Simple Boxes from Recycled Narra Parquets

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Project by BertFlores58 posted 08-20-2011 03:10 PM 2761 views 2 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The story behind these boxes already on the blog NARRA BOXES series.

There are 3 types according to sizes:
Photo 1 and 2 – 2×6x12 inches
Photo 3 and 4 – 2×6x6 inches
Photo 5 and 6 – 2×4x6 inches.

Here are some of the features that may interest you.
Pinned hinges styles varying in constructions:
1. The separate sides pinhole.. I made and ebony strip and drill it as pinhole before gluing. This will allow me to adjust the centering of the lid radius to allign exactly to the rear wall of the box. The rear wall is offsetly routed cove to match the rounded edge of the lid.

2. The edge to edge pinned integrally to the side. This is done to make an access on the rear endwall. No obstruction that will be created when the lid is open. The pinhole is allign directly with the rear end wall.

3. The offset pinned hole. This is the most common style of pinned hinges…like Andy’s box, Greg’s box and many others. The side of the boxes are equal on height. The lid pivots inside of the box. The only dislike of those receivers is that the lid obstruct the rear end portion when it opens. This is the least I will use for the next project.

Though I made these boxes on a simple way and designs, I have learned a lot in joining gnurly NARRA wood. It is necessary to allign the grain plain directions. The color of narra will not be revealed even when pre-coat. It reacts on different finish. It is glossy. What a nice wood to work. Very challenging.

Some were already given to my friends…. 3 for my co-employees, 1 for my sister, and the rest are still on wait. These boxes are really intended for gift giving. I have to make more, if I had time. I just want to post a project to help others who wants the technique of making a simple box.

The finish is polyurethane (aerosol type) with two gloss lacquer precoats… This is not good as they are not compatible. I have to see to it that pre-coat of lacquer is totally dry so the poly will not burn it. Two coats of poly is better. I like the poly aerosol because it makes a hard finish. These boxes are made rugged and will be used by people who really put inside whatever they will… Most people like to put coins in this kind of boxes.

I will continue to do more of these type of boxes to meet the target of 40 boxes in all. At present, I finished 10 pcs of 2×4x6 , 15 pcs of 2×6x6 and 1 pc 2×6x12 total 26 .... and so on.

Hope I have shared something on you.

-- Bert

10 comments so far

View shipwright's profile


8651 posts in 3771 days

#1 posted 08-20-2011 04:32 PM

So much from so little Bert.
They came out absolutely beautifully.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 4010 days

#2 posted 08-20-2011 05:06 PM

An excellent bit of re-cycling, Bert. Very generous too.
Well done indeed.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View Tootles's profile


808 posts in 3475 days

#3 posted 08-20-2011 05:15 PM

These are good looking boxes – very simple in design, but very effective.

I have to ask. Since parquet blocks are often polished with wax (or at least they were when I was a kid) do you have a problem with that?

-- I may have lost my marbles, but I still have my love of woodworking

View mafe's profile


12845 posts in 4063 days

#4 posted 08-20-2011 07:56 PM

How can we not love these boxes made of recycle parquets.
That is so fine done.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View NormG's profile


6508 posts in 3977 days

#5 posted 08-20-2011 08:18 PM

I love recycled wood projects, they always seem to come out so wonderful

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View degoose's profile


7280 posts in 4328 days

#6 posted 08-20-2011 10:02 PM

Your efforts are to be admired…

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View BertFlores58's profile


1698 posts in 3896 days

#7 posted 08-20-2011 11:52 PM

Thanks everyone. If only I can share some pieces that you want from these parquets… my brother-in-law will try to re-install them back on the floor… I will try to see how it goes and will let you know. Got to admit the effort is just gluing these pieces to form a board and you can do whatever you want.

Hi Tootles, Polished, painted, varnished and many other coatinds did not give me any problem. I have to take out the coatings by:
1) The cement and glue with it was soften by soaking it with water.
2) Scrapping the cement and glue by hand while continuesly washing it with water… paint and some glue will remain but this is already good enough because planes can handle these. I owe a lot from my Daddy who made this effort a lot of days consumed…. three of my 3/4 chisels where totally dulled in doing this step. All in all we had cleaned a total of 12 sq meter or about 108 square feet.
3) I selected the best among those cleaned ones then… use planes to take out the glue and paints… This is your question… THE PAINT AND GLUE (some sand still on it) ARE NOT EASY TO SCRAPE AS THIS WILL DULL YOUR BLADE EASILY…. I use my wooden plane whose blade is really strong (O1 steel from PHIL EDWARDS) that can stay sharp for a period of time. On my electric portable planer… I installed TCT blades to withstand the hardness of paints and glue. Lucky I am because there are no nails that were used in there.

One of the exciting part is during the planing stage, you can easily classify them into different colors and grain pattern. The denser the wood = harder = dark colored.. this is the method I use. Anyway you cannot get two pieces matching each other easily.

All you need to recycle is a lot of persevering and patience… the techniques and methods are just there to use…

-- Bert

View littlecope's profile


3115 posts in 4475 days

#8 posted 08-21-2011 08:27 AM

Great Work Bert!!
All your labor is paying off, with beautiful wood, and mighty fine looking boxes!!

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View Armand's profile


235 posts in 3884 days

#9 posted 08-21-2011 11:07 AM

I go with degoose. Anyone who receives your box will be a proud owner, wonderful works Bert.

-- My Master is Mankind's Greatest Carpenter.

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 3893 days

#10 posted 08-21-2011 12:11 PM

These are truly beautiful, Bert. Yes, it is a lot of work to scrape them and make them usable again, but when seeing such beautiful results, it is more than worth it. I really like the color and look of this wood. I am sure that it is even more vivid in person. This is a wonderful lesson on reclaiming wood and giving it a second life. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

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