Bountiful Boxes

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Project by Lenny posted 07-15-2013 06:56 PM 2849 views 4 times favorited 39 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Eleven months ago I suffered a serious hand injury via my table saw. Three surgeries and many therapy sessions later, I returned to woodworking a little over a month ago. During my down time, I vowed that upon return to my shop, the first things to be made would be gifts for my caretakers. True to my word, I began by making two ribbon and bow boxes, one for my surgeon, Dr. Bhatt and one for my first and primary therapist, Laura. Once those were completed, I started on a tea box for my surgeon’s office assistant, Jen.

Bow boxes and tea boxes are already amongst my posted projects so I hesitated to even make this post. However, as you know, no two projects are exactly alike and regarding the bow boxes I did make a major change. The concept and plans for the bow boxes appeared in the August 2012 issue of American Woodworker magazine. The original box is rather small so I decided to make larger ones. These measure out at 8-1/2” by 11” and 2” tall not including the bow. I also added felt to the inside bottom in case they are used for jewelry. One of the photos shows the size comparison.

The top and bottom of the boxes are Baltic birch plywood and the sides are solid birch. The ribbon and bows are a lamination of bloodwood and birch. The finish is spray-on shellac. The tea box is from curly maple and walnut and features double dovetail joinery. The lid is a frame of walnut around a bookmatched panel of curly maple. I finished the tea box with Bush Oil topped with wipe-on satin polyurethane and a coat of rubbed out wax over that.

I presented the gifts today and while the recipients were surprised and happy with the gifts, I think I was more delighted in seeing their faces light up and with their expressions of gratitude. It truly is more blessed to give than receive.

I was unable to get a photo of Laura, my therapist, but here is one of my surgeon, Dr. Bhatt:

And here is one with her assistant, Jen:

I am close to completing a gift for two other therapists I saw after Laura and will post those projects when they are finished. It is so great to be back in the shop making things. I usually hate to change the bag on my dust collector. For the first time, I was delighted to see that I had filled the bag! Thanks for stopping by. Be safe my friends!

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

39 comments so far

View ellen35's profile


2750 posts in 4712 days

#1 posted 07-15-2013 07:00 PM

Great work, Lenny.
Looks like everyone appreciated their one of a kind gifts!

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

View patron's profile


13722 posts in 4621 days

#2 posted 07-15-2013 07:03 PM

good to see you up and ‘handling’ things again len

and a great work you did on these gifts

they seem to be very well recieved

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

View Dave777's profile


303 posts in 5349 days

#3 posted 07-15-2013 07:39 PM

Your work is remarkable, hope the recovery is 100%

-- the stone rejected by the builders will become the capstone

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 5162 days

#4 posted 07-15-2013 07:41 PM

Nicely done Sir.
Great to see you back to work and rewarding others.

Regarding your dust collector, every time I empty mine I think of you and your generosity in getting it going. Makes me smile.

Carry on,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View blackcherry's profile


3349 posts in 5103 days

#5 posted 07-15-2013 07:58 PM

It’s great see that your woodworking spirit has endure this minor set back, glad to see your posting once again. The bow ties on your box adds a real touch of class. It’s awfully nice of you to thank these health care professional with your own woodworking talents, I bet they were touch by your kindness as well as getting to meet such a out going and caring individual ….class Lenny real class …..Blkcherry

View moonls's profile


412 posts in 4266 days

#6 posted 07-15-2013 08:28 PM

Lenny the workmanship in these boxes is first rate so I see you haven’t lost a step despite your layoff due to your injuries. You’ve made me want to try the double dovetail on a future box as it really adds beauty to the tea box you made. I’m sure all the recipients appreciate your kindness to them.

-- Lorna, Cape Cod

View christopheralan's profile


1126 posts in 5000 days

#7 posted 07-15-2013 08:29 PM

Nicely done on all levels!

-- christopheralan

View Lenny's profile


1722 posts in 4807 days

#8 posted 07-15-2013 09:30 PM

Thank you Ellen, David and Dave. Steve, thank you too. I had forgotten about that piece for your DC. Wow, that seems so long ago. Wilson and Lorna, thank you for the kind comments. Lorna, the double dovetails become second nature after awhile. Thank you christopheralan.

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

View Surfside's profile


3389 posts in 3453 days

#9 posted 07-15-2013 09:31 PM

That is really wonderful box! That design and craftsmanship is just incredible. The details are impressive.

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View robscastle's profile


8290 posts in 3484 days

#10 posted 07-15-2013 09:37 PM

Good work Lenny,
Exceptionally well done.

Don’t forget to consider posting a report on the accident as we all have table saws and have a healthy regard for them but accidents happen and we can all learn from them.

-- Regards Rob

View Gerry's profile


264 posts in 4521 days

#11 posted 07-15-2013 09:58 PM

As always, you do beautiful work, Lenny, and it is so good to see you back in the shop! I, too, am inspired by your use of double dovetails. Got to get my Incra system working again!

Your experience has me looking long and hard at a Saw Stop Table Saw. Maybe this fall…..

-- -Gerry, Hereford, AZ ” A really good woodworker knows how the hide his / her mistakes.”

View Napaman's profile


5535 posts in 5357 days

#12 posted 07-15-2013 10:24 PM

truly beautiful!!! congratulations to you too on your continued healing—you have the gift of woodworking…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6875 posts in 5259 days

#13 posted 07-15-2013 10:43 PM

Hi Lenny,

Great job on a beautiful thing to do. You’re a class act!


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Rxmpo's profile


270 posts in 5025 days

#14 posted 07-15-2013 11:15 PM

Man you look sharp and so do those boxes!! Great to see you back in the shop doing what you love! Keep up the great work!


View aussiedave's profile


3114 posts in 3104 days

#15 posted 07-15-2013 11:27 PM

Those boxes are beautiful Lenny, they look great. Even though I am new to Lumberjocks and this is the first post I have seen from you. I am so happy for you recovery and that you are back. Look forward to seeing more quality project posted from you.

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

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