Opa's Box

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Project by Fiddy posted 03-24-2020 01:45 PM 1532 views 3 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Quick update on a box I made this weekend that was a direct knockoff of from Sean over at Simply Cove on Youtube – great woodworker and awesome content for those looking for another online woodworker to follow.

That said, proportions etc. were completely different vs. his on this one. I did make one identical to his video for a friend of mine a year or so ago, which is in my projects if you wanted to take a look.

Reason for the box was to have a nice place to keep my Opa’s old hunting binoculars. They’ve been in my care since he passed years ago when I was in college and I’ve most recently had them in a drawer in my shop for quite some time. He was a woodworker and a great man so I wanted to create something that he’d be proud of. I had a nice piece of curly maple I picked up years ago and have been sitting on. It made for a beautiful box in my opinion and I’m pretty happy with the end result.

I don’t get to hand cut dovetails often at all so I took my time and still managed to mess some various areas up. One in particular, was a big one, I dropped my fret saw in the kerf and cut the wrong way! Of course I was ticked, but instead of wasting that board, I kept it. My thought was that this will be a clear reminder to me every time I see that kerf right in my tail to slow down and think. In the end it’s not horribly noticeable, I mixed some glue and saw dust to help fill along with any gaps I had in my dovetails.

Lid is pretty nice, had a little curl, but not distracting from the maple. Pin/hinged with brass rods which I really enjoy. Makes a nice design element and also very functional and easy to achieve. It was hand shaped with my n0.4 – that is my favorite part of this I have to say. It’s fun to work that piece of square stock down to that barrel shape with hand tools.

Finish at this point is just Danish Oil and I’m not sure if I’ll even top coat, or not – any thoughts on that? I’m all ears if you have any advice. Whatever helps to make that maple shine more, I’m willing to try.

Last thing, that picture was Sunday morning here in Ohio – one of those days where you’re grateful to be a part of with sunshine like that.

Thanks for checking it out and any feedback is welcomed.

19 comments so far

View socrbent's profile


1047 posts in 3483 days

#1 posted 03-24-2020 02:08 PM

You have made a wonderful tribute your Opa. I like the finish just like it is. This will become a family heirloom.

-- socrbent Ohio

View mafe's profile


13294 posts in 4303 days

#2 posted 03-24-2020 02:09 PM

Really sweet box.
Nice and crisp work.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View splintergroup's profile


5737 posts in 2436 days

#3 posted 03-24-2020 02:31 PM

I love maple/walnut, the figure is a huge bonus. Nice work!

A finish I like for small boxes is just oil and a good waxing. The only downside is the odor of the oil on the inside will be around for a long time. If you were to add any topcoat, I’d shellac the interior because of the odor.

View Ivan's profile


16964 posts in 4081 days

#4 posted 03-24-2020 03:01 PM

Magnificant box…Those dovetails are excellent!

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Peteybadboy's profile


3888 posts in 3163 days

#5 posted 03-24-2020 05:38 PM

That box really pops. I like the nod to your Opa, nicely done. I think the dove tails look great.

-- Petey

View pottz's profile (online now)


20099 posts in 2198 days

#6 posted 03-24-2020 07:49 PM

beautiful box,not sure what you mean by flaws in the dovetails,those are some of the nicest hand cut tails ive seen.great job and a nice tribute.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View therealSteveN's profile


8647 posts in 1788 days

#7 posted 03-24-2020 08:10 PM

Like that box. Is the front slightly curved? Kinda looks it, but could be camera effect? I see the sides are arched a bit, so maybe I’m just seeing it off of that.

Awesome wood, sets off some nice work.

-- Think safe, be safe

View Fiddy's profile


230 posts in 2524 days

#8 posted 03-24-2020 08:23 PM

Thanks for the feedback, guys – as for the flaws, nothing crazy but some small gaps here and there. Nothing glue and some sawdust doesn’t fix.

No curve to the front, the top had a “barrel” shape to of course match the sides. I did add another picture of the lid closed so it can be seen a bit more.

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

8202 posts in 4566 days

#9 posted 03-24-2020 08:24 PM

Very attractive looking box. Curly Maple and Walnut look really nice together. Love those beautiful dovetails also! Nice work!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile


2836 posts in 761 days

#10 posted 03-24-2020 08:33 PM

Much respect to anyone who hand-cuts dovetails. The box overall is quite attractive.

-- WWBBJ: It is better to be interesting and wrong, than boring and right.

View therealSteveN's profile


8647 posts in 1788 days

#11 posted 03-24-2020 09:24 PM

Thanks that second pic took the guesswork out of it for my tired eyes.

Still looking really nice though.

-- Think safe, be safe

View jeff's profile


1381 posts in 4678 days

#12 posted 03-24-2020 09:27 PM

Really nice box.The walnut/maple are a great contrast.

-- Jeff,Tucson,Az.

View jbschutz's profile


613 posts in 3905 days

#13 posted 03-24-2020 09:52 PM

The maple and walnut play well together. Pleasing design, as well.

-- jbschutz

View AJ1104's profile


1338 posts in 2873 days

#14 posted 03-25-2020 01:03 AM

Beautiful box with a great story. Nice job!

-- AJ

View clieb91's profile


4264 posts in 5148 days

#15 posted 03-25-2020 02:18 AM

Nicely done and a fine tribute. Will be a fitting place for such a sentimental piece. Caught my eye as I do not see the name Opa used very much. It is what my daughter calls my father though. :)


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

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