Hidden boxes

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Project by MichaelT77 posted 03-16-2022 02:36 PM 807 views 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve built two boxes that will be hidden behind the main drawer of a desk that’s nearing completion. Walnut. Poplar bottoms (captured in a groove). Handcut half-blind dovetails all around.

The lid was a consequence of me not doing any design until I was about half-done. The pins, at their narrowest, are about 1/16” wide. This was going to be my first attempt at a box that would have its lid cut off with a saw. I know that the saw blade is normally run through pins making a half-pin on the lid and the box, but that didn’t occur to me until I had cut all the pin boards, and then the pins were too little. It’s my box, and I can do what I want, but I opted not to cut through the tails. I can’t add a lid on top, because I’ve got less than 1/8” of overhead clearance.

So, I made inset lids, and set them on eccentric rails. Purpleheart. Embedded in the sides about 1/8”. If you push down on one end, the other end lifts, and the lid can be removed.

A couple of coats of tung oil. I may shellac or wax at a later date..

A technique new to me…. I wet-sanded the lid and sides with 400-grit during the second application of tung oil. Very smooth. I think that filled a lot of pores.

These boxes may not be seen again for 100 years.

-- Michael T, Pittsburgh, PA

10 comments so far

View Eric's profile


5847 posts in 1371 days

#1 posted 03-16-2022 02:43 PM

They look very nice, and the dovetails are great.
Well done.

-- Eric, building the dream. the "Loft"

View recycle1943's profile


7087 posts in 3120 days

#2 posted 03-16-2022 02:51 PM

These boxes may not be seen again for 100 years.

That would be a shame – with your dovetails so nice I would find a way to mount them as the first thing seen as you enter the room

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View MichaelT77's profile


144 posts in 3610 days

#3 posted 03-16-2022 02:58 PM

Thanks. I’m just hoping that someday someone says, “Hey, great-great-granddad did some nice work. Let’s break out his old tools, and give it a try”

-- Michael T, Pittsburgh, PA

View splintergroup's profile


7146 posts in 2720 days

#4 posted 03-16-2022 03:22 PM

Certainly display worthy, but your idea of making them for hidden stashes has appeal!

The DTs look great, half blind requires some careful work. I like the contrast they received with your finish, even the registration line makes a nice visual detail.

View 987Ron's profile


4165 posts in 814 days

#5 posted 03-16-2022 06:46 PM

Good looking boxes.
Nicely done, hope to see the desk.

-- Ron

View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile


3308 posts in 1045 days

#6 posted 03-16-2022 08:55 PM

eccentric rails, hmmm, so that what they are called. I use those for false bottom secret compartments.

If you did such fine work on something that will never be seen, then I cant wait to see the desk!

-- WWBBJ: the first to compare a woman´s cheek to a rose was a poet. The second, an idiot. Dali

View tomd's profile


2232 posts in 5268 days

#7 posted 03-17-2022 04:02 AM

That’s a lot of nice work to be hidden.

-- Tom D

View AJ1104's profile


1557 posts in 3157 days

#8 posted 03-18-2022 01:32 AM

Fine craftsmanship, especially the dovetail joinery. Nice idea with the lids as well. I look forward to seeing your desk when you finish.

-- AJ

View 489tad's profile


4159 posts in 4509 days

#9 posted 03-18-2022 03:39 PM

Great looking boxes and nice job on the dovetails. I’m looking forward to seeing the desk.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View Ken Masco's profile

Ken Masco

950 posts in 4348 days

#10 posted 03-19-2022 08:10 PM

Very nice, yes those boxes will last several lifetimes and be admired by people not yet born.

-- Ken

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