Gun Box -- Winter Contest Entry

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Project by Sgt_Lobo posted 01-05-2008 09:58 PM 25004 views 43 times favorited 48 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well, I decided to get in on the winter contest action. I know my box making skills aren’t up there with a lot of the LJs, so I decided to try something that I hadn’t seen posted here yet. I enjoy shooting and I own a variety of different pistols. My “prized” pistol is a Kimber custom gold match .45 stainless that I purchased prior to them installing the dreaded grip safeties. Anyhow, the gun came in a plain jane plastic box and I just had to have something better to display this beauty in. So, after an extensive search of LJs didn’t produce another gun box, I knew I had my project for the contest entry…

On to the box…The box is made of walnut with cocobolo inlays for the lid and keys. As you can see, I also adorned the lid with a Texas ranger star concho than my buddy who works with leather suggested. The finish is 3 coats of de-waxed shellac, 1 coat of amber shellac, and 2 coats of paste wax.

The hardest part of this project wasn’t actually the making of the box, but rather the cutting of the foam. I refused to go spend money on a wire foam cutter for a one time use project, so I ended up cutting the dense foam with an exacto knife. Without the pistol in place, the edges of my cuts are jagged and ratty looking, so someday I will try to re-do it when I figure out a better way to cut the foam.

Another interesting tidbit is that I ran out of cocobolo, hence the walnut strip that splits the lid. I wish I could say that was planned, but it was actually because my hand was forced… But, in the end I’m glad it was because I think it just adds to the character of the box.

Well, I’m about boxed out, so I think this will be my last small box for awhile. I hope you all enjoy and thanks for taking the time to look!

-- Sgt_Lobo -- Aurora, CO

48 comments so far

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4935 days

#1 posted 01-05-2008 10:03 PM

That’s a nice box to show off a prized piece.

View mrtrim's profile


1696 posts in 4940 days

#2 posted 01-05-2008 10:04 PM

great entry lobo , i also like the lid outcome . well done good luck !

View coloradoclimber's profile


548 posts in 5128 days

#3 posted 01-05-2008 10:07 PM

It looks great. The joinery looks clean and everything looks tight. I like the rounded corners, it seems to fit well with the overall size and function of the box. The walnut stripe looks good, probably better than a single species lid. Another fine piece of work.

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 5048 days

#4 posted 01-05-2008 10:11 PM

Form fits function! Great box with very nice proportions.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View mot's profile


4928 posts in 5097 days

#5 posted 01-05-2008 10:13 PM

The box is beautiful!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4073 posts in 5124 days

#6 posted 01-05-2008 10:22 PM

Sarge, That is a handsome box and a fine .45 ACP sidearm. I have watched you steadily improve your skills over the last two months. Have no fear, I think it’s just more icing on the cake when it comes to more skill sets in your boxmaking career. I think you are there.

Why 10 rounds? Even with a full mag and one in the pipe, you have a backup. Just curious.
I have a few weapons locked up tight from my bachelor days. I keep telling myself that someday I will build french-fitted boxes for them. But as they will always be outside the home, it doesn’t make much sense. Someday, when I have my quonset hut shop and my berm out back I may start stuffing my own cartridges again…

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over two decades.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5278 days

#7 posted 01-05-2008 10:43 PM

You are certainly a quick learner, Sarge. This is a very sophisticated-looking box. Well done!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Critterman's profile


601 posts in 4870 days

#8 posted 01-05-2008 10:56 PM

Very nicely done and the texas star on top is like the whipped cream…excellent touch.

-- Jim Hallada, Chesterfield, VA

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5221 days

#9 posted 01-05-2008 11:02 PM

gorgeous box!
I like your write-up as well.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Sgt_Lobo's profile


87 posts in 4918 days

#10 posted 01-05-2008 11:33 PM

Thank you all for the great comments! Douglas, I put the extra 10 rounds in there more for show than anything else. So, as you have put together, if I’m carrying this thing full, I’ll have 31 rounds total…

I also forgot to mention another problem I ran into on this box. The center piece of walnut on the lid…The walnut I have is a good 3/4” think and the cocobolo is only 1/4” thick. I sure wasn’t going to sand off a 1/2” of walnut and shaving it with my table saw was a risky proposition. I don’t have a thickness planer either. So, I had to make a jig for my router that allowed me to use a straight bit like a thickness planer. The jig worked great and I was able to successfully thin down my walnut to match the cocobolo for the lid.

Also, this project has spurred a new project for me. When I get a chance I will purchase some more cocobolo and attempt to make some custom grips to match the case!

-- Sgt_Lobo -- Aurora, CO

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4935 days

#11 posted 01-05-2008 11:36 PM

Now that would be the crowning touch.

View TomFran's profile


2964 posts in 5054 days

#12 posted 01-05-2008 11:47 PM

Very nice box! The Kimber 45 is nice too. My son has a Kimber Ultra Carry 45 that he likes a lot. He might even like to have a custom made box for his too.

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View Sgt_Lobo's profile


87 posts in 4918 days

#13 posted 01-05-2008 11:50 PM

I bet he would Tom! Kimber is one of the better 1911 makers out there. The Ultra Carry is a very fine sidearm (especially if he carries concealed). Sounds like a fine gift idea if you ask me…

-- Sgt_Lobo -- Aurora, CO

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 4934 days

#14 posted 01-06-2008 12:11 AM

You are a quick learner. I’m a big fan of your boxes. Great job and really nice details. I agree with you about the walnut… it does add character. I like the hardware you used too, where did you get the star on the lid?

-- Happy woodworking!

View EGA's profile


223 posts in 4873 days

#15 posted 01-06-2008 12:57 AM

Any M-1911 rate’s a comfortablle place to rest and you fixed yours up in an outstanding display case. I have high regards for these remarkable firearms for I got pretty close to mine in nam, even talked to it a few times I think. Semper Fi


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