Blake's CLAW BOX Challenge

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Project by Blake posted 10-19-2007 05:39 AM 4656 views 14 times favorited 33 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This experiment was my own original design. It is symmetrical in every direction and fits together seamlessly like a claw. It is hollow on the inside. I dare you to recreate it and get back to me with pictures. How did I do it? Not tellin’. Your only hint: It was made form a single block of wood (except for the handle).

-- Happy woodworking!

33 comments so far

View WayneC's profile


14358 posts in 4874 days

#1 posted 10-19-2007 05:42 AM

Nifty little box.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 5103 days

#2 posted 10-19-2007 06:22 AM

Aha. I know how you made it…(as far as cutting the line to separate the bottom and top) but I have no idea how I’d go about doing it myself – oh wait, yes I do. – Brilliant design!... My wife may just see one this Christmas.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4937 days

#3 posted 10-19-2007 11:58 AM

well now.. isn’t that the cutest darned thing ever… and the challenge doesn’t lie in opening it but in creating it.. hmmm

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

View CharlieM1958's profile


16286 posts in 4995 days

#4 posted 10-19-2007 03:37 PM

I’m thinking it involves the block standing on a corner as it makes contact with the bandsaw blade.

At any rate, quite nice!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Skinna's profile


40 posts in 4713 days

#5 posted 10-19-2007 05:09 PM

ok then I admit it, whoever of you who have worked out how to create this box are wayyyyyy more intelligent than I am, this challenge is doin my head in. Will sleep on it, and think about it in the morning

-- Skinna - Australia... I won't stop at murder if that's what is necessary to get the job done

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4061 posts in 4840 days

#6 posted 10-19-2007 05:39 PM

Even with a clue how, I doubt I could pull this off. Really sweet!

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over two decades.

View coloradoclimber's profile


548 posts in 4844 days

#7 posted 10-19-2007 06:11 PM

I’d like to see it without the blue felt on the bottom.

I’m guessing you could make the box like this;

- start with a milled square block
- stand the block on one face, cut the first arc completely. This gives a U shaped top and a half rounded bottom.
- turn the top 90 degrees and cut the other arc. This cut gives the top shape, the claw, all in one piece. And two side wings that will have to be reattached to the bottom. Kind of like cutting a puzzle box.
- cut the waste out of the big bottom center cut.
- reattach the cut off sides to the bottom.
- tape all the pieces back together and cut the outside profile. Sand and finish.

I think this works but it leaves the bottom in three pieces that have to be glued back together. One piece that looks like a U shape and the two side wings that have to be reattached.

So I’m wondering, are there cut lines under the felt? Or is the bottom one solid piece?

Just looking at the sharp edges on the inside felt at the front and the back bottom corners I’m guessing the front and back were the cut off pieces glued back on and the side to side the first cut. The side to side inside bottom profile has the more characteristic curve of a bandsaw cut that removed the waste.

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 4651 days

#8 posted 10-19-2007 06:34 PM

You may be on to something, Colorado.

-- Happy woodworking!

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 4651 days

#9 posted 10-19-2007 06:40 PM

By the way, I figure “the Claw” is appropriate for the spooky season… See if you can create it by Halloween and then use it to put candy it. And let me know how it goes!

Here is an idea, use cheap wood (since you may not get it right the first time… I didn’t) and then let your kids paint it like a claw.

-- Happy woodworking!

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4739 days

#10 posted 10-19-2007 07:05 PM

Yep, that’s neat

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View coloradoclimber's profile


548 posts in 4844 days

#11 posted 10-19-2007 07:06 PM


I was so wrapped up in the puzzle I forgot to say what a cool box this is. Like you say, seems like the kind of box you’d want to make a few practice runs on before committing.

I’ve enjoyed seeing your work, thanks for taking the time to post.

View Dekker's profile


147 posts in 4657 days

#12 posted 10-19-2007 07:26 PM

Wow. Nice box. What a coincidence that I’ve been drawing some ideas for puzzle boxes (slider/rotator) when I saw the heading for your “challenge”. Though ColoradoClimber’s plan leaves the bottom in a couple pieces, I have (on paper at least) an idea on how to execute the design while leaving both halves intact. That includes hollowing the bottom, as complex and that may seem…

I’d love to try my hand at it before I post my sol’n though, but I’m still impressed with your bandsaw technique. Did you use a tight circle-jig to guarantee all your curves (left and right of any side) were identical, or did you freehand them? They look great!

[EDIT] Nope. I finished the paper design, and it does, unfortunately, mean there is some glueing involved. Damn, and I thought I was so clever! NOT

-- Dekker -

View mot's profile


4927 posts in 4813 days

#13 posted 10-19-2007 07:30 PM

That’s a neat idea, Blake. Not only the box but the dueling banjo concept of woodworking. I really like the idea of an informal challenge like this. I’m a big fan of not doing the same thing over and over, but learning new skills by trying different things. I might have to give this a try tonight.



-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 4651 days

#14 posted 10-19-2007 08:09 PM

Thanks for the comments, all.

-- Happy woodworking!

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14182 posts in 4759 days

#15 posted 10-19-2007 09:17 PM

great box. request you detaila blog on how to make the thing. Sure you would have following, making it well worth your effort and besides, I’d like to make one too !! good job …

picture of the blueclaw I made in 1992.
not made of wood, but still it is a claw …

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

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