Octagonal Art Box

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Project by MrWolfe posted 11-16-2020 12:36 AM 949 views 0 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Octagonal Art Box

Box number 33 in my recent box series. This is number 15 in my Adventures into Shape. I’m going with “Octagonal Art Box” but I had a few other titles including “Elegant Monstrosity” or “Monstrous Elegance” among others. I might rename it later.

This is the first octagonal box I’ve built. It started out as a prototype but I felt compelled to finish it out. This one is built from pine, both white pine and southern yellow pine with poplar for some of the accent pieces and splines.

I’ve used a table saw, jointer and planer to mill the wood and to cut the angles and dimensions. Much of the shaping was accomplished with rasps and I also used a Saburr™ bit to do some of the dished out areas. I spent a day doing hand sanding along with use of turners foam backed sanding discs on ¼ inch mandrel and finished out with curved cabinet scrapers and sand paper. The curved cabinet scrapers really cut down on sanding.

I’ve used the same method from previous lids I’ve built to create a large glue area between the pull and the round cap on the bottom. That serves to sandwich the ends of the triangular panels of the lid. This has been a really strong way of reinforcing the glued edges of the segmented panels of lid and also allows me to attach the pull in a very secure way. The outside edges of the panels for the lid are secured with the splines through the octagonal frame for the lid. The frame creates a lip that slips over the box body to keep the lid in place.

The jewelry box has a removable tray that rest on small panels near the bottom of the box. This creates a large storage space that is 1 ½ of an inch deep beneath the tray. There is felt lining on the actual box bottom and on the bottoms of the trays. There is a lift out ring box in the tray.

The legs were a bit challenging in that all eight of them had to match. They are thinner than any of the legs I’ve made before but I think they compliment this build pretty well.

Dimensions are as follows…
Outside dimensions of the “Octagonal Art Box”- 9 inches across and 5 ½ inches tall, with legs and lid/pull it is 12 inches tall. The main tray is 8 inches across and 3 inches tall. The lift out ring box is 7 ½ inches by 3 inches by 1 ¼ inch. The bottom space is 8 inches across and 1 ½ inch deep.

Finish is a fruitwood oil based stain followed with a wipe on mixture of oil based polyurethane, mineral spirits and Tung oil. That was followed by buffing out the finish with crumpled brown paper. I used Trewax brand paste wax for the matte sheen that it can be buffed out to reveal.

This box seems to rhyme with the “Artemis Art Box” in a few features.

Comments and criticisms are welcome.

20 comments so far

View pottz's profile (online now)


14967 posts in 1998 days

#1 posted 11-16-2020 12:56 AM

just when i thought this was gonna be another sleepy sunday the king of crazy boxes comes on and wakes us up with another amazing creation.WOW! spectacular as usual jon.

-- 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 leafherder's profile


1977 posts in 2966 days

#2 posted 11-16-2020 01:51 AM

Wow is right. The wood on that lid is beautiful and the style seems a mix of Ancient (like the Artemis Box), Art Nouveau, and Carnival Carousel. Once again I can picture this box coming to life and scampering away on those eight legs – or maybe coming when called by Morticia Addams. LOL
I am thoroughly enjoying your Adventures into Shape. Keep up the good work, I look forward to Sweet 16.

-- Leafherder

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

6897 posts in 1596 days

#3 posted 11-16-2020 02:37 AM

Very spidery, Jon. The eight skinny legs put it over the top.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View woodbutcherbynight's profile (online now)


7845 posts in 3423 days

#4 posted 11-16-2020 02:40 AM

Unbelievable!!! WOW, just freaking wow!!!

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile


2681 posts in 561 days

#5 posted 11-16-2020 09:42 AM

Most seriously stepping up game on this one, Jon.

“Elegant monstrosity,” I like that; but I certainly woudnt describe this box that way. Those legs are just awesome, and the lid is also.

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

View swirt's profile


6038 posts in 3986 days

#6 posted 11-16-2020 01:36 PM

So much fun to look at. It can be used as decorative box, or play the role of some alien entity in Dr, Who. Well done and thanks for the whimsy persuades us all to step out of our comfort zones.

-- Galootish log blog,

View MrWolfe's profile


1472 posts in 1137 days

#7 posted 11-16-2020 03:17 PM

Thanks Everyone.
This turned out to be a fun build and I’m happy with the end result. Along the way I wasn’t so certain especially as there was not much contrast in the unstained woods. The stain really made the contrasts stand out much more than I hoped. I still may try to use more exotics or domestic hardwoods with more natural color and only use oil finishes.

“Wow” is one of the best compliments. Thanks for that!

Thanks for the references and the idea of Carnival Carousel never entered my mind. Now I can really see that. I like the organic feel and the comment about these boxes moving around on their legs is great.

Thank you, the skinny legs were a bit risky for me. I kept wanting to whittle them down and wasn’t sure when to stop but I like them too.

Thank you sir! “Freaking Wow” is even better than “Wow”. They both are what I’m striving for in a reaction.

Thanks. Its good to know that these pieces are evolving and that’s what I got from your comment. I really want each one to be unique even if it rhymes with another. The lid was a great surprise when I stained it. The wood was repurposed from a poorly built headboard I found. The softwood was so bland and pale so I was very happy with how it took the stain and finish.

Thank you. That dual functionality is a thing I try to achieve. Utilitarian right up until it crawls off or attacks you.
I am in awe of your cypress furniture and the scale of your pieces.
Thanks again.


View kiefer's profile


5812 posts in 3681 days

#8 posted 11-16-2020 03:18 PM

Fantastic design a nice mix of several ancient and modern deign elements .
Especially love the lid and the belt and the legs make the whole thing dance .

-- Kiefer

View splintergroup's profile


4714 posts in 2236 days

#9 posted 11-16-2020 04:36 PM

Be careful, you are quickly moving onto creating your own version of a Bombe chest with sort of an African motif 8^)

Looks fantastic, that lid shot from beneath looks a lot like a flower and I have to ask, was it cold where you took that picture?, those “nips” look perky 8^)

View MrWolfe's profile


1472 posts in 1137 days

#10 posted 11-16-2020 05:42 PM

Thank you Kiefer.
I really like the idea of blending modern and ancient.
I appreciate your comment.

Thanks Bruce.
I thought my Bombe stage was done but I never know where these builds will take me.
I am in South Texas so its not cold but nights can be a bit nippy. =)

View hutchmp's profile


89 posts in 3966 days

#11 posted 11-16-2020 08:26 PM

I have never seen anything like this before. It really shows your craftsmanship off! Great work!


-- Hutch

View therealSteveN's profile


7254 posts in 1588 days

#12 posted 11-16-2020 08:43 PM

Jon, you are trumping your own Ace here. The Tahitian Fertility Goddess has come to life. All that exterior, and an interior too.


You are correct, it’s the extension of the Artemis Art boob box As a pair some Billionaire Tahitian guy would make you rich, either that or kill you because you knew the secrets?

-- Think safe, be safe

View Michael O'Brien's profile

Michael O'Brien

147 posts in 481 days

#13 posted 11-16-2020 10:50 PM


truly astonishing! Creativity is something that escapes me, and seeing this is just incredible.
Well done.


-- Michael, Melbourne Australia

View James E McIntyre's profile

James E McIntyre

1103 posts in 2306 days

#14 posted 11-16-2020 11:34 PM

Your craftsmanship is outstanding.
How long did it take to carve that work of art?

-- James E McIntyre

View MrWolfe's profile


1472 posts in 1137 days

#15 posted 11-17-2020 12:08 AM

Thank you Hutch!
I appreciate the kind words.

Thank you. I was a little concerned when I realized how similar to the Artemis Box it was but in the end I think it stands on its own and is unique in its own way. Point some of those Billionaires my direction. =)

Thank you Michael!
Those are some fine compliments sir and they are taken to heart.

Thank you for that fantastic compliment.
Its hard for me to say because I don’t keep track of shop hours. Roughly a day for the basic forms of the box and the jewelry trays. A day for the lid, a day for the legs and a couple of days carving, scraping and sanding. Another day for detailing and two days on the finish. My days range from 5 or 6 hours or sometimes 8 to 10.

I would say 40 hours total over two weeks more or less.

Thanks for the great compliments everyone!

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