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Great Boxes

by itsmic
posted 11-11-2012 02:42 PM


19 replies so far

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itsmic

1419 posts in 3504 days


#1 posted 11-11-2012 03:01 PM

I will start with “hinge placement” With some hinges, there is not much choice, but, precise execution is required to make them look Great. On the rest, placement seems to be widely varied. I put mine about one inch to 1 1/2” from the edge, this looks right to me, of course, there is a matter of taste here, but, also good composition and balance for the project. I have seen many Great looking boxes here, but, IMHO the hinges where placed too far in, making the project look a bit off. Where should the hinges go, or is it just a matter of taste.

-- It's Mic Keep working and sharing

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RussellAP

3105 posts in 2672 days


#2 posted 11-11-2012 03:10 PM

There is so much to a box it’s hard to put it all down. I’m by no means among the greats here, but I do love making boxes.
To me its about the overall look of the box. I try not to get too technical about the construction unless I’m doing it to beautify the box. I think every box should be something unique and classy, not the same old box everyone makes. I like to mix up the wood. I haven’t been too good with hardware, but once I find a good place to get a variety of hinges I will beef that up. I’ve made a couple cedar boxes so far which are on my page if you look.

A box can fit anywhere and has uses. That makes it a good thing to make and sell.
I have one on the bench now that is using padauk, walnut, and red oak. Can’t wait to get to it today.

-- A positive attitude will take you much further than positive thinking ever will.

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itsmic

1419 posts in 3504 days


#3 posted 11-11-2012 03:33 PM

Wood choice is vital, the wood should match the project, and also compliment any other wood used. Matching grain around 4 corners adds much to a project.

-- It's Mic Keep working and sharing

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JoeyG

1275 posts in 3011 days


#4 posted 11-11-2012 04:01 PM

I just build every box a little better than the last one. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But I still try.

-- JoeyG ~~~ http://www.facebook.com/JHGWoodWorks

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Monte Pittman

30349 posts in 2724 days


#5 posted 11-11-2012 04:18 PM

I believe in unique. Great construction is essential, but the customer likes the idea that they have something nobody else does. Makes it special.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

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Monte Pittman

30349 posts in 2724 days


#6 posted 11-11-2012 04:20 PM

On the construction side, I have found that as i get better at building them the better sales are.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

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itsmic

1419 posts in 3504 days


#7 posted 11-11-2012 04:37 PM

What’s inside counts, all the best boxes show off some on the inside, trays, hardware, musical movement, special funtion or form to hold special items. Just clean joints without glue or gaps makes a world of diffrence on the inside. I like to see the inside, and how it looks, what’s inside there!

-- It's Mic Keep working and sharing

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itsmic

1419 posts in 3504 days


#8 posted 11-11-2012 05:49 PM

Lid stays of some sort are used, the type and the precise instalation of the hardware, if used, is esencial, solid brass chain, side stay, or gold plated brass with the right chain conector can bring the project up a notch or two. Clever designs using only the wood of the box as stays are very cool.

-- It's Mic Keep working and sharing

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itsmic

1419 posts in 3504 days


#9 posted 11-13-2012 02:22 PM

Inlay or banding can add the special touch that raises the bar on the project, especially if the banding is home made and unique.

-- It's Mic Keep working and sharing

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larryw

335 posts in 3048 days


#10 posted 11-23-2012 04:09 AM

Hey Mic, I agree with whats already been said. I believe a box needs to be unique, and not just for the sake of being different, but it needs to reflect and embody the personality of the maker to some degree. one person may look at one of my boxes and not particularly like what they see, while someone else will absolutely love it., You know the old proverb ” beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. Aside from that, you said it yourself already, attention to the details, ie.. perfectly fitted joinery, hinge placement,ect.. makes for a great box. By the way, great topic for discussion.

-- "everything is beautiful, but not everyone sees it" ~confucius-551-449 b.c.~

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itsmic

1419 posts in 3504 days


#11 posted 11-23-2012 03:24 PM

Thanks for Your response Larry, Your Boxes are Great, Your work has been an inspiration to me and many others, I think many or most of us box makers travel down the dust trail moving toward that Great Box we have in mind, if we stick to it and spend enough time and concentrated effort on the trail, we will reach our destination. Seems most of the Great Box Maker’s, are also modest in thier mastery of the art, along with generous to us all with sharing their insights and talents, there are a number of Great examples of Great Boxes here on the sight, and hearing from You Great Box makers out there, is, Well, just Great Thanks for sharing

-- It's Mic Keep working and sharing

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longgone

5688 posts in 3694 days


#12 posted 11-23-2012 04:19 PM

I believe a box should reflect the personality and creativeness of whoever made it. I put my own skills, designs and visions into a box in order to create something that…most importantly.. I like…and hope others like and appreciate it also.

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itsmic

1419 posts in 3504 days


#13 posted 11-23-2012 06:44 PM

Thanks Greg for adding to this topic, Your Boxes are Great and reflect what You have said. I believe there are so many wonderful aspects that make up a Great Box, as stated above, the aspects can be more than the physical atributes of the box, but, certainly are reflected in the end product. One of my favorite boxes, has some spalted beach from my Cindy’s camp on the lid, it was Great to give this to Her, and now she is reminded of Her camp when She sees it.

-- It's Mic Keep working and sharing

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huff

2828 posts in 3671 days


#14 posted 11-23-2012 09:35 PM

Most of the boxes I’ve made are usually created or inspired by what I’m feeling at the time. Some are for pure fun, some will be because of some crazy idea that pops in my head and some are strictly from the heart.
Challenging myself is the best part of it….......That’s why I very seldom sell any of them, I would rather give them away to someone that really appreciates it or it’s for someone very special to me.

The most special of all are the seven urns that I’ve built. My older brother, My wife of 28 years, My father, my mother, my best friend and for two very close friends when their sons died. No pictures to share, just love and memories to keep forever.

-- John @ http://www.thehuffordfurnituregroup.com

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itsmic

1419 posts in 3504 days


#15 posted 11-24-2012 02:19 PM

Hi John, thanks for Your response. You have built some Great Boxes. Your insight into the meaning of Great is perfect. Greatness is certainly in the eyes of the beholder, of course there are standards of excellence that come into play, but ask a Grand child who has recieved a box if there box is Great and You will get a resounding answer.

When I first put this topic up, I was thinking about specifics of construction and detail more than the intangable aspects of a Great Box, but, it is very true what has been brought up in some of the responces, that there is more to a Great Box than what meets the eye.

-- It's Mic Keep working and sharing

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itsmic

1419 posts in 3504 days


#16 posted 11-24-2012 02:46 PM

Back to some of the specifics: Proportion is a big deal, IMHO. It takes a number of elements of the box to fit together proportionaly to give it the Look. Of course “taste” and personal style, again come into play. For me, the smaller boxes need to have thiner boards that fit the size of the box. Big thick boards on a small box make it look bulky.

Please keep in mind that I am expressing my particular taste and ideas. This post is not intended to insult or undermine anyones boxes, it is meant to encourage some of the Great Box makers to step up and say what they really think about Great Box making, and to let us all share their honest critique of specific points of construction.

-- It's Mic Keep working and sharing

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

14940 posts in 3076 days


#17 posted 11-25-2012 04:03 AM

To me a great box has to start with “great” wood: unique grain or color or a fascinating history. Next, the proportions are important with too tall for the length/width being the most common error I see. The joinery has to be perfect as any flaw really seems obvious in a box. The wood oftens dictates what kind of box it wants to be (walnut and maple seem more ‘formal’ to me while blackjack oak and hedge want to be more rustic). A great box must have a great finish with no flaws. These are just some thoughts that occur to me when I think “great box”. I personally don’t use metal hinges but I see “great boxes” with metal hinges. And we haven’t even gotten into complementary woods, grain matching, pore filling, inlays, banding, sculpting…......... A lot of thought and effort usually goes into a “great” box (but sometimes you just get lucky and one ‘happens’).

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

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ShaneA

7082 posts in 2984 days


#18 posted 11-25-2012 04:38 AM

I agree with a lot of what Andy said. Great wood, supreme accuracy, and a top notch design. Throw in a good finish, and you are on your way.

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itsmic

1419 posts in 3504 days


#19 posted 11-25-2012 02:25 PM

Thanks Andy for Your responce, Your Great Box making is a standard of excellence, The Great thing about box making is that there are so many things that contribute to a Great One, Simple to complex, the right combination of thoughtful construted aspects can produce that special box.

Thanks Shane for Your thoughts, Your Boxes are wonderful, That Walnut Box of Yours is a real “Knock Out” just Beautiful, a Great Box.

-- It's Mic Keep working and sharing

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