly successful – from the overall design to the Yin-Yang “Koi” fishes. Don’t be surprised if you have requests for more after this one sells. Thanks for sharing

-- Leafherder

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