First Box in My Shop

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Project by Blake posted 12-04-2007 12:23 AM 3497 views 3 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I found this on a shelf in my shop last night, completely covered in dust. I had completely forgotten about it. This was the first box I made after I had initially set up my shop almost three years ago. I learned a lot from this box. I enjoyed finding it and seeing how far I had come.

The lid is completely warped and does not close in front. This happened the first day after gluing it up, which is why this poor little guy never even left the shop. The routed channel near the base was an attempt to cover the gap between the sides and the bottom piece.

It is made with store-bought walnut and firewood from an apple tree on my property. The apple wood was probably branch wood, which would account for all the tension that caused the warping. I still really like that wood, which I have more of but have not used because it is so unstable. I think the unusual figure is from fungus or parasites.

-- Happy woodworking!

19 comments so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5679 days

#1 posted 12-04-2007 12:35 AM

That is some really interesting wood.

I like this box, Blake. It looks like it was made by some old crafstman about 100 years ago to store some prized tool in.

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

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5621 days

#2 posted 12-04-2007 12:37 AM

why isn’t it precious!!
The wood is beautiful and the overall look of it is VERY a-peeling to me (don’t let the pun take away from the sincerity of the statement)> Love the look!

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

View David's profile


1969 posts in 5599 days

#3 posted 12-04-2007 12:45 AM

Blake -

Very nice box! It is interesting how we learn from every project. I like the story that goes with the box, especially finding it on a shelf covered in dust. I suspect there will be a comment from the “box master” in the near future as it is indeed a precious box . . . even if the lid is warped! I think the figure in the wood is very attractive. Great new life for an apple branch!


View mot's profile


4928 posts in 5497 days

#4 posted 12-04-2007 01:13 AM

That’s a keeper just to see what you did and how and if you’d do it differently.

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

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 5466 days

#5 posted 12-04-2007 01:25 AM

Nice keepsake. You should build a box to keep that box in!

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View Napaman's profile


5535 posts in 5538 days

#6 posted 12-04-2007 01:31 AM

very cool…good story…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Karson's profile


35300 posts in 5861 days

#7 posted 12-04-2007 04:23 AM

Great Blake. But sometimes pieces are made to make more pieces. I assume the lid has stabilized, so making it flat and then bringing the box up to first class shape would give you a greater appreciation of what it takes to make mishaps whole again.

It can become a learning tool. Just make sure you keep the before pictures.

-- 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 RAH's profile


414 posts in 5337 days

#8 posted 12-04-2007 05:48 AM

I have a couple unfinished boxes in my shop shelves, I should post them and ask for help.

-- Ron Central, CA

View rikkor's profile


11294 posts in 5335 days

#9 posted 12-04-2007 12:10 PM

I like the box. It has character.

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 5526 days

#10 posted 12-04-2007 12:24 PM

Nice story Blake. It is fun to revisit some early projects – it’s a good measure of how far our skill levels have evolved.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View TomFran's profile


2964 posts in 5455 days

#11 posted 12-04-2007 09:00 PM

Nice Blake – you really have come a long way!

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View mrtrim's profile


1696 posts in 5341 days

#12 posted 12-06-2007 12:56 AM

well just think 60 years from now it could be a priceless ” early blake ” original !

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14193 posts in 5443 days

#13 posted 12-08-2007 06:44 AM

I like it. A little linseed oil and a wooden hasp on the front and it’s done !

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

View RobG's profile


71 posts in 5283 days

#14 posted 12-09-2007 02:40 AM

That is some really neat wood. I know I have a few pieces in the shop that are patiently waiting on my skills to improve to the point I can do them justice.

-- Woodworking is Life. Anything before or after is just waiting.--S. McQueen sort of

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4074 posts in 5524 days

#15 posted 12-09-2007 04:12 AM

Or, now that it’s had more time to dry out, you could slice ‘er up and make a slightly smaller box, that suits your current slyle and skill level. That apple wood is very special stock. With your pictures and this post the old box has achieved internet immortality. You could have both new and old. You could even make veneer from it and skin a new box with it. My 2¢.

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

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