My First Box, Walnut & Curly Ambrosia Maple

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Project by Durbs75 posted 09-26-2016 10:25 AM 1965 views 5 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my first ever box that I have made. My wife is an Emergency Department Nurse and she had me make this for her preceptor that she shadowed during her orientation period after being hired by the hospital.

It’s made from walnut and curly ambrosia maple and features dovetail joinery. It is 11 inches wide, 8 inches deep, and 4 inches tall. The finish is dewaxed shellac (warmed up the maple and walnut) and 5 coats of a satin rattle can lacquer. I must say that I have great respect for box makers. It isn’t just simply 5 or 6 pieces of wood that goes together. There is a lot of work and planning that goes into making boxes. I learned a lot on this project and had a great time making it as well!!!

-- Carey Durbin, Marietta GA,

11 comments so far

View recycle1943's profile (online now)


3016 posts in 2039 days

#1 posted 09-26-2016 10:36 AM

beautiul box

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View BurlyBob's profile


6265 posts in 2682 days

#2 posted 09-26-2016 02:23 PM

Very nicely done. What a great combination of woods. The grain one the front is beautiful.

View TWegs's profile


60 posts in 1033 days

#3 posted 09-26-2016 04:38 PM

Great job on this box. It turned out really nice. I like the continuity of the dovetails from the base to the lid. The lid panel has great character and is a really nice contrast. Thanks for sharing your project.

View Boxguy's profile


2825 posts in 2685 days

#4 posted 09-26-2016 06:45 PM

Durbs, welcome to Lumber Jocks. I like your box design. It will make an impressive gift. You have an eye for what will look good in the grain of wood. If any of these topics below interest you just click on the link. For other box ideas, click here.

Tutorials: For methods used to make boxes like the one pictured above just click on the blue links below. They are arranged by topic.

Video for making and installing splines.
Making a jig to cut spline slots:
Jig for 45ing corners:
Making splines with a simple jig:
Finishing tips:
$5 band clamps:
Combining Wood Colors:
Sizing Tea Boxes and Dividers From Venetian Blinds
Making Kleenex boxes:
Making music boxes
Routers and Rounding edges
Why round box corners?
Organizing a glue-up table:
Adding splines to a box:
Measuring for spline slot cuts:
Installing an attached top: like that pictured above.
Cutting off the box top and sizing piano hinges
Adding finger indents:
More about finger indents.
Mortising and installing hinges:
Tips on making sliding trays: for inside boxes:
Cutting cloth liners for trays and the bottom of boxes.
Swapping Wood By Mail:
Making a serving tray with angled sides.
Roy Underhill's tool tote.
Teaching Boxmaking

-- Big Al in IN

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3284 days

#5 posted 09-26-2016 07:33 PM

Carey, this is a beautiful box. Congratulations and welcome to Lumberjocks.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Roger's profile


21006 posts in 3221 days

#6 posted 09-26-2016 09:53 PM

Fantastic and beautiful Carey. Super nice.

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

View Durbs75's profile


134 posts in 1033 days

#7 posted 09-26-2016 11:12 PM

Wow thank you all for your comments!! Tomorrow morning I will post my only other box I made.

Boxguy – Thank you for your input and the wealth of knowledge in the links you sent. Your work is truly art and is exquisite. I’ll most definitely check out all of your work and hope one day to be able to light a candle to your perfection!!!! I do love to find wood that has unusual or unique grain or character to it. I think even some of the culled lumber at sawmills have some of the most beautiful character and will often look at their cull carts or bins for unique pieces.

Thank you all again for the welcomes and it’s truly an honor to be amongst you all!!! Have a great evening!!

-- Carey Durbin, Marietta GA,

View Andy's profile


240 posts in 1244 days

#8 posted 09-26-2016 11:27 PM

That is a beautiful first box. You will love box making, I certainly do. You tackled the dovetails head on too, that is great! There are so many possibilities with box making and I hope you explore them and I will be looking forward to seeing your future work.

-- Andy Smith

View bibb's profile


327 posts in 3948 days

#9 posted 09-27-2016 02:38 PM

well done sir

-- you may only live once, but if you do it right that's all you need

View Ivan's profile


14655 posts in 3284 days

#10 posted 09-27-2016 05:19 PM

Beautiful box and beautiful wood. I like dovetails which are perfect.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Timmy2Hands's profile


193 posts in 1381 days

#11 posted 09-30-2016 04:04 PM

Really terrific looking work.
Boxes let you use so many different techniques and styles and they really help you understand joinery in all of your other projects too.

-- Tim

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