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Project by Triumph1 posted 07-21-2010 03:59 PM 22429 views 137 times favorited 111 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I got very excited when I saw that the theme of the contest was Fluidity. It was just the push I needed to start the design of the box that has been bouncing around in my head for years…”Ripple”. Now I just had to get what was in my head into the wood. The design work ended at the end of June so some late hours were in front of me. These contests are excellent for training a person to work under pressure!

The inspiration for “Ripple” came from my younger years of growing up in a small town along the shores of Green Bay up in Wisconsin. Every Sunday in summer was spent at Grandma and Grandpa’s house swimming or fishing (and building the occasional rubber band gun or sword with my Grandpa). I was always amazed at the ripple of the water caused by either a skipping stone or an oncoming rain storm. I wanted to capture this fluid movement in “Ripple”. The lid obviously portrays the rippling water and the base is the windswept sandy shore.

The body of “Ripple” is made from 2” thick Maple. It is fastened together using mortise and tenon joinery with walnut dowels to further strengthen and add a nice contrast. Knowing that I was going to shape the box I wanted the dowels because their final shape would be more oval than round…so closer to a water drop shape. The grain of the Maple was positioned to create an undulating pattern. It gives a nice flowing pattern around the entire box. The sides were all cut with a 10 degree slope. This created a smooth transition between the concave and convex cuts and really emphasizes the top lid. The top of the body has been veneered with pommele sapele, because of it beautiful waterfall grain, and dyed black maple veneer. The inner divider was made from spalted maple with a very pronounced swirling spalt/grain. It started as a standard rectangle but then I carved it into an undulating wave pattern that I further refined using a spindle sander and rasps….once again going for the fluid movement. I added a small chamfer to the top edges to create a subtle shadow line between the base and lid. The interior is lined with shimmering blue padded taffeta fabric….it had a great fluid look to it.

The top lid is made from curly maple. I studied water ripples (online videos, pictures, self tests, etc.) and lined the area around the lathe with pictures of water ripples…nothing like visual aids when turning! It all started from an 1.06” thick piece of wood. The water drop was turned separately, with a tenon, and glued into position. I used General Finishes water-based Blue stain dye. The top lid also shares the same 10 degree slope as the body. This gives a clean transition from body to lid and almost makes it look as if the water will spill over the edge.

There is also an underlying fluid movement and that is the a movement between two woodworking etiquettes. I wanted to have a smooth transition between flat work and turning and that would be the flow from the base into the lid. The eye never really stops between the two.

“Ripple” is 10” in diameter and about 3.5” tall not counting the water drop. It was finished with four coats of Danish oil followed by two buffings of BriWax.

Overall I had a blast designing and making “Ripple”. I will definitely be doing more boxes with the water theme in the future. Hopefully the fluid motion of it is pleasing to all of you! Thank you for checking it out…now let’s make some more sawdust!

Ooo…and I cannot forget to thank my friend Joel for taking pictures…you work wonders with a camera!

-- Jeff , Wisconsin Please...can I stay in the basement a little longer, please!

111 comments so far

View michelletwo's profile


2795 posts in 4297 days

#1 posted 07-21-2010 04:06 PM

Keep Joel on the payroll! Fantastic pictures I like it, the concept intriguing

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 4590 days

#2 posted 07-21-2010 04:07 PM

That is a very creative and clever design. It is obvious that you put alot of work and thought into it. It is so good to see people doing creative woodworking instead of the everyday cabinets and standard stuff.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5500 days

#3 posted 07-21-2010 04:08 PM

That’s a sheer joy to look at, Jeff.

I’ve purposely held off on viewing the contest entry page, waiting until all the projects are posted. But I can’t imagine this NOT getting my vote.


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

View Lewis Baumstark, Jr.'s profile

Lewis Baumstark, Jr.

49 posts in 4206 days

#4 posted 07-21-2010 04:08 PM


-- Every time I walk in my shop I thank my dad, my geometry teacher, and my drafting that order.

View TheMechanic007's profile


41 posts in 4283 days

#5 posted 07-21-2010 04:19 PM

Outstanding!! Barely looks like wood- no words I would use would really describe how great this design is!

-- Chris From Maryland, If it aint broke, You havent tried fixin it yet...

View savannah505's profile


1882 posts in 4868 days

#6 posted 07-21-2010 04:23 PM

Outstanding!!!!!!!!!!! Your into my field of carving I’ve been doing in stone, way cool to see your design and way your doing it. You’ve got it my man!!!

-- Dan Wiggins

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 5164 days

#7 posted 07-21-2010 04:33 PM

Absolutely frickin stunning!
I just love your work.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View jayjay's profile


639 posts in 4328 days

#8 posted 07-21-2010 04:35 PM

That’s a very nice looking piece, and well thought out. Good job on that.


-- ~Jason~ , Albuquerque NM

View mtnwild's profile


4577 posts in 4809 days

#9 posted 07-21-2010 04:36 PM

I’m stunned with awe! That is a moment in time.

Once again you create a wonder to behold. Perfect!

Can’t say enough, so, WOW!

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View sras's profile


6425 posts in 4411 days

#10 posted 07-21-2010 04:40 PM

Fanstastic! Very striking design – excellent!!!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2859 posts in 4874 days

#11 posted 07-21-2010 04:41 PM

Very Cool! Sweet Job.

-- Dennis Zongker

View Heidi Neely's profile

Heidi Neely

550 posts in 4456 days

#12 posted 07-21-2010 04:44 PM

I signed in today JUST so I could comment on this. Wow, this is fantastic! You truely captured the flow and movement of a ripple on the water here. And the figure in that curly maple combined with the blue stain give the lid quite an amazing effect!! Beautiful work! : )

-- Heidi :) “The only source of knowledge is experience”

View CampD's profile


1833 posts in 4768 days

#13 posted 07-21-2010 04:53 PM

Uhmmm!! WOW!!

-- Doug...

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 4318 days

#14 posted 07-21-2010 04:59 PM

This stopped me dead in my tracks, Jeff. One of those gasped ‘oh’ moments. It is absolutely stunning. A true masterpiece.

The top just looks like water frozen in fast camera shutter. The grain and dye complement each other perfectly. I keep staring at it thinking that time will unfreeze and the top dissolve over the sides. The body of the box itself is a lovely combination of convex and concave lines. I’ve read the desciption of how you came up with it and I still have to ask, how?

Seeing this has made my day. Thank you.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View guitbox777's profile


1 post in 4148 days

#15 posted 07-21-2010 05:08 PM

Hey…did someone call for rain….

Was an honor seeing where Ripple was born – Rich

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