Not Just Any box - Picture Box

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Project by daltxguy posted 01-29-2008 03:31 AM 2729 views 2 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

We had occasion to visit the relatives in the USA over the holidays of 2007. International travel being what it is these days ( multiple security inspections of every kind, restrictions on deadly liquids like water etc.), and because it was the holidays, we were looking to bring unique gifts but without the weight or the bulk or the ire of security. What better than wood products made from native, recycled New Zealand rimu?

We had spotted a box recently at a craft show. It was just a nailed box with a lid which had a definite kitchen motif which likely was meant for food storage or possibly anything about the size of 3 novels put together. We liked the idea but wanted an improvement, make it more appealing and more functional in any part of the house (rather than just the kitchen) so we came up with the idea to build a box with wood joinery embedding a picture frame to the front of it so it can be customized for any room or occasion.

The frame has an opening along the top so you can slip in a standard 4”x6” photo or you can put a postcard in there or any favorite picture for that matter, perhaps with a bit of trimming. So, now you have a beautiful, practical box to use wherever, and you can change out the photos for whatever suits you or to match wherever you want to put it in the house.

One of the boxes is made of recycled kauri (Agathis Australis ) and the other of recycled rimu ( Dacrydium Cupressinum ).

The boxes are finished with raw linseed oil wiped on in several layers and then an application of natural waxes.

The outside dimensions of the box are 137mm (w) x 114mm (l) x 197mm (h)
or 5 3/8” (w) x 4 1/2” (l) x 7 3/4” (h)

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

15 comments so far

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4439 days

#1 posted 01-29-2008 03:45 AM

Cool looking little boxes! Nice job.

Isn’t New Zealand where they dig up those 50,000 year old trees? I forget the name.

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

View daltxguy's profile


1373 posts in 4365 days

#2 posted 01-29-2008 04:17 AM

Thanks Gary. The 50,000 year old trees are in fact the so-called swamp Kauri. They fell and were covered naturally and stayed preserved in the anaerobic environment. I have a piece of it but wouldn’t dare to use it for anything. I have a lot of respect for a piece of wood that old!

The Kauri I use is recycled kitchen wainscotting, itself not a very noble use for a wood which grows to be about 3-4000 years old (if we had just left them alone!)

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

View CharlieM1958's profile


16283 posts in 4669 days

#3 posted 01-29-2008 05:16 AM

Very nice boxes, Steve.

Steer clear of that deadly water. <g>

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

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 4325 days

#4 posted 01-29-2008 11:41 AM

Great boxes. A local hardwood dealer recently advertised some of that 50,000 year old wood at $40.00/BF.

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 4390 days

#5 posted 01-29-2008 12:24 PM

Pretty interesting boxes. I know with the way the Mrs likes to change things around the house, she’d like something like this on her counters where she could “update” her environment. A good idea.

-- Working at Woodworking

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 4517 days

#6 posted 01-29-2008 01:19 PM

I like those boxes and the wood. Thanks for posting them.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4611 days

#7 posted 01-29-2008 01:59 PM

great idea. Looks good!

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

View SPalm's profile


5334 posts in 4333 days

#8 posted 01-29-2008 03:09 PM

Unique idea. I like ‘em!

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4750 days

#9 posted 01-29-2008 05:37 PM

Great idea, cannister, picture frame combo.

Good Luck, Steve

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Dana's profile


73 posts in 4221 days

#10 posted 01-29-2008 07:29 PM

Very nice :)

-- Dana,Texas

View Don's profile


2603 posts in 4628 days

#11 posted 01-29-2008 10:20 PM

How different – nice.

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

View Marge's profile


145 posts in 4405 days

#12 posted 01-30-2008 06:49 AM

great idea.

-- Marge, Colorado

View YorkshireStewart's profile


1130 posts in 4352 days

#13 posted 01-30-2008 09:44 PM

Great idea Steve. Good use of some nice timbers.

-- Res severa verum gaudium - True pleasure is a serious business.

View Eric's profile


875 posts in 4235 days

#14 posted 02-12-2008 07:49 AM

Just came over here after reading that you came in dead last. To be honest, I didn’t look at many of the entries (and I wasn’t eligible to vote), but after seeing yours, I’d have to say the bar must be pretty high in this community! Well done.

-- Eric at

View daltxguy's profile


1373 posts in 4365 days

#15 posted 02-12-2008 09:25 PM

Thanks for your comment Eric. The bar is quite high for boxes. There are some expert box makers in this community. I must say that the winner’s box, GaryK, is extraordinary and fully deserved to win.

Other than the log ( which technically did not fit the contest criteria dimensionally anyway ), all of the boxes are excellent and the ranking in the contest bears no reflection on the abilities of the individual woodworkers, IMHO. Everyone in this community has abilities which are unique – and everyone has the capability of learning from each other.

Keep up your adventures in woodworking!

-- If you can't joint it, bead it!

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