Two Double Dovetail Tea Boxes

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Project by Lenny posted 03-28-2012 02:08 PM 3823 views 1 time favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

These two tea boxes have quartersawn white oak as the primary wood. One is accented in mahogany, the other in bloodwood. The double dovetails are made using the Incra LS Positioner system at my router station. The boxes are roughly 10” by 10” and 3-3/4” tall. I am experimenting with different lid designs and would be interested in hearing opinions/thoughts. The mahogany-accented box lid has a solid panel of quartersawn oak framed in mahogany. I used biscuits to attach the panel to the frame. I opted to attach the lid to the box in a horizontal orientation. The bloodwood box lid is a lamination of oak and bloodwood that I chose to fashion and attach in a vertical orientation. I have mentioned in prior tea box posts that I used Bush Oil and like the results. The thing about the oil is, it is recommended to let the oil dry for 72 hours (3 days). Again, as an experiment, I finished the bloodwood box using Bush Oil followed by wipe-on poly and paste wax. For the mahogany box I only used the poly and wax. I don’t know if it is only because this is quartersawn white oak but to my eye, I do not see a significant difference in the overall look of the two boxes. I will try this experiment on another species to see what happens.

I have no more tea boxes in queue…for the time being!

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

17 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118296 posts in 4858 days

#1 posted 03-28-2012 03:17 PM

They look great Lenny very nice work.


View HarleySoftailDeuce's profile


320 posts in 4701 days

#2 posted 03-28-2012 04:41 PM

Very nice Lenny!

-- Paul, Bristol,Rhode Island

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4148 days

#3 posted 03-28-2012 05:22 PM

These are fine looking boxes. well done.


-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View TexasJim's profile


86 posts in 4517 days

#4 posted 03-28-2012 06:36 PM

I had never considered a vertical orientation for the lid but it looks good. As for my opinion, I prefer the look of the bloodwood lid. I made a box a year or so ago with a frame like your other box and just didn’t like it; still don’t. My opinion – worth what you paid.

-- If the world was a logical place, men would be the ones who ride horses sidesaddle.

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 5580 days

#5 posted 03-28-2012 08:43 PM

Very nice Lenny!

Built by the hands of a Master Craftsman!

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

View moonls's profile


412 posts in 4267 days

#6 posted 03-28-2012 09:09 PM

You and the LS positioner make very good partners because you did a great job on these tea boxes Lenny! I especially like the combo of mahogany and the 1/4 sawn oak.

-- Lorna, Cape Cod

View doncutlip's profile


2832 posts in 4837 days

#7 posted 03-28-2012 09:59 PM

Wow, completely jealous, those look fantastic

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View ellen35's profile


2750 posts in 4713 days

#8 posted 03-28-2012 10:38 PM

Great boxes Lenny! I can’t decide which I like better.
OK, I’ll take them both ;-)
Those double dovetails really make for a nice effect.
Welcome to the tea box club.

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

View Lenny's profile


1722 posts in 4808 days

#9 posted 03-28-2012 11:05 PM

Many thanks to all for your kind comments. TexasJim, your opinion is exactly the kind of feedback I need to hear so, thank you. Dick, me a master craftsman? I think not. I often feel as far from it as possible.

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

View Woodenwizard's profile


1369 posts in 4324 days

#10 posted 03-28-2012 11:54 PM

Great Job Lenny: I like both boxes. What thickness are the sides and lid of the boxes? I really like the one with the mitered frame top. This is much more difficult to get the miters perfect. The double dovetails look great. I have tried a couple of these and have not gone back to them for a while. They seem to be too time consuming to get set up. I guess I am in too much of a hurry.

-- John, Colorado's (Wooden Wizard)

View Lenny's profile


1722 posts in 4808 days

#11 posted 03-29-2012 12:17 AM

Thanks John. The sides are 1/2” and the lids are 3/4”. Thanks also for the input on your preference. Once you dial in the proper height, if you save your set up pieces, you can use them the next time you make that same joint. The same is true of finding the center cut. If you repeatedly use sides that are 3-3/4” wide, the center cut is the same. That speeds up the set up time.

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

View Roger's profile


21055 posts in 4085 days

#12 posted 03-29-2012 01:09 PM

1st Class Tea boxes Lenny. Very very awesome!

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

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


22789 posts in 4957 days

#13 posted 03-29-2012 06:24 PM

Very nice!!

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Lenny's profile


1722 posts in 4808 days

#14 posted 03-29-2012 07:57 PM

Thank you Roger and Bob.

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

View reggiek's profile


2240 posts in 4551 days

#15 posted 03-29-2012 10:49 PM

Great job Lenny!.....I too have the Incra system and it is really fun making these double joints. That said, I occassionally make these boxes myself – mostly for gifts…. Boxes are great for practicing and for leaning new methods and design options – especially since they do not take a lot of wood to make.

Some suggestions for lids are: Rail and Stile with raised panel in the middle (I love this as you can really show off a nice piece of burl…etc as part of the raised panel). I’ve made rails and stiles with stained glass panels, clear panels, metal craft panels…..etc…etc… I’ve tried various different ways to hinge or attach the top to the box – metal hinges, wood hinges, pins…flip tops…multiple panels…sliders…hidden compartments…you name it.

I have also added inlays and various carvings…I have also done wood burned tops…there are so many different possiblities….....These are great fun to experiment with when you want to do a fairly quick project.

-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!

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