Box Guy Does This By The Numbers

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Project by Boxguy posted 11-02-2012 03:22 AM 4662 views 9 times favorited 33 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Pictured is a 15X6X6 inch jewelry box with a sliding, divided tray on top and a foam rubber ring holder and divided section in the bottom. The top and corner splines are figured Movingui from Ghana, Africa. The sides are Black Cherry from Indiana. It has a full-length mortised piano hinge, stop chain, and three part finger lift. Click here to see how to easily install these hinges.

So here are the numbers for this jewelry box. 190...price for this box at the upcoming gallery opening. 142...number of times the parts of this box were actually passed over a saw blade. 98...number of cuts it takes to make this box if every cut is right the very first time. (That never happens.) 42...cuts made to make the tray. 29...pieces of wood jointed to make this box and tray. 18...number of boxes I made for this opening. 5...number of times the inside and outside of the box were rubbed down with steel wool. (Cleaning, Tung Oil, Poly Coat One, Poly Coat Two, Paste Wax) 2...number of gallons of finish needed for all these boxes. 1...the number of patrons I need to buy this box.

I wondered why it was taking me so long to build the boxes for this upcoming show. Now I am beginning to understand. 2,340 ...approximate number of saw cuts it takes to build 18 boxes.

Thanks: As always thanks for looking. A special thanks to all of you who take time to make comments. That is the real joy of posting work on this site. I will try to post replies to all comments and questions in batches under this post. Keep boxing and keep posting.

-- Big Al in IN

33 comments so far

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3629 days

#1 posted 11-02-2012 03:28 AM

Beautiful work as always!

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 4645 days

#2 posted 11-02-2012 03:32 AM

Big Al….Those are some Very nice boxes and most certainly a lot of stastics.
Good luck and I hope you sell allI never count all the cuts I make…pretty much just a rough calculation of the time it takes me to make one

View patron's profile


13722 posts in 4678 days

#3 posted 11-02-2012 03:32 AM

good things take time

and as the man said

just cut away what’s not the box

best at show with this

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

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30662 posts in 3675 days

#4 posted 11-02-2012 04:03 AM

You really are an inspiration to me. I absolutely love your work.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


23308 posts in 5013 days

#5 posted 11-02-2012 04:04 AM

You must still have all your fingers and toes to count all those cuts! ;-)) Nice work.

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

View Boxguy's profile


2905 posts in 3604 days

#6 posted 11-02-2012 05:23 AM

Hillbilly, thanks. I liked your sled storage solution.

Greg, I have never counted the number of cuts before. Probably just as well. This started with counting how many pieces are in the box and then I just got carried away with the counting idea. Too much Sesame Street with my grandson, perhaps.

I also make it a point not to have a clock in the shop. How long it takes has never seemed relevant to what I do in the shop…it is just doing it well that counts. Your recent Poison Wood box was a killer!

Patron, the inlaid boxes next to this project is a well deserved “Top Three.” Congratulations. I especially liked the last one in the post. Beautiful work.

Monte, thanks, You sure work at boxing. Mill out some longer boards if you can.

Topa, I do have all of my digits, but I think I may lose my mind getting ready for this opening. I posted this as a way of taking a break.

-- Big Al in IN

View SebLolo's profile


65 posts in 3554 days

#7 posted 11-02-2012 06:25 AM

Very nice box Big Al. Congratulations!!

View s2h's profile


29 posts in 3423 days

#8 posted 11-02-2012 07:43 AM

Beautiful boxes. Thanks for sharing. I hope the patrons appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into one of these.

View DocSavage45's profile


9071 posts in 4179 days

#9 posted 11-02-2012 08:42 AM

What do you think your hourly wage is? LOL!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View TimWood's profile


196 posts in 3578 days

#10 posted 11-02-2012 09:46 AM

Once again, you raise the bar. LJs don’t usually share prices. I’m sure there are a few of us out here who are looking and saying, “I’ve really been selling my work to cheap!!” I appreciate it because I wouldn’t know WHAT to sell a box like this things for. I’m kicking around the idea of making some humidors but being custom made, they wouldn’t sell cheaply. Thanks for the inspiration and the information.

-- Tim Harrelson

View Sandra's profile


7207 posts in 3412 days

#11 posted 11-02-2012 09:56 AM

Wow! Love the jewelry box, got a good chuckle over the numbers.

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View hunter71's profile


3561 posts in 4523 days

#12 posted 11-02-2012 10:22 AM

Wow, you actually counted all this. Now raise the price so you can make 1955 wages.
Great job

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View Tom Godfrey's profile

Tom Godfrey

488 posts in 3513 days

#13 posted 11-02-2012 11:35 AM

When it comes to boxes its going to be hard for anyone to match your talent and skills. You set the bar real high for guys like me. You are the man I turn to when I want information about boxes.
Thanks for sharing.

-- Tom Godfrey Landrum South Carolina ([email protected])

View Jim Sellers's profile

Jim Sellers

519 posts in 3672 days

#14 posted 11-02-2012 11:40 AM

Great job Al. Good luck at the show. I hope to sell some of my stuff at some point. I’ve developed the philosophy that since it’s a labor of love, you can’t expect to make a whole lot of money on something that you have fun doing.

-- J.C.Sellers, Norcross, Ga. Just cut it right the first time. The best carpenters make the fewest chips.

View Boxguy's profile


2905 posts in 3604 days

#15 posted 11-02-2012 11:46 AM

Sheb, thanks and good to hear from France again.

S2h, thanks and looks like it is time for you to post some projects. It took me a while to get that part going too.

Doc, once everyone in the family has three or four boxes, you either need to sell them or fire up the wood stove. It is as important to de-clutter the house, and it supports my tool habit.

Tim, good luck on your humidors. They can get complex. Urns are also a good market, but not one I am interested in.

Sandra, I liked seeing your various storage projects, and appreciate your ferocity about doing it yourself. If you ever have questions about making boxes…ask.

Hunter, I am blaming all this counting on Sesame Street and a grandson. However, it was interesting to finally connect the dots and analyse just what was happening in terms of effort. It is a little depressing. My guess is that most of us could look at what we have made and figure up how many cuts it took.

In the local market, that is pretty much what I can get for my boxes, and I am very, very grateful that people are willing to put down their hard-earned money to support my work. I appreciate all of them.

General Remarks About Feedback From This Post.

Thanks for the remarks I have gotten so far. Reflecting on your remarks and the numbers in the post has led me to some new conclusions about selling boxes. For me, most of the other artists in the local gallery, and I suspect many Lumber Jocks, selling is more about getting approval for what they are doing than it is getting money. If you think in terms of an hourly wage and earning money you are destined for disappointment. If you think in terms of approval of your art every sale is a joy.

Tom, high praise indeed. If I can help you in some way…just ask.

Jim, I have largely the same philosophy. If you think in terms of approval instead of wages the process of selling is much more fun. I say to myself. “Wow! That person just gave me $100 dollars worth of approval on how I make boxes. I must be doing something right.”

By the way, your inlay work is amazing. I especially liked the round veneered box you showed us.

-- Big Al in IN

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