Circa 1936

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Project by Andy posted 01-31-2011 10:49 PM 12239 views 85 times favorited 94 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Wow! A second place in the contest. Thanks everyone for the support.

A box to hold greeting cards.

This is something I started working on over three years ago. We moved and it got shelved. To be honest, I really didnt want to finish it, all those small pieces to fit was intimidating, and once I set it aside I lost my enthusiasm. It seemed more like a debt. But this contest was the nudge I needed since this has various types of joinery and I had already invested a lot of time in it.

Specs:Body= Peruvian Walnut
Top= Figured Hard Maple
Left inset panel= Leopard Wood was used because it resembles old speaker cloth.
Right inset panel= Figured Hard Maple
Left fins= Wenge
Right fins, handle, knobs, clock trim ring= Bloodwood
Bottom accent strip= Wenge
Interior card dividers= Cherry and Maple with various bandings
Knobs= Bloodwood with brass, aluminum and copper tubes inserted and set in epoxy I mixed with India Ink.
Hinges= Soss 10mm brass barrel style
Finish= Deft brand semi-gloss spray lacquer

The idea:This project was borne from a love of old clocks and radios from the Art Deco and Machine Age eras, of the 1930s. This is my interpretation using several elements I like, though I wasnt trying to copy a specific radio, just the feel of that style. I spent considerable time designing and scaling it to suit my taste and it would have been easier to copy one, but thats not what I was after. I get more enjoyment out of letting things influence me than telling me what to do.

How I did it: The first challenge was the inset Maple and Leopard panels.
I took the walnut for the body , one long piece about 42’’ long, and laid out the design for the inset panels and made a female pattern for the router. I routed out each section to a depth of about 3/8 and cut the panels a little over 1/4 thick and test fitted them. I then took these and routed out 1/4 wide x 1/8 deep grooves on the router table to recieve the fins. I used an Incra Jig for its micro adjustable fence. Then I glued the panels in place. The left panel is Leopardwood which is supposed to look like speaker cloth. Then I layed out for the fit-up (clock insert) and bored the hole with a forstner bit.
I set up the router with a 3/8 straight bit to cut out for the Wenge strip at the bottom.
After the panels were glued in I cut the box sides to length at a 45 miter and joined them together with verticle corner splines since I didnt want them to show. ( picture 4)

I then routed a 3/8 rabbet on the top of the box opening for the lid to set down into and then carefully cut away the back lip so I could use the Soss hinges. ( picture 4 )I didnt want the lid to swing down into the box cavity as many of my other boxes do because of the design I was after and this box will hold cards and envelopes, etc, and they would get crushed. Next came the lid. I fitted the lid blank to fit the body and bored for the hinges. Then came routing out for the medallion using a jig. I cut away to a depth of about 3/8 and inserted the maple medallion which was 3/4 thick and it was then shaped off the body so I wouldnt accidently damage the box.

The fins were a real pain to do, many small pieces and each required fitting perfectly at the mitered ends. A lot of trial and error and sanding. Wenge is a difficult wood to work with, it chips and slivers easily, making it hard to get nice edges on the fins. I prefit all the fins in the slots and taped them in place to keep their orientation correct and one by one glued them in using CA.

The knobs were an idea I came up with using something I saw elsewhere, that is fitting tubes of various shapes and progressing in diameter. The idea of inserting these tubes, one into the other is not my own, but the knob design is. I used a 5/8 plug cutter and stopped about 1/8 shy of all the way through. Then I inserted a 3/8 forstner bit and making sure it was exactly over center of the plug, I bored to the previous depth. Now I had a wooden tube still attached to the board. I inserted the tubes and cut to length on the bandsaw, then sliced the knobs free of the board. I added a few drops of india ink to 15 min epoxy and forced it into the tubes and let it harden up for a few hours. The ink slows it down. I shaped the knobs on the sander by glueing them to a dop stick with super glue and turning by eye.
Thanks for looking and all your comments are appreciated,

Note: I added a few more photos below in the comments section, including one illustrating the knobs.

-- If I can do it, so can you.

94 comments so far

View ratchet's profile


1391 posts in 5279 days

#1 posted 01-31-2011 10:53 PM

Very nice. How did you come up with this. What woods? What method to build. More pics?
Sorry for so many ”?”
Thanks for sharing it with us.

View Max's profile


55997 posts in 5765 days

#2 posted 01-31-2011 10:53 PM

Now that is really cool.. Great work as usual..

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

View superstretch's profile


1532 posts in 4185 days

#3 posted 01-31-2011 10:54 PM

For crying out loud, Andy.

Another fantastic piece.

12:23:32? 1/2?

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View a1Jim's profile


118333 posts in 5069 days

#4 posted 01-31-2011 10:56 PM

Another winner Andy cool


View a1Jim's profile


118333 posts in 5069 days

#5 posted 01-31-2011 10:57 PM

Another winner Andy, very cool


View Dkol's profile


72 posts in 4853 days

#6 posted 01-31-2011 11:00 PM

This is one of the coolest ideas and builds that I have seen in a long time. Definitely need some more photos and build hints if I am going to successfully “copy” this.

Wow, wow and wow.

View gbear's profile


545 posts in 5591 days

#7 posted 01-31-2011 11:01 PM

Over the top on the coolness meter…more photos please. Wow, so cool.

-- gbear, Carmichael, CA

View spud72's profile


334 posts in 4986 days

#8 posted 01-31-2011 11:01 PM

Once, again, other masterpiece!

-- Guy,PEI

View TJ65's profile


1446 posts in 4542 days

#9 posted 01-31-2011 11:07 PM

Great idea and well executed (as expected!)

-- Theresa,

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10963 posts in 5544 days

#10 posted 01-31-2011 11:22 PM


Is that a Zenith or GE?

I didn’t think they had clocks (like that) way back then… :) :)
(how would you Set them? ... way back then… :) :) )

Beautiful job!

Sure takes one back a few years!

Thank you!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View CiscoKid's profile


377 posts in 4366 days

#11 posted 01-31-2011 11:41 PM

That is absolutely beautiful! An amazing work of art. Should be in a museum. More pictures please with perhaps some better lighting so that we may enjoy the details more fully.

-- Al, Culpeper VA

View MShort's profile


1798 posts in 4910 days

#12 posted 01-31-2011 11:42 PM


You are so creative. This is really cool.

-- Mike, Missouri --- “A positive life can not happen with a negative mind.” ---

View lanwater's profile


3113 posts in 4426 days

#13 posted 01-31-2011 11:49 PM

This very nice! A great combination of wood.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View dedalo's profile


173 posts in 4389 days

#14 posted 01-31-2011 11:55 PM

as always with your works, a real inspiration.


View cathyb's profile


860 posts in 4736 days

#15 posted 02-01-2011 12:05 AM

Andy, you knock my socks off! I love your work. Keep doing what you are doing because is always brings a smile to my face. Thanks Andy

-- cathyb, Hawaii

showing 1 through 15 of 94 comments

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