Big Box

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Project by Don posted 12-30-2006 01:53 AM 4241 views 6 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Most of the woodworking I do is in the small box category. I suppose this is just a slightly larger box.

The wood is Tasmanian Blackwood. The panels are Blackwood veneer on manufactured-board.

These two shots were taken at the pre glue-up stage. The top will hold a flat screen, the open shelf below will house the various remote controlled boxes, and below that will be doors that hide the shelf storage.

The finish is three coats of Rustin's Danish Oil. The cabling from the various components will runs down from the open shelf through grommets to the shelf below and then to a grommeted opening through the back. This keeps the cables unseen from the front of the unit. I purchased the grommets from Lee Valley along with the hinges, and knobs.

There are three distinct bands across the top when viewed front-on. This figured appearance on the top is referred to as ‘chatoyance’, a French word meaning, “like a cat’s eye”. As you change your viewing position, the light and dark bands of colour change places.

The doors panels are veneered 3mm MDF. I book matched the veneer so that the front and inside of the panels match each other. The last shot in the group of three shows the unit installed. (Sorry for the quality of the photo; it was supplied me by the recipient of the units.) Although slightly narrower than the wide screen, this is intentional as there are structural obstacles that would prevent the top from being wider. Also, the screen is not sitting on the unit, it is wall mounted. There is enough clearance to slide a sheet of paper between the top of the cabinet and the bottom of the screen.

PS: I just noticed for the first time – the book-matched veneer panels in the doors look like chest X-Rays.


-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

15 comments so far

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2008 posts in 5010 days

#1 posted 12-30-2006 06:36 PM

Don: this is a beautiful piece. Nice form, difficult joinery, effective use of veneer, and the veneer matching on the doors is striking. I don’t know if I have ever seen any blackwood before, but it is something you could probably trade with the rest of us that don’t have access to it, it is beautiful. Also, you are very smart to have figured out how to get more than 3 photos in your project, and now I will know what to do also. Thanks for figuring this out.

All of your work looks very detailed and well made, keep it up!

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4919 days

#2 posted 12-30-2006 06:45 PM

Tasmanian Blackwood! I’ve never seen most of your wood types. Nice big box …quality!

View Don's profile


2603 posts in 4781 days

#3 posted 12-31-2006 05:04 AM

The species name is Acacia Melanoxylon. The color ranges from golden to reddish brown with dark streaks and yellow/blond heartwood. Favored by furniture makers, this wood has excellent working qualities, including bending. Blackwood dust can be an irritant.

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

View Shawn's profile


225 posts in 4758 days

#4 posted 01-11-2007 09:49 PM

Don this is absolutly GORGOUS, I’m working on a TV stand, but now I want to trash it and try to copy your design…any chance you can shoot me a set of plans?

-- Cheers

View Don's profile


2603 posts in 4781 days

#5 posted 01-11-2007 11:01 PM

Shawn, I’ll check later today to see if I kept the drawing I did before making it. If I can find it you can have it.

You can ask Martin for my email address and send me a private message with your mailing address.

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

View Obi's profile


2213 posts in 4842 days

#6 posted 02-04-2007 06:02 AM

Beautiful work… I must have been sleeping when you posted this. I can’t believe I missed it.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4765 days

#7 posted 02-04-2007 02:07 PM

gorgeous indeed!!

and now that I’m a “Lee Valley” expert hahahaa they gave us a copy of their hardward catalogue—I didn’t know there were so many options!! A think catalogue just for hardwared.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 4915 days

#8 posted 02-04-2007 03:23 PM

Don, that’s a beautiful piece! Very sturdy looking construction. I don’t know about you, but I just love those hand plane shavings curled up all over the floor of the shop! They make great kindling when starting a fire in the fireplace, too. No need to buy starter logs when you have a couple of handfulls of those shavings.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View Karson's profile


35209 posts in 5005 days

#9 posted 02-04-2007 07:55 PM

Very Nice Don; Do you do vacuum veneering or other ways.

I’ve been vacuuming for about 4 years now and I think its the only way to go.

It will press the veneer so hard that if you use masking tape of the face of the veneer it will actually put an indentation into the surface where the tape was. I now use clear packing tape for my veneer seaming. It pull up easy after glueing and sticks great during the composition phase.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Don's profile


2603 posts in 4781 days

#10 posted 02-05-2007 01:10 AM

Quote Debbie: ”...and now that I’m a “Lee Valley” expert”

Debbie, we Canucks have a lot to be proud of in Lee Valley/Veritas. This company has carved out a very distinct niche in the woodworking market. They have a well deserved reputation for making good quality tools, particularly hand planes, as well as having impeccable customer service standards, probably unmatched in the industry.

Quote oscorner: ”They make great kindling when starting a fire in the fireplace…”

Mark, what’s a fireplace? Just kidding, but not too many Aussie homes have a fireplace, and even fewer have need for one. Of course, heating is the least of what a fireplace provides. LOL

Quote Karson: ”Do you do vacuum veneering or other ways?”

Karson, I’m sure that you realize that the sheets were purchased with the Blackwood veneer, and no doubt your question is directed to the method that I used for the doors.

Yes, I use a vacuum press. You may be surprised to learn that the vacuum press that I use was originally intended for making skate boards and has a manual hand pump to create the vacuum. I am showing it below, but will write a review on it with more detail and more pictures in a separate blog.

The supplier writes this: Perfect for Vacuum Veneering and Laminating projects – it’s never been so easy! These kits use an airtight vinyl vacuum bag that creates over 1300kg of clamping pressure via manually operated vacuum hand pump!

Used for bending multiple laminations to a form or for decorative veneering of jewelry boxes etc.

The vacuum bag is 20mil vinyl, 26” x 28”. I love it – it’s easy to use, large enough for the projects I’ve undertaken, and was relatively inexpensive to buy.

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4904 days

#11 posted 02-05-2007 01:38 AM

Very nice Don, as usual.
I must have missed this when you first posted it. With Martin’s new setup of the activities this shouldn’t happen as often.
I’ve never tried veneering, but I’ve some beautiful veneered things. It looks like vacuum bagging is the way to go.
Whenever I look at your stuff, it’s like a new language with all them exotic wood names.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4765 days

#12 posted 02-05-2007 01:58 AM

re: Lee Valley customer service.
As we entered the store, Rick took his clip-on sunglasses off (wearing them due to snow glare)... and he soon realized that one of the lenses had fallen out of his eye glasses ((panic panic)).

Within seconds one of the Lee Valley staff approached us with the lens in hand – he had notice it fall as we entered the store. Thank you thank you…
But the customer service did not end there. A few minutes later he interupted our shopping, holding a pair of pliers and a piece of wire and then proceeded to “fix” Rick’s glasses so that the lens would temporarily stay in place. Definitely above and beyond !

At the checkout, the one book that I had selected was the only one in stock and when I looked sad that I would have to go home without it, they gave me their master copy and also told me that they would have sent me a copy, at no charge for the shipping. Pretty nice, (but I got the book :) )

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Ellen's profile


136 posts in 5050 days

#13 posted 04-15-2007 04:17 PM

Thanks so much for sharing all this information.

I was just given a vacuum pump from a printer friend of mine. We cleaned it up and are now “ready to vineer” something. One question, has anyone found a lower price roll of 20 to 30 mil vinyl… Other than what you see at online stores? I saw a shower curtain that was 12 mil and was wondering if any of you have used something like that. I was thinking about trying a furniture fabric store. Or since I got the deal on the pump, should I just get the heavy duty stuff? I am beginning to think this is like the time when I was given a “free” poodle…

Thanks in advance for the help.


-- Ellen --

View Karson's profile


35209 posts in 5005 days

#14 posted 04-15-2007 04:30 PM

Ellen: I bought a vacuum pump cheap $20.00 and I was looking for bag material. I seen them talking about vinyl seat cover materials, boat side curtain material.

But I was never able to find any of these, where I lived. I ended up buying my bag from a place in California. I’ll try to find the name. But I found it on the Internet. His is a tube with clamps on each end.

I’ve seen pictures of a table with lift up top, and it would seem so much easier, because trying to slip a 4’ long piece with backer board, veneer and caul, all wrapped in in paper to keep the veneer glue off of the bag. It becomes a task at times.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 4601 days

#15 posted 04-12-2008 07:48 AM

Wow – I haven’t seen this one before – you pulled this off to great effect! Nice big box!

-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

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