Teabox - First Double Dovetails

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Project by Lenny posted 02-25-2012 09:02 PM 3661 views 4 times favorited 32 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have been busy making a slew of dipping boards with the intent of seeing how they fare at an Arts and Crafts show. I got tired of the repetitiveness of some of the processes and needed a distraction. I decided it was time I tried my hand at some double dovetails (DD). I have owned an Incra LS Positioner for a few years and essentially have only used it as a regular router fence. The process of making the DD is a bit cumbersome but it seems that once you master the steps, it is not too bad. So, what to make using the DD? Inspired by my good friend Ellen (Ellen35), I decided on a teabox.
I ran into some bumps along the way and had to cut off mistakes and try again. Originally, the box was to be 10”X10” but ended up 9.5”X9.5”. It is 4” high. It is made from some wonderfully figured curly maple and black walnut. The lid is a bookmatched field of curly maple in a frame of walnut. For contrast, the dividers are made of walnut. When the edges of the lid were still square, I felt they looked too box-y. I was going to round them over but felt that wouldn’t blend well with the sharp edges of the dovetails. Ultimately I tried a beveled edge and I am happy with the look.
When it came to finish I went with two coats of Bush Oil. This was my second use of this product and again I am delighted with the results. It brings such definition to the grain of the wood. After the oil dried sufficiently, I added two coats of Minwax wipe-on polyurethane, using #0000 steel wool in between coats. Lastly, I applied a paste wax using the steel wool and buffed it out with a cloth.
I want to thank Ellen for answering a few questions I threw her way as this project proceeded. I have another teabox under construction and fear that I too may have been bitten by the box-making bug!

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

32 comments so far

View ellen35's profile


2750 posts in 4713 days

#1 posted 02-25-2012 09:07 PM

Really nice box, Lenny. I LOVE the DD’s – they add so much to the outside of the box.
The curly maple book match and the walnut. Those 2 woods just compliment each other so well.
My tea boxes are all 9.5-9.75… depending on the bumps!
Welcome to the world of boxaholics!!!

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4584 days

#2 posted 02-25-2012 09:23 PM

i really love the maple lenny, so the bug has bitten again… out lumber jocks…more boxes headed our way…...and by a retired guy…who has all day to build some really nice boxes…...either that or drink tea and take naps…what shall it be lenny…maybe both…......

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

View Jerry's profile


70 posts in 3928 days

#3 posted 02-25-2012 09:23 PM

Very nice, two of my favorite woods. I am going to give the double dovetail a shot.

-- We are all one decision away from stupid.

View a1Jim's profile


118296 posts in 4858 days

#4 posted 02-25-2012 09:25 PM

Beautiful Teabox, great looking top to bottom.


View JJohnston's profile


1622 posts in 4572 days

#5 posted 02-25-2012 09:34 PM

It looks like 9.5” fits the tea packs perfectly.

-- "A man may conduct himself well in both adversity and good fortune, but if you want to test his character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

View chrisstef's profile


18138 posts in 4287 days

#6 posted 02-25-2012 10:13 PM

Is it acceptable to be talking about amazing looking Double D’s on here becasue i think im in love.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View Lenny's profile


1722 posts in 4808 days

#7 posted 02-25-2012 10:28 PM

Thanks all. Ellen it’s comforting to know others hit bumps too! Grizz, I guess the best response is “all of the above”. Thanks xplorx4 and Jim. JJohnston any more bumps in the road and this would only have 6 compartments instead of nine. Ha ha chrisstef, the double dovetail is truly a striking joint!

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 4590 days

#8 posted 02-25-2012 10:31 PM

Lenny, Those double dovetails are amazing and really eyecatching. You did an excellent job and the curly maple and black walnut combine nicely.

View Loucarb's profile


2388 posts in 4726 days

#9 posted 02-25-2012 10:33 PM

Fantastic job Lenny. That is a beautiful tea box.

View patron's profile


13722 posts in 4622 days

#10 posted 02-25-2012 11:22 PM

seems you have found
the best of both worlds lenny


beautiful box !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View doncutlip's profile


2832 posts in 4837 days

#11 posted 02-25-2012 11:34 PM

Looks like a lot of precision went into that and it looks great

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View moonls's profile


412 posts in 4268 days

#12 posted 02-26-2012 12:28 AM

Great job Lenny. The curly maple in the top set off by the black walnut is spectacular! I’m trying to get to learningthe techniques of my Incra and wonder if you got more out of the DVD or the book?

-- Lorna, Cape Cod

View Lenny's profile


1722 posts in 4808 days

#13 posted 02-26-2012 01:05 AM

Thank you Greg and Lou. Thank you too David. You said a mouthful. To be retired and a woodworker, well that’s a blessing. Thank you Don. Thank you Lorna. This was indeed a gorgeous piece of curly maple. When I applied the first coat of Bush Oil I was practically giggling. As you know Lorna, I bought a portable DVD player so I could watch the video in the shop as I deemed necessary. As you might suspect, the video puts into practice what it says in the manual. However, when I didn’t follow what was shown/said in the video, at times, the manual clarified things for me. I guess you need both but I would say I got most from the video.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View Roger's profile


21055 posts in 4085 days

#14 posted 02-26-2012 01:08 AM

awesome project Lenny. very artsy with those fancy joints. excellent workmanship

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View Napaman's profile


5535 posts in 5358 days

#15 posted 02-26-2012 01:58 AM


-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

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