Salve Box

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Project by RGtools posted 12-26-2011 03:51 AM 1796 views 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I pretty much stink at getting projects posted. So I decided to dig this one out and take a picture.

This is a salve box that I made for my wife as a gift for this holiday. The idea is she will be able to keep the salve she makes in a box small enough to fit in a pocket so she can prevent her finger tips from splitting in the intense cold.

Took a little under 45 minutes to knock this out. No power tools. The lid is a sliding dovetail cut by chisel (for the female portion) and block plane (the lid.). Not attempt was made to make this prefect, but the lid is snug and the proportions are just right.

I bashed out the mortise first in a larger blank, and I pared the sidewalls for better finger clearance. I then used a chisel to make a wider should for the lid to sit. I made it all level using my wheel style marking gauge as mini router plane. I then pared the dovetail part of the joint with a chisel (used the gauge again to clean out crumbs). After that I cut the box away from the larger block (trust me on using the larger block…I could have done the project in under 20 minutes…).

The lid was simply a matter of planing a piece a bit too thick. Way too long and beveling the sides to the right angles. I think I did this by eye. Cut those off and then use a knife to do general shaping. Oil/wax finish (reject salve batches wind up in my shop).

Someone else can calculate the galoot factor for me.

The shaving inside is a short love note to my wife.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

10 comments so far

View Don W's profile

Don W

20441 posts in 4063 days

#1 posted 12-26-2011 04:09 AM

sometimes perfection does not need to be perfect. A pure example of “its the thought that counts”

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View AnthonyReed's profile


10196 posts in 3936 days

#2 posted 12-26-2011 07:58 AM

Very nice Ryan.

When cutting the female portion of the dovetail did you have the box on its side (paring horizontal) , on end (vertical) or both?

Wheel gauge mini router? Too clever!

-- ~Tony

View a1Jim's profile


118334 posts in 5072 days

#3 posted 12-26-2011 08:17 AM

View Josh's profile


1234 posts in 4065 days

#4 posted 12-26-2011 05:20 PM

If it looked perfect it wouldn’t have your touch of sincere character in it and on it. That’s how you can tell it’s handmade and not from Wal-Mart/China.

-- Tree, wood, and box lover from Pennsylvania

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 4150 days

#5 posted 12-26-2011 05:53 PM

Thanks guys. I

Tony I think, I left it vertical because that is how I had it when I did the mortise. Any speedy way to shave minutes off of the total time, I was using.

I remember now that I used the wheel gauges final depth setting to mark the thickness of the lid.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View doncutlip's profile


2832 posts in 5051 days

#6 posted 12-26-2011 05:55 PM

Cool project, nice makers mark

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View mafe's profile


13872 posts in 4584 days

#7 posted 12-27-2011 01:01 PM

Sweet box, sweet thought for the wife.
I’m sure she is happy.
(Fine shave in the box).
Best thoughts,

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

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 4150 days

#8 posted 12-27-2011 03:42 PM

Thanks Don, the makers mark is pretty easy. I just pencil it would and take a thin ship carving.

Mads, she loved it and has kept the note for some time.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

View ShaneA's profile


7085 posts in 4094 days

#9 posted 12-27-2011 05:02 PM

Great idea and box RG, I like the lid design, very well done sir.

View RGtools's profile


3372 posts in 4150 days

#10 posted 12-27-2011 06:57 PM

Thanks Shane. It was pretty darn fun to put together. This is a good way to use some of your nicer offcuts.

-- Make furniture that lasts as long as the tree - Ryan

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