Maple and Padauk Box

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Project by Timmy2Hands posted 02-22-2022 11:23 PM 1108 views 10 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I started this project in December of 2019 and just as I finished the glue-up I hit a real slump in my motivation to be out in the shop creating or building anything. This box sat in an unfinished state for most of 2020 and all of 2021. I have now decided to dive back into my creativity. Finishing up some older projects seamed to be a good place to start.

The box is 7 3/8” wide, 3 7/8” deep, and 2 3/8” tall.

The front, top, and back panels are highly figured Maple and have been cut from one piece of wood so that the grain wraps up and over to the back. African Padauk was chosen for the sides because the contrasts in color and grain works so well with the Maple. The ends are glued to the front and back panels and are also pinned in place with 1/8” round brass rod. The brass rod is also used to hinge the lid. The thumb lift is made from Ebony and is 1/8” x 1/8” square stock used for inlay banding. The interior of the box is lined with padded black suede panels.

Photos will never do justice the amount of movement you get or the depth of the figure in this Maple

This is a 4’ long 10” wide piece of 4/4 (actually 1 1/8”) luthier grade figured Maple I came across while buying some other lumber from a fellow woodworker who was getting out of the hobby. He said he had been sitting on this piece for around 25 years and just couldn’t bring himself to cut it up. It was truly stunning, and while I did pay for the other lumber he gave me this piece as a gift.

Why is it that the part you want to use is never on the end of the board? It’s always right in the middle of the board.

Well, here goes nothing.

Cleaning up the face with a hand plane really shows just how much chatoiance is in this board.

Squaring one edge for resawing

The Laguna 14-Twelve had no problems resawing this wide of a cut

The resaw cut was made at 3/8” and after cleaning up the faces it came out to 5/16” and left me plenty more of this beautiful grain in the off-cut for another project. The off-cut piece is thick enough to resaw again and make a nice bookmatch for something like a door panel.

I really like the tight straight grain of this African Padauk to go with the Maple.

I cut the maple into three pieces for the front, lid, and back panels. The bottom panel will be 3/8” Baltic Birch plywood and will be glued in place to give the box a 1/8” lift. The exposed plywood edge will be blackened with Arm-R-Seal gel stain.

This is my set-up for a tail vise.

Cutting rabbets

I used a cross-cut saw to establish the endgrain rabbets

The waste is popped off with a chisel.

A router plane is used to maintain consistency.

Cross-cut sleds aren’t just for the tablesaw.

Now that the pieces are seperated the last two rabbets are cut.

The lid and bottom panels can now be fitted.

Time for glue and clamps.

The lid is now taped in place and tape is added to the ends to assist in marking out the hole locations for the brass pins.

Once the holes are cut the tape is removed.

This pin location will allow the pin to work as a hinge for the lid. It was critical to remember not to drill all the way through the hole location at the front of the lid. A dummy pin will go in that location for aesthetics.

The pins were cut a little longer than needed.

The inside corner of the lid panel is rounded over to allow the lid to open.

It is adjusted until the lid opens just past 90 degrees.

The other pins are glued in place with CA glue.

They can now be filed flush.

This is the condition the box sat in for the next two years

Once I stopped feeling sorry for myself and kicked myself back into gear I got out the smoothing plane and flushed up all sides of this box. The end panels were done on sandpaper glued to glass because of the brass pins.

I have another box project that you will see later that I used this 1/8” x 1/8” Ebony banding on all of the corners.

I just grabbed a piece of scrap and cut to an appropriate length. I don’t know the legth, I just eyeballed it. I used the sandpaper on glass to smooth the edges and round the ends.

The thumb lift is glued in place with Tite-bond hide glue.

Card scrapers and sanding blocks are used for final finish prep and softening of the edges and corners.

Three coats of Arm-R-Seal Satin topcoat with 24 hours and a light 400 grit sanding between coats.

Three days after the final coat I applied Alfie Shine Hard Wax Polish and buffed it out with a shoe shine brush.

While the box was curing I took a trip to Tandy Leather and picked up a nice piece of black pig skin suede for the interior of the box.

Thanks for following along I hope you enjoyed it.

If you have any questions or comments please leave them below and I’ll be happy to answer as best I can.

-- Tim McCoy - @Timmy2Hands on Instagram

20 comments so far

View 987Ron's profile


4152 posts in 810 days

#1 posted 02-23-2022 12:17 AM

Lovely, nothing else is important.

-- Ron

View theoldfart's profile


13155 posts in 3945 days

#2 posted 02-23-2022 12:26 AM

Very nice wood selection and the design is simply elegant. Beautiful workmanship too.

Well done.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View Redoak49's profile


5622 posts in 3483 days

#3 posted 02-23-2022 12:33 AM

Great box….well done !

View rtbrmb's profile


915 posts in 3882 days

#4 posted 02-23-2022 12:41 AM

Well worth the wait- thanks for providing so many details of the build.

Were the pins, that act as the hinge, glued into the side panels (or the lid)?

Thanks for posting

Bill in MI

View AJ1104's profile


1557 posts in 3153 days

#5 posted 02-23-2022 01:30 AM

Great comeback! What an outstanding build and the maple is over the top. Thanks for the detailed photos as they are very inspiring.

-- AJ

View Timmy2Hands's profile


205 posts in 2458 days

#6 posted 02-23-2022 01:32 AM

Bill in MI
I glued the pins to the side panels and they are free moving on the lid section. It made for an easier istallation. As I pushed the pin into it’s final location I added the glue just before it seated.

-- Tim McCoy - @Timmy2Hands on Instagram

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

10500 posts in 2076 days

#7 posted 02-23-2022 01:41 AM

Good to see you back at it, Tim. And a very nice box came out the end. Well done!

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View MrWolfe's profile (online now)


1974 posts in 1617 days

#8 posted 02-23-2022 02:21 AM

Nice write up!
Great step by step blog with some great pics and finished project.
I think motivation is slow and hard to come by, much easier to keep up the momentum you’ve finished this project with. Can’t wait to see what you do next.

View swirt's profile


7787 posts in 4466 days

#9 posted 02-23-2022 02:31 AM

Such a beautiful box. And thank you for all the build photos. They were great to follow the build process.

-- Galootish log blog,

View BB1's profile


3310 posts in 2342 days

#10 posted 02-23-2022 02:49 AM

Absolutely stunning. Thank you for providing all that background on the steps you took. The level of craftsmanship is inspiring. That maple is WOW – I’m sure the in person vision is even better than can be captured in pictures.

View drewpy's profile


1098 posts in 2851 days

#11 posted 02-23-2022 02:54 AM

Love the woods, great job. Thanks for the details on the build.

-- Drew -- "The greatest wealth is health".

View Peteybadboy's profile


4947 posts in 3444 days

#12 posted 02-23-2022 12:30 PM


Beautiful work.

Quite the tutorial – thanks for that.

Glad you are motivated.

-- Petey

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

8662 posts in 4847 days

#13 posted 02-23-2022 01:29 PM

Love that grain! Super nice work on this box! And love all the build pics!

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

View gdaveg's profile


561 posts in 696 days

#14 posted 02-23-2022 02:16 PM

Beautiful wood, build and box. Thanks for the build pics. Well done.

-- Dave, Vancouver, WA & Tucson, AZ

View BurlyBob's profile


10786 posts in 3759 days

#15 posted 02-23-2022 04:58 PM

That’s really fantastic.

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