Salt Box

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Project by Trev_Batstone posted 11-28-2011 06:23 AM 3108 views 2 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Salt Box
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For any chef who needs ‘just a pinch’ of salt, this salt box is always at the ready beside the stove. This, for me, was an experimental project using two (2) techniques that I have never tried before, as I am still relatively new at box making:

(1) Working with veneer.
(2) Making spline joints.

The top and bottom are Maple, the sides of the box is Black Walnut veneer glued to 3/8” Baltic birch plywood. The splines are Poplar. I recently made a spline jig for my table saw, and this is my first project with splines, but very easy to do with the jig, so I will certainly be doing more spline joint projects in the future. Tung oil and two light coats of spray lacquer were applied to the exterior, but nothing applied to the interior. This project is not perfect, but hopefully I will get better with more practise. I am wanting to make myself a veneer press now.


16 comments so far

View mmh's profile


3677 posts in 4021 days

#1 posted 11-28-2011 06:37 AM

This is a beauty! I surely need such a box next to my stove!

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View Ian Hawthorne's profile

Ian Hawthorne

297 posts in 2948 days

#2 posted 11-28-2011 08:40 AM

Very nice Trev – what’s the inside like?

-- Worlds Best Box Hardware!

View Trev_Batstone's profile


317 posts in 2792 days

#3 posted 11-28-2011 09:00 AM

Ian, the inside is just bare (unfinished) baltic birch.. no oil or finish of any kind on the interior. The top has an inner lip which fits into the opening of the box interior.


View rkoorman's profile


381 posts in 3124 days

#4 posted 11-28-2011 09:42 AM

Nice project. Looks clean. Maybe one little tip : try to get a sawblade with square teeth (i dont know if this is the correct english). that way the splines will fit even better. Just an idea…


View Ian Hawthorne's profile

Ian Hawthorne

297 posts in 2948 days

#5 posted 11-28-2011 09:46 AM

Ok – looks good anyway!!

-- Worlds Best Box Hardware!

View ed220's profile


624 posts in 3692 days

#6 posted 11-28-2011 04:16 PM

Excellent choice of contrasting wood. Very cool.

View FloridaArt's profile


868 posts in 3597 days

#7 posted 11-28-2011 04:16 PM

This looks spectacular with the contrasting woods. I would have never guessed on the veneer if you didn’t say so. Veneering the walnut to plywood will certainly add long-term stability to this box.

I agree with “rkoorman” that you want to use a table saw blade with flat-top teeth. Like you I used an ordinary blade with alternating bevel teeth for my first spline project. I couldn’t wait to try it again with flat teeth. By the way, blades with flat teeth are not too easy to come by. Could not find them in my Home Depot or Lowe’s. The Woodcraft store had them. In fact, the flat-tooth blade I bought from them is also a thin-kerf blade. Less strain on the table saw motor and less saw dust! I’m now cutting everything with that blade!

-- Art | Bradenton, Florida

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3603 days

#8 posted 11-28-2011 04:19 PM

it sure is a pretty box, i like the contrast of woods, and ive never really thought of having a salt box, i do all the cooking here for us, and i do own a chefs hat…yea.. a real one…its even got my name on it…so i should do one for myself, and make my kitchen a little more complete…i like the three spline idea…thanks for the great idea…using the birch for the inside, is a good idea with salt, thanks for the inspiration…might do one this week..if i do ill let you know so you can check mine out…grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View RogerBean's profile


1605 posts in 3253 days

#9 posted 11-28-2011 04:22 PM

Great to see another box maker moving toward working with veneer. Veneer over birch ply is good way to go and offers unlimited possibilities. If you want to know more about veneering boxes, Andrew Crawford’s books (Book of Boxes, and Fine Decorative Boxes, available used from Amazon) are a great asset. I look forward to seeing more boxes from you.

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

View itsmic's profile


1419 posts in 3418 days

#10 posted 11-28-2011 07:01 PM

Hi Trev
Nice Box, Looks Good and has a “Job to Do”, Your insights and desire to learn is a Great asset to all of us as well, You have generated comments from some of the more experienced woodworkers that add lots of interest and good info for all to enjoy, Thanks for sharing

-- It's Mic Keep working and sharing

View Trev_Batstone's profile


317 posts in 2792 days

#11 posted 11-28-2011 07:23 PM

Ian Hawthorne asked what the inside of the box looked like, so here’s a photo of the interior. And thanks to all for your tips and comments. I’ll try and find myself a flat tooth blade for my table saw, that sounds like the answer!


View JasonC73's profile


49 posts in 2844 days

#12 posted 11-28-2011 07:32 PM

Now that is a great Christmas gift for anyone who likes to cook. Great work, and I love your quote…live laugh cut wood.

View Gary's profile


9393 posts in 3732 days

#13 posted 11-29-2011 06:42 AM

Really nice job. Like the maple on top AND bottom. Really sets it off. Good job on the veneer too.

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View thedude50's profile


3610 posts in 2777 days

#14 posted 11-29-2011 10:05 AM

I really like the wood choices this is a great design you should make several and sell them I would have liked to have the ply wood sides covered and the splines fitting properly is a must when the rest of the project is such high quality this mistake really stands out in a bad way for a prototype you did great id say fix the 2 things i listed and make several they will sell on any auction site this will help you pay for that high end saw blade

The Project has several merits and you made a nice box i must rate this 4 out of 5 stars on my star scale because of the splines and the plywood edge showing on the inside keep up the great work

-- Please check out my new stores and

View Trev_Batstone's profile


317 posts in 2792 days

#15 posted 11-29-2011 05:05 PM

thedude50… yes, you are absolutely right, the top edges of the plywood should have been covered and that did come to mind when I was building the box, but I honestly didn’t have enough black walnut veneer left to do it. I just went into the shop the other day and decided to make a box, with no idea what type, just grabbed some materials and this is the end result.


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