Simple Little Tea Box

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Project by Jason Martin posted 01-13-2019 04:03 PM 1776 views 9 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This started out as a simple little tea box for my best friend to give to his wife. As you can see, it did not stay that way. They live in Hawaii now so when he asked if I could teach him some about woodworking and help him build her a “Simple” tea box when he came in town, I was on board. After showing him a few boxes on this site, we had an idea of what he wanted and this is what we came up with.

The box measures 11×14 x 6. It is made out of Birds Eye Maple with Leopard Wood in the center of the lid, banded with a custom purple heart and maple inlay.

The splines are Bloodwood and Purple Heart.

I lined the inside bottom and the sides with Walnut. On the dividers, I used a simple half lap joint and then decided to add some maple to the tops to tie everything together. The dividers are just a friction fit where if they want to make it a keepsake box or something later they just lift them out.

I finished the box off with four coats of lacquer on the outside and used food-safe mineral oil on the inside.

Josh and Caroline if you read this, I hope that you enjoy the box as much as I enjoyed working with Josh on it and making it for you. We love you both and hope to see you soon.

-- Jason Martin

18 comments so far

View Ivan's profile


16721 posts in 3921 days

#1 posted 01-13-2019 04:09 PM

Nice and smooth…I like those different sized corner splines.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Jason Martin's profile

Jason Martin

18 posts in 1833 days

#2 posted 01-13-2019 04:14 PM


-- Jason Martin

View EarlS's profile


4403 posts in 3402 days

#3 posted 01-13-2019 05:20 PM

Simple is the hardest thing to build since there isn’t anywhere to hide mistakes.

The subtle bevel on the lid caught my eye. Took me a minute to see what you did there.

I really like it!!

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

View Jason Martin's profile

Jason Martin

18 posts in 1833 days

#4 posted 01-13-2019 06:02 PM

Thanks, Earl. That is so true, the smaller things that I build seem to most difficult. The taper on the lid just made it look better to me, made it not just a big rectangle box.

-- Jason Martin

View DeLayne Peck's profile

DeLayne Peck

669 posts in 3255 days

#5 posted 01-13-2019 06:06 PM

Really love the design and choice of woods. Excellent craftsmanship!

-- DJ Peck, Lincoln Nebraska. Lord, keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth.

View Jason Martin's profile

Jason Martin

18 posts in 1833 days

#6 posted 01-13-2019 06:22 PM

Thanks, DeLayne

-- Jason Martin

View awsum55's profile


944 posts in 1562 days

#7 posted 01-13-2019 08:28 PM

Very nice design and execution, I really like the choice of wood also.

-- John D, OP, KS

View Hawaiilad's profile


3378 posts in 4075 days

#8 posted 01-13-2019 09:52 PM

Great looking “Simple” tea box. You did a great job of making it look very pretty.

-- Larry in Hawaii,

View KimAccurso's profile


511 posts in 1194 days

#9 posted 01-13-2019 11:01 PM

Wow, what a beautiful tea box. Love the way you did the dividers and made the lid piece inlay. The splines are intricate looking, nice touch! And thoughtful to coat the inside with mineral oil!

-- Kim - imperfection is the pursuit of perfection

View BurlyBob's profile


8709 posts in 3319 days

#10 posted 01-14-2019 01:29 AM

I agree! It’s very a classy, clean and crisp design.

View Jason Martin's profile

Jason Martin

18 posts in 1833 days

#11 posted 01-14-2019 01:34 AM

Just wanted to say thanks to all of the comments. I am still kind of new to woodworking but communities like this one have been helping me push to get better.

-- Jason Martin

View NormG's profile


6508 posts in 4058 days

#12 posted 01-14-2019 04:30 AM

It turned out very nice

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View therealSteveN's profile


7476 posts in 1628 days

#13 posted 01-14-2019 07:18 AM

Excellent post. A great story of friendship, and making a box together for them to bring home. And such a nice box it is. Love the wood, and those triple splines rock that box.

Thanks for posting, made me smile wide.

-- Think safe, be safe

View Peteybadboy's profile


3279 posts in 3003 days

#14 posted 01-14-2019 10:36 AM

There is a lot of great things in this box. Congratulations. I like the different splines, the lid is awesome (the bevel is cool) How did you do that? The maple on top of the dividers, does tie it all together. Mind if I borrow a few of those ideas?

-- Petey

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

9857 posts in 3382 days

#15 posted 01-14-2019 02:02 PM

This is a very attractive box.

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

showing 1 through 15 of 18 comments

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