Twenty some years between boxes

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Project by JohnnyStrawberry posted 07-01-2013 03:35 PM 3619 views 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I think I should start the story with my first box (photo 6).
I made it in my grandpa’s workshop when I was maybe 5 or 6 years old.
Well, it wasn’t my first woodworking project. The first one was actually a much more memorable one. It looked like a hedgehog. It was a little piece of pine with as many nails as I could drive in it. :-D My father vividly remembers when his father came to him and delivered the creature and said “Look what your son’s made.”
Interestingly only this tiny box has survived the decades since then. Isn’t it interesting that I’ve kept it for all those years and now I’m pursuing the craft again…

My second box was actually a birthday present to my sister. She needed a box to store her homeo pills in it.
When she dropped the hint I immediately thought of the most beautiful piece of steamed burly red willow in my shop that had been laying around for quite a long time waiting for the right project.
The box is basically made out of cherry but the bottom is walnut. Since it was one board, the pattern on the sides flows around.
The grid is made out of cherry false heartwood (spectacular!).
Since it stores homeopathic pills (photo 3) my usual AllWoodJoinery techniques were deeply appreciated – no glue, no metal, only solid wood. Accordingly, it has no finish on it. Although some raw tung oil could have really made the red willow burls even more beautiful.
You won’t miss it guys; tung oil is curing on the red willow burls of our wall hanging kitchen cabinets now… :-)))

Thanks for reading along,

-- What are those few hours of mine compared to those decades Mother Nature has put in it!

8 comments so far

View DocSavage45's profile


9071 posts in 4297 days

#1 posted 07-01-2013 04:47 PM

Great story! Full circle. Still making boxes. No nails this time. I’m sure your sister is very happy. Shellac is used in making candy. It is naturally occurring. Maybe a finish consistent with your approach to building? And it would seal the wood, and protect the meds?

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View CFrye's profile


11481 posts in 3294 days

#2 posted 07-01-2013 04:58 PM

Both are beautiful (looking at the first one thru the eyes of a proud parent)! I cannot figure out where the finger joints in picture number 4 are located on the piece. Thanks for sharing.

-- God bless, Candy

View aussiedave's profile


3114 posts in 3279 days

#3 posted 07-01-2013 05:16 PM

A very nice box John..well done.
I kind of like the first box too…very rustic

-- Dave.......If at first you don’t succeed redefine success....

View JohnnyStrawberry's profile


246 posts in 3773 days

#4 posted 07-01-2013 06:19 PM

Thanks guys. LOL Dave!
No finger joints there, those are half blind dovetails being made on my HBDT jig (
Noticed, Thomas? The jig still works great. :-)
I do have shellac (raw, not bleached) in my shop (0,8kg flakes) and HPLC grade ethyl alcohol (f… pure) I still think shellac finish does not perfectly meet my requirements. Besides, I don’t like its darkness and that it’s a film finish. Don’t you ask me what I’m gonna do whith all that shellac… :-D
I even have dammar resin in my shop which is the most color neutral finish but its usual solvent (turpentine) is much more than questionable for my purposes… (I’ve had mixed results with other solvents.)
That is why raw tung oil is by far my favorite finish. Even though its curing time is a major PITA… I’ve learnt to live with that.

-- What are those few hours of mine compared to those decades Mother Nature has put in it!

View Ivan's profile


17282 posts in 4322 days

#5 posted 07-01-2013 07:14 PM

Quite touchy story, very nice project. Not bad box for six years old.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View yrob's profile


340 posts in 5107 days

#6 posted 07-01-2013 07:16 PM

Very good. Its a miracle you did not drive that nail through the box into your fingers.. That being said, it is pretty good for a 6 year old. The new one is very nice too.

-- Yves

View CFrye's profile


11481 posts in 3294 days

#7 posted 07-02-2013 09:09 AM

Half blind dovetails. Got it! Learned something new. Thanks!

-- God bless, Candy

View OhValleyWoodandWool's profile


970 posts in 4575 days

#8 posted 01-26-2014 04:57 PM

very nice

-- "All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then Success is sure." Mark Twain

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