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Project by TestDepth posted 06-25-2012 01:55 AM 2421 views 5 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is what I hope to be the first in a long line of my new projects. This is what I would call my first “artsy” piece (as in I designed it more for looks than function). The title derives (for obvious reasons) from the “flame” maple and the red of the padauk. I decided to overstate the theme with pulls. I used the conflicting elements of the natural, organic shapes in the maple grain and the strictly rigid strait lines of the box forms and arrangement to create (I hope) the dichotomy of constrained forces that makes the piece come alive.

Dimensions are roughly 4, 6, and 8 inches tall. 6 inches wide on the sides. All three boxes are out of a single billet of flame maple (there is actually a fourth box that was left over when I cut up the boxes. I used it as my test piece during the construction). The feet, tops and bottoms are padauk. The finish is Feed n Wax.
Nothing special on the joinery, just standard mitres on the corners with rabbets on the bottoms and lids. I had a friend in the shop help cut the pulls (not much of a scroll saw guy myself) but I had to hand cut the sockets for the pulls. The feet were the resultant compromise between my design ideas and my construction ability. I had originally planned on doing something with a frame-style base, but I decided I didn’t quite have the wherewithal to pull it off the way I wanted to. I would have foregone the feet entirely, but I just couldn’t leave the boxes sitting flush on a surface.

The end result was a mixed bag in my estimation. The feet are my biggest disappointment, but I’m also unhappy with several elements of the finish and construction gaffes. It looks good from a ways off, but I know where to look for all the little goofs up close. Curse of the maker, I guess. Ah, well. Good learning experience.

Thanks for the looks and please give some feedback/constructive criticism.

-- "We don't make mistakes here, we only have happy little accidents." - Bob Ross

13 comments so far

View Acer's profile


10 posts in 3202 days

#1 posted 06-25-2012 02:08 AM

These are very attractive. I intend to blatantly copy them! ;).

-- Near Allentown, PA. "In theory, practice and theory are the same. In practice, they aren't."

View JL7's profile


8785 posts in 3975 days

#2 posted 06-25-2012 02:21 AM

The flaming Maple and Padauk are always good – Nice looking boxes. I wouldn’t have tried the flame handles myself, but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong – if you could taper the flames to the top, it would be off the charts.

I like them – nice work…

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

25930 posts in 4115 days

#3 posted 06-25-2012 02:24 AM

Cool…love that curly maple!! Nice project!...........................Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View EmeraldDragon's profile


146 posts in 3179 days

#4 posted 06-25-2012 03:51 AM

These are good looking boxes! Don’t be so hard on yourself! I like the feet…....

-- There are countless woodworking plans but have you checked out God's plan? Jeremiah 29:11

View SergeantSawDust's profile


174 posts in 3191 days

#5 posted 06-25-2012 03:53 AM

Very interesting, unique, and appleasing to the eyes.. Thanks for sharing.

-- Woodworking for the hobbyist woodworker.

View Dusty56's profile


11863 posts in 4697 days

#6 posted 06-25-2012 04:29 AM

Tiger Maple and Padauk..nice combination. I like the whole set of boxes : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View TestDepth's profile


10 posts in 3226 days

#7 posted 06-25-2012 05:04 AM

Thanks everyone for the comments. In response to JL7’s input about the pulls, I had considered doing more contour work on the pulls, but it took most of a day’s hand sanding to get the saw marks out of the cut faces of the pulls so I wasn’t eager to get too aggressive with my detailing. I also felt that having the pulls in a very obviously artificial construct of something as amorphous and alive as a flame would add to my design juxtaposition of the natural constrained within artificial boundaries. EmeraldDragon: Thank you very much for the compliments, but I still don’t like the feet… :)

-- "We don't make mistakes here, we only have happy little accidents." - Bob Ross

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 3418 days

#8 posted 06-25-2012 12:13 PM

I like the feet and am all in with Acer——I am definitely gonna copy these. I think they are very well done and extremely nice looking. Good job.

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View Brohymn62's profile


125 posts in 3265 days

#9 posted 06-25-2012 06:15 PM

Nicely done

-- Chris G. ; Los Angeles, CA

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3700 days

#10 posted 06-26-2012 01:29 AM

I like all aspects of your boxes, including the way you did the feet. It is pretty easy to make a frame base with a ‘secret’ compartment: build the frame and box, the cut a rabbit on the inside of the frame and the outside of the box. I usually cut ‘feet for all my boxes on the bandsaw and sometimes route ‘fake feet’ with a 1/2” roundover bit.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View TimWood's profile


196 posts in 3251 days

#11 posted 06-26-2012 10:16 AM

When something is as nice as this….6 photos go soooo fast.

-- Tim Harrelson

View Danpaddles's profile


588 posts in 3321 days

#12 posted 06-26-2012 11:21 AM

I think your feet look great. Are they mitered also?

The flame makes it, no doubt. Very good design work.

Want criticism? Or…. what I would have done, anyway…. I would have let the lid stand a tad bit higher, just a little. In other words, less rabbet on the underside of the lids.

And I almost never use nice wood for the bottom. I just plug in some baltic birch. Save the pretty stuff for where it shows. But that’s just me, I’m a cheap SOB.

Overall, very professional looking project. I’m impressed.

-- Dan V. in Indy

View Randy63's profile


252 posts in 3901 days

#13 posted 06-27-2012 02:53 AM

Very nice set of boxes. The combination of Padauk and figured maple look good together and while the Padauk will most likely change in color as time passes the combo will always look good.

-- Randy, Oakdale, Ca.

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