Native American Feather Box for Medicine Squirrel

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Project by CueballRosendaul posted 07-02-2016 03:12 PM 5019 views 2 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Built on commission for a gentleman at our church who happens to be Native American. He asked for a box to hold his eagle feathers used during ceremonies with other tribal members. Made from aromatic red cedar to keep the moths away. Machine cut dovetails from my Porter Cable jig.

The handle was a piece of tree root that I found sticking out of the ground on a job site. I cut the ends off and held it on the belt sander to make two flat spots. I made a jig to drill holes straight into the back of the handle, then epoxied a pair of threaded inserts into the holes. Two stainless steel machine screws hold the handle in place from the inside.

This was my first bit of pyrography, and I’m quite pleased with the results and the process. I transferred the images onto the smooth sanded surface with the old trick of printing it in reverse and using lacquer thinner to release the toner from the paper and make it stick to the wood. Then I traced it with my pyro pen, having only done about 30 minutes of practice. Excess toner comes off with a couple swipes of lacquer thinner. If you haven’t tried pyrography yet, I encourage woodworkers to give it a try, it’s quite simple and inexpensive to get started. Here’s an Amazon link to the kit that I bought for $11!: Walnut Hollow Pyrography Kit
At some point, I’ll upgrade to a kit with a temperature control and more fancy tips, but for now, this will help me get started.

Interior is a piece of pegboard (for extra ventilation) wrapped with a piece of red velvet. There is a small box, held closed with a small magnet, to hold a tiny bottle of oil used to treat the feathers occasionally.

Finish is 3 coats of Danish oil, and three coats of spray poly. No finish on the interior. I inlaid a 2016 penny in the bottom inside corner of the lid to denote the year it was made. A 3/4” forstner bit makes a perfect penny sized hole.

-- 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.

5 comments so far

View Ivan's profile


16898 posts in 4024 days

#1 posted 07-03-2016 03:33 AM

Beautiful box – wood looks great, fingerjoints too.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View artsyfartsy's profile


1612 posts in 2315 days

#2 posted 07-03-2016 01:06 PM

Very nice job Matt. Very clean lines. Good Job.

-- DWelch. Michigan, The only dumb question is the one not asked!

View Roger's profile


21054 posts in 3961 days

#3 posted 07-03-2016 02:13 PM

Very cool Matt. Very ceremonial

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

View JimInNM's profile


334 posts in 2373 days

#4 posted 07-03-2016 05:29 PM

You sure knocked this one out of the park. Great workmanship

-- JimInNM........Space Case

View rctomps's profile


58 posts in 3133 days

#5 posted 02-02-2017 03:54 PM

Beautiful Box! Great build job. Very functional. The dovetails and wood burning looks excellent
My favorite type of project. (beautiful and functional).

-- Rob

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