Handcut dovetail box with Raised Dovetails

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Project by MrWolfe posted 06-20-2019 01:05 AM 660 views 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Box number five in my learning process of handcut dovetails. It is poplar with a pine lid and pine bottom. There is an oak bezel/bevel that frames the lid and there is a “mystery wood” dovetail shaped pull from my scrap bin. Now that I look at it, that bezel on the lid may be maple. There is also a piece of cedar that provides the friction fit on the lid.

I extended the depth of the dovetails about 1/4 inch on this box. I then went back and chamfered the “knuckles” on the joints. The bezel on the lid has the same chamfered bevel. I like elements in the boxes to rhyme.

I really like the striations in the color on the poplar. It was mainly dark and light greens fading to a cream white color. The finish, minwax poly and a Johnson’s Wax Paste seems to have changed the colors to more earth tones. I’ve heard poplar called “trash wood” but I like it and it is very easy to work with so I will make more boxes with it.

I’m working on boxes for my planes and chisels next so I will keep posting them as I finish them.
thanks for looking,

4 comments so far

View therealSteveN's profile (online now)


5595 posts in 1313 days

#1 posted 06-20-2019 02:25 AM

I’ve heard all manner of names for Poplar, but that stock just looks like $$MONEY$$

Interesting box, you don’t see extended DTs much, and when you do it’s something G&G, but this doesn’t look G&G, more fading to Asian. Like I said interesting box.

-- Think safe, be safe

View Dave Polaschek's profile (online now)

Dave Polaschek

5198 posts in 1321 days

#2 posted 06-20-2019 11:29 AM

I agree that poplar is nice to work with, especially when beginning dovetails. And once the green has turned brown, it looks pretty good, too.

Congratulations on your progress!

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View MrWolfe's profile


835 posts in 863 days

#3 posted 06-20-2019 01:40 PM

Thanks Dave. Changing wood selection from harder hardwoods to poplar really helped me feel comfortable with handcutting dovetails. I might try some of that hickory again now that I’ve made a few more boxes.

View Jerrybox's profile


29 posts in 685 days

#4 posted 06-24-2019 12:53 PM

Your extended dovetails caught my attention. This box looks a lot like two cremains boxes I built for my wife and me. The boxes are disassembled and stored for their appropriate use. With a few decorative screws the boxes can be assembled. This is possible because of the large dove tail format.

Beautiful box. True, i don’t often think of using poplar wood for quality looking projects, but you have shown how nice it can look. Thanks for sharing.

-- Jerrybox-Boxes Unlimited

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