Wooden Boxes, Skill-building techniques for seven unique projects.

  • Advertise with us
Review by RogerBean posted 09-27-2013 06:00 PM 6052 views 2 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Wooden Boxes, Skill-building techniques for seven unique projects. No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

Fellow LJ Dennis Zongker has produced a really fine book that will be valuable to furniture makers and box makers alike. At 240 photo filled pages he explains how to make several of his masterpieces that we Lumberjocks have marveled at when he first posted them. Dennis is really good at what he does, and it certainly shows up here. All done up in a rich, Taunton-quality publication.

The book is structured around seven stunning projects, each covered in its own section. The reader can cover the gamut, from a straightforward rectangular box, to the elegant and complex masterpiece at the end.

Each box chapter is a treasure trove of information, in itself, with detailed instructions showing how he made each piece. In addition, he includes information on specific techniques like carving, marquetry, inlaying, segmented turning, veneering, and decorative banding. And he does it all with tools common to many home workshops.

In addition to the boxes posted on LJ, there are several new ones as well. All are spectacular, and Dennis “tells all” about how he made them so others can apply the methods to their own boxes and projects.

For instance, my personal favorite, his “Serpentine Coin Box”, is laid bare, as he walks the reader through forming the carcase and serpenting front. Veneering the curved and flat surfaces is explained clearly. Each of the finely crafted details like the ebony edging becomes clear as Dennis explains just how each is created. He even provides a complete cut list of the materials required for each of the projects in the book.

The “Traditional Jewelry Box” that awed so many members when it was first posted is here too. Along with a materials list, 8 drawings, 75 photos and 45 pages with detailed text. The Cameo Music Box is also included.

As a serious hobby box maker, I have accumulated over thirty box making books, but until now, only three that I would actually recommend. And two of those have been out of print for a decade! Now there’s a fourth and I enthusiastically recommend it for every box maker’s bookshelf. A really good book can cut years off the learning curve, and avoid immeasurable frustration. Personally, I read the good ones many times, as I’m sure I will this one.

It’s available now from for a very reasonable $24.95.

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

View RogerBean's profile


1605 posts in 4234 days

23 comments so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5499 days

#1 posted 09-27-2013 06:10 PM

I second your recommendation, Roger.

I got my copy in the mail the other day, and I’m very impressed with the level of detail Dennis has provided on his gorgeous projects. I’d call this book a “must have” for anyone interested in bringing his woodworking skills up to the next level.

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

View shipwright's profile


8760 posts in 4079 days

#2 posted 09-27-2013 06:23 PM

I can’t think of a better LJ to be the first to review this book Roger.


-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View mauibob's profile


246 posts in 4348 days

#3 posted 09-27-2013 06:36 PM

Thanks for pointing that one out, Roger! Just placed my order for a copy.

-- Bob, Potomac, MD

View bobasaurus's profile


3738 posts in 4465 days

#4 posted 09-27-2013 08:14 PM

Just ordered a copy. I’ve been eyeing this book for some time, and have always admired Dennis’ work.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View rustynails's profile


957 posts in 3810 days

#5 posted 09-27-2013 08:15 PM

Roger great review. I order mine a few months ago via Amazon and have not gotten it yet. I can’t wait after your review. Could you also let us fellow box makers in on the other three books you recommend? Not to take away in any way from Dennis’s book (like I stated got one coming) just like to review all that I can.

I don’t want to hijack this post so a PM would be great as well. 

Thanks Richard

View Surfside's profile


3389 posts in 3454 days

#6 posted 09-27-2013 08:23 PM

Great post. Thanks for the tip.

-- "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 dclark1943's profile


270 posts in 3468 days

#7 posted 09-27-2013 08:44 PM

Thanks Roger, I just ordered a copy – - can’t wait to read it ! I too would be curious as to your other top picks ?

-- Dave, Kansas City

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3971 days

#8 posted 09-28-2013 12:49 AM

Roger, That is high praise indeed coming from a master box maker!

I think I need to own that book even though it is probably way over my head. That would be a great Christmas present.

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

View Ken90712's profile


18081 posts in 4469 days

#9 posted 09-28-2013 02:24 PM

Thx for the review! I have always been impressed and amazed and his work. With that said, he is also a really nice guy and just another example of how great the people are here. He is always supportive and never negative when I have chatted with him on here. His whole family is talented.

I ordered my book months ago when he announced it was coming out and can’t wait for it to show up…. It’s like Christmas Time waiting for Santa….

Thx for the review, coming from another talented LJ here I’m even more excited

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3573 days

#10 posted 09-28-2013 02:32 PM

Thank you for the heads up and review! I’ve drifted away from Taunton press because it doesn’t want to play with Mac, but will try again for this publication (may just break down and use the telephone) as it looks like a great reference source from an uber LJ.

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

View Randy63's profile


252 posts in 4173 days

#11 posted 09-29-2013 01:03 AM

I received my copy of this book a couple of days ago. As mentioned there are many books available regarding boxes but only a few that I would consider good and this book is definitely one of those. Dennis shared his techniques and methods for crafting seven beautiful boxes leaving no detail out. A book that any woodworker looking to improve his or her techniques would be wise to add to their library. A real delight!

-- Randy, Oakdale, Ca.

View Roger's profile


21055 posts in 4085 days

#12 posted 09-29-2013 12:14 PM

Nice review, and heads up. Congrats to Dennis.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View tomd's profile


2222 posts in 5051 days

#13 posted 09-30-2013 02:41 AM

Thanks for the review Roger, I will get a copy.

-- Tom D

View Ken90712's profile


18081 posts in 4469 days

#14 posted 10-01-2013 08:57 PM

Amazon says mine will be here Thursday SWEET!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View bobasaurus's profile


3738 posts in 4465 days

#15 posted 10-02-2013 12:53 AM

Same here, Ken. Exciting news.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

showing 1 through 15 of 23 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics