Wenge finger join box with caribou handle

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Project by SM posted 04-17-2008 05:35 AM 2152 views 1 time favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was a bithday present for my sister (and she gave me the wood). She is an archaeologist specializing in native cultures. I knew she would particularly like something that made reference to our childhood so the lid handle is a piece of caribou antler (not that we had caribou running around the yard, but we did hunt ungulates and caribou would be very exotic to her, living in California). We don’t get to see each other much but we have a lot in common: woodworking, and a love for the mountains. She is an artist and she: paints, does stain glass, silver smithing, throws pottery, sculpture, weaving, you name it!

Though it is a bit heavy and dark for me and I’m not so keen on the handle, I really designed it for her with elements I knew she preferred. Now that I think of it, it is a lot like her: a combination of beauty, roughness, and a bit of mystery about her (but I’m probably seeing more of my sister than I am of the box).

-- SM

12 comments so far

View grovemadman's profile


556 posts in 4404 days

#1 posted 04-17-2008 06:31 AM

Very nice box, the piece of antler makes a nice handle.

-- --Chuck

View Max's profile


56000 posts in 4906 days

#2 posted 04-17-2008 06:51 AM

What a great gift for your sister. I am sure she really appreciated it…

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4879 days

#3 posted 04-17-2008 10:36 AM

You must have a very nice sister to make such a beautiful box that matches her personality. Very rare wood and a rare handle. I’ve got some caribou antler I was wondering what to do with. Now I’ve got ideas. thanks, mike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View SM's profile


77 posts in 4328 days

#4 posted 04-17-2008 01:39 PM

Mike Jock,
Where did you get your caribou antler? My spouse is an arctic geologist and he brings me “things”: the jawbone of a polorbear, tufts of muskox hair and bone, reindeer moss (lichen), interesting rocks, and a piece of mastodon tusk ( as he pointed out, “and it isn’t even illegal ‘cause they’re already extinct!”)

The bone is pretty stinky on the belt sander; dead animal smell.

Thanks for the compliments to all.

-- SM

View CharlieM1958's profile


16284 posts in 4851 days

#5 posted 04-17-2008 02:34 PM

I like it. That wood really grabs your attention.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View davidtheboxmaker's profile


373 posts in 4438 days

#6 posted 04-17-2008 03:39 PM

Nice box – is the antler glued to the lid, or have you pinned it in some way?

View SM's profile


77 posts in 4328 days

#7 posted 04-17-2008 04:10 PM


There is drill hole in the antler.
2. Drill and place screw in box, leaving it just proud enough to let the antler/stone, etc., sit flush on the wood.
3. Stick two part epoxy in the hole in the antler and place over the screw. I mix the epoxy thick and enough to also bond to the wood. I let it set for the first 10 minutes with the box lid upside down, to minimize the chance that the epoxy will run out from under the stone.

I’m very neurotic concerning things coming off or falling apart. My spouse says I overbuild everything; but then again, so far so good.

Don’t use any of those foamy glues (water activated). It’s too hard to control the expansion and impossible to get off the wood around the object when it spreads.

I am pretty inspired by the look of your boxes; nice clean, balanced lines. Thanks for the question.

-- SM

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4621 days

#8 posted 04-17-2008 04:17 PM

Excellent looking box! I like the wood choosen.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 4407 days

#9 posted 04-17-2008 04:26 PM


Nice looking box. But more important, it is a special box that you gave to your sister. A sister that you love and miss. A box that reminds you of your childhood together. A box that reminds you and her of things that you have in common. A box that reminds you of her. Thank you for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View davidtheboxmaker's profile


373 posts in 4438 days

#10 posted 04-17-2008 06:53 PM

I like the upside down trick with the glue – I’ll remember that one.
Thanks for the nice comment about my boxes.

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 4507 days

#11 posted 04-18-2008 02:41 AM

Nice job. I like the uniform, deep, rich color of it. It really makes the “handle” stand out.

-- Happy woodworking!

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4455 days

#12 posted 04-18-2008 03:59 AM

This is a beautiful box and I like the material combination as well.

Thanks for the post and for the story behind it as well.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

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