Narra and Cocobolo box.

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Project by RS Woodworks posted 05-05-2010 05:08 AM 2426 views 5 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here’s my latest small box. I love doing these in my “spare” shop time while I’m doing bigger projects as well. This one is Narra, with (bookmatched) Cocobolo top, and walnut bottom. Measures 6 1/4” x 4 5/8” x 2 1/8”. Finish on the box and bottom is wipe on poly, and paste wax. Cocobolo doesn’t like oil finishes (don’t even bother trying anymore) so it was sealed and buffed with dewaxed shellac, and then got some paste wax as well. Sanded up to 1000 grit, this baby is smooooo-oooth!
This is the first box where I cut a thin groove on the inside of the box while the board was still one piece, then after assembly, cut the lid off, making the rabbet that the lid now fits perfectly on. Worked great!

Anyway, thanks for looking!

Please feel free to comment, as I always love hearing feedback on my work, positive or negative!


-- I restore the finest vintage tools! If you need a nice plane, saw, marking tool or brace, please let me know!

11 comments so far

View Ron Henricksen's profile

Ron Henricksen

45 posts in 4056 days

#1 posted 05-05-2010 05:32 AM

Really like the simplicity of this. Your woods look great together, good to know about cocobolo not liking oil thats what I use on most of my small projects. Great project thanks for sharing.

-- Ron, Aptos, CA

View kosta's profile


946 posts in 4324 days

#2 posted 05-05-2010 05:39 AM

looks good

View KnifeL's profile


86 posts in 3922 days

#3 posted 05-05-2010 07:12 AM

Great box, will you hinge it? Also like the bookmatching on the quarter sawn walnut. I’m doing some walnut legs with the quarter-sawn section facing forward, I’m pretty psyched with your results.

-- Will in Boulder, CO

View newTim's profile


623 posts in 4577 days

#4 posted 05-05-2010 07:40 AM

That Narra kind of looks like Mahogany? Pehaps more so in the color than the texture? Goes well with the Cocobolo.

-- tim hill

View scrappy's profile


3507 posts in 4400 days

#5 posted 05-05-2010 08:16 AM

Great box. Nice combo of woods. The book matched top is a great touch.

Not sure I understand the technique for the lid groove. Could you explain better please?

Keep it up.


-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

View RS Woodworks's profile

RS Woodworks

533 posts in 4221 days

#6 posted 05-05-2010 02:17 PM

Thanks guys!
Knife, the walnut I used is only the bottom panel. It’s not quarter sawn or bookmatched. The cocobolo top is though… :)

Tim, the Narra is very similar in grain structure to mahogany, but it is more dense, has a different chatoyance, and a very nice sweet cinnamon smell when you cut it.

Scrappy, for the lid rabbet, what you do is cut a saw kerf exactly half the thickness of the board deep however far down you want the lid to come off. You cut this when the board is whole, prior to assembly, on what will be the inside edge of the sides. Assemble the box as you would, then, when your ready to seperate the lid from the box, you cut another kerf around the perimiter of the box, the same distance down as the other kerf PLUS the blade kerf thickness, and exactly half the thickness of the sides again. This will seperate the lid and leave a rabbet the depth of the kerf of your saw blade all the way around.

Hope that makes sense!


-- I restore the finest vintage tools! If you need a nice plane, saw, marking tool or brace, please let me know!

View Maveric777's profile


2694 posts in 4046 days

#7 posted 05-05-2010 02:20 PM

Ohh what a cool little box. Love the top!

And thanks for the description of how you cut the top out. I will most definitely give that a try. That is an awesome little trick…. I love learning new things. Thanks for sharing….

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5188 days

#8 posted 05-05-2010 02:47 PM

Great wood combination….beautiful little box.

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

View ghazard's profile


382 posts in 4479 days

#9 posted 05-05-2010 04:19 PM

Great looking box. I had to sketch your explanation about the lid cut to see it but now that I do…brilliant!


-- "Hey, you dang woodchucks! Quit chuckin' my wood!"

View Albert's profile


543 posts in 4559 days

#10 posted 05-05-2010 04:30 PM

I’ve never used nara before but I really like it. Well done, I will try your technique for cutting the lid….... Thanks!

View steiner's profile


284 posts in 4320 days

#11 posted 05-06-2010 08:38 PM

So simple. So elegant.

-- Scott

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