2018 box swap bonus box

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Project by Dave Polaschek posted 05-01-2018 11:42 PM 1566 views 1 time favorited 33 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a box made for the 2018 box swap in something of a hurry. It looked like hairy wasn’t going to get a box out of the swap, so I enlisted JeffsWildWood and KelleyCrafts to each send a little something, and I started building a box.

Wednesday night after dinner, I headed out to the shop. Grabbed a piece of 4/4 birch that had some decent looking grain, and resawed it to two 3/8 pieces. My kerf wandered a bit, so I ended up cutting pieces out of the thicker half for a pencil box, making sure it would be long enough to hold unsharpened pencils. I quickly planed them smooth, then went to the miter jack and mitered the corners of the birch and then plowed 3/16” grooves about 1/8 from the top and bottom of each piece with my combination plane and called it a night.

Thursday morning, I found a piece of walnut I had resawed to a little over 1/4 at some point in the winter and then not used because of the sapwood in it, and a piece of curly cherry a friend had cut to 3/16 and then run through his planer, but it grabbed and had some horrible tearout. I planed the walnut to 3/16, and planed the cherry a little smoother, and cut it to size. Took a card scraper to them and got the glue-up done before heading to work.

When I got home, I threw the box in the vise and cut slots for dovetailed miters in the corners. I also split some dovetailed keys out of a scrap of walnut, and whittled them to size with a knife and then filed them smooth with a rasp. Glued them into the slots in the corners of the box and called it a night.

Friday morning, I sawed the miters off, planed them smooth as best I could with a block plane, stuck a piece of blue tape around the box, and cut the lid off. Then put on a hinge, hit the box with BLO, wiped off the excess, and took it to work with me. It spent the day drying in my office, and at the end of the day, I dropped it at UPS for ground shipping to arrive on Tuesday.

I think it came out ok.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

33 comments so far

View Oldtool's profile


2976 posts in 2990 days

#1 posted 05-01-2018 11:51 PM

I’d also say it came out “OK”, in fact I’d say it came out better than OK, it is pretty nice. I like the figure in the wood, and the wrap around grain. Nice work.
Question: how did you resaw?, by hand, band saw, table saw?

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Timmy2Hands's profile


200 posts in 1764 days

#2 posted 05-01-2018 11:55 PM

Great work Dave, and a great swap too.

Some people say hand tool work is slow going, but I think you’re proving them wrong.

-- Tim McCoy - @Timmy2Hands on Instagram

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

5606 posts in 1382 days

#3 posted 05-01-2018 11:56 PM

Bad axe frame saw for resawing. Plus a kerfing plane to establish the kerf. It’s got a fence set to 3/8” so I tend to resaw to that thickness a lot. :-/

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

5606 posts in 1382 days

#4 posted 05-01-2018 11:57 PM

Thanks, Tim. Means a lot coming from you. As for speed, the box I built for the swap took me almost two months, so I picked up the pace a little on this one…

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View hairy's profile


3083 posts in 4332 days

#5 posted 05-02-2018 12:05 AM

I think it came out ok.

- Dave Polaschek

You are too modest. That little box is SWEET! Thanks!

-- Genghis Khan and his brother Don, couldn't keep on keeping on...

View jeffswildwood's profile


4481 posts in 2777 days

#6 posted 05-02-2018 12:07 AM

Nothing like a challenge right Dave? It came out awesome!

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

5606 posts in 1382 days

#7 posted 05-02-2018 12:15 AM

Thanks, Hairy & Jeff. Yeah, nothing like a challenge to focus the mind. I even changed direction mid-stream. When I went to bed on Wednesday, I was planning to do a sliding lid box. Called an audible Thursday morning and glued in the top, knowing I could saw the lid off, based on what I’d done for my main swap box.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View duckmilk's profile


4233 posts in 2124 days

#8 posted 05-02-2018 12:41 AM

Holy Moly Dave! Beautiful box and wood. And only from Wednesday night to Friday morning??? Truly amazing!

-- "Duck and Bob would be out doin some farming with funny hats on." chrisstef

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

5606 posts in 1382 days

#9 posted 05-02-2018 12:45 AM

Thanks, Duck. $4 piece of birch from the bargain bin. The flaws that put it in there made the rest of the grain interesting. Walnut was from the bargain bin too, due to the sapwood. The cherry was a gift after my buddy’s planer tried to eat it, then spit it across the room at him. I think i spent more on the hinge than I did on the wood.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View ralbuck's profile


6551 posts in 3066 days

#10 posted 05-02-2018 12:52 AM

A very pretty and well done box!

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View EarlS's profile


3772 posts in 3148 days

#11 posted 05-02-2018 01:08 AM

Jeff – great job as Moderator and then you go the extra mile for Hairy with another great box. Oh yeah and all hand tools at that. WOW, all I can say is WOW.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

5606 posts in 1382 days

#12 posted 05-02-2018 01:11 AM

Thanks Ralph & Earl. It helped that I didn’t really have time to think. That seems to be what slows me down the most.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Dan Wolfgang's profile

Dan Wolfgang

176 posts in 1607 days

#13 posted 05-02-2018 01:20 AM

Very nice Dave! How many pencils will it hold Looks like maybe up to three levels deep of pencils even?

View doubleDD's profile (online now)


9527 posts in 2843 days

#14 posted 05-02-2018 02:11 AM

Hat’s off to you Dave for being so kind and building such a great looking box. Nice work.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View 489tad's profile


3857 posts in 3811 days

#15 posted 05-02-2018 03:48 AM

Classy way to run a swap Dave. Well done on the box! All the boxes look great.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

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