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Project Information

As a break from making bookcases, I decided to make a little box. I started with some birch scraps I had left after trimming a blank for one of my turned bowls, and went from there. It was a fun project because I had to figure out workholding for the small pieces,



find some of my smaller tools





and figure out some new techniques for doing things. Cutting dovetails this small is challenging, and I'm going to need to make a new, smaller turning saw if I'm going to do more tiny work. I even ended up resawing some juniper out of a small piece of branch to make the banding around the box (a late design change), and then had to figure out how to miter the small corners of that banding (not entirely successfully). I also attempted to put hinges on the lid, before removing them (and cracking one of the sides - working with small stock can be challenging - even a #0 wood screw needs a pilot hole if you're going to avoid splits).

The box is a little over 3 inches square and 2¼ inches high. Most of the stock was between ¼ and ⅜ inch thick. The inlay on the sides was sawn to about 3/32 inch thick before being sanded down to less than 1mm thick.

I think the juniper contrasts nicely with the walnut, but also makes a nice contrast with the birch. My attempt at inlaying the piece of juniper in the walnut lid didn't go completely awry. And some of the crushed turquoise I used to fill a void in the juniper is still visible. It'll be interesting to see how the colors change over time. I've never worked with juniper before.

The birch and walnut were bought in Minnesota before we moved, and the juniper is from a branch on a tree in our yard here in New Mexico that we "limbed up" this summer.

And in the end, my sweetie thinks the box is pretty, so I'm happy with it.

Finished with shellac and BLO French polish. Used some dye on the inside of the lid, but it was too runny, so I didn't also do the inside of the box.

Thanks for looking!

Gallery

Comments

· Premium Member
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cute little box - the top is awesome
 

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nice dave good job on those tiny dovetails.
 

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Wow, I figured at least 8"x8" with the first photo. That is some small detail work!
It'll fit up nicely on one of your new shelves, nice "diversion" box!
 

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Nice work, and figuring out technique improvements makes for a happy woodworker. I'm of the impression that the real nature of woodworking is in the thought process for perfecting our methods.
 

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Cool little handsome box Dave.
I like the contrast and the lid has some interesting features/knot/turquoise.
Great job.
Al
 

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Nice way to challenge yourself Dave and a good way to take a break away from all those bookcases. LOL.
Nice looking box.
 

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Would make a sweet little "stash" box. But I am guessing you dont do that anymore; neither do I. Juniper is high on my list of woods I want and will likely never get.
 

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Thanks, Dick! I really like the look of the juniper. Wish I had easy access to some larger pieces.

Thanks, Pottz! Took some care to cut them that small.

Splint, I see the problem! The box is 8×8 cm

Tom, it took me about 5 times as long to make as a bookcase, but an awful lot of that time was staring into space figuring out what came next so I didn't cut myself into a corner.

Thanks, Tony! I might have to try making one an inch square out of ⅛" veneer or something. ;-)

Thanks, MrWolfe! Digging through the scraps to find a nice piece takes longer when that piece could be ¾ x ¼ x 3…

Yeah, Dave. More than once I was cursing my bratwurst fingers, but I prevailed.

Brian, I'd be happy to swap olive for juniper some time. Shoot me a message and maybe we can figure out some details. Probably have to be spring or summer so I can harvest the juniper, though.
 

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Dave, You won my big tick of approval with the dovetail corners on that beautifully finished box.
 

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Very art full box and nice color contrast.

We had a big Juniper tree close to our house on our property in big bear Ca.

I we had to trim it and I used the branches for firewood. Wished I saved some.

I didn't know the wood would look so nice.

What type of mini plane is that?
 

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Thanks, Peter! I think I can do better, but this was mostly a learning project, so I'm happy with it.

Thanks, James. I wasn't sure what to expect of juniper. I should maybe send a chunk to the guy that runs The Wood Database so he can get pictures and such for it.

The mini plane is a Bridge City Tools HP-8 Mini Block Plane and the rails on the side make it very handy for thicknessing small pieces. Plus, having been using my other block planes a lot making bookcases, this one was known sharp.
 

· Banned
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Thanks, Peter! I think I can do better, but this was mostly a learning project, so I'm happy with it.

Thanks, James. I wasn't sure what to expect of juniper. I should maybe send a chunk to the guy that runs The Wood Database so he can get pictures and such for it.

The mini plane is a Bridge City Tools HP-8 Mini Block Plane and the rails on the side make it very handy for thicknessing small pieces. Plus, having been using my other block planes a lot making bookcases, this one was known sharp.

- Dave Polaschek
i spotted that bridge city right off,many here will put you down with,oh bridge city i guess your rich,comment.their tools are top of the line meaning, veritas,lie nielson quality except a level above that! i happen too own a few of their tools and i regret none.that plane for 79.00 is a very good deal based on the precision of their tools.at least based on the ones i own that were made before they were sold.
 

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Pottz, I don't regret any of their older tools, but I bought a JointMaker Pro after Harvey took over. It's one of the few tools I regret buying. I've emailed with John Economaki (after getting no response contacting their customer service) and got replacement parts under warranty, but it's still sitting in pieces and I haven't gotten it put back together with the replacement parts I never should have needed in the first place.

I get that a lot of companies are having trouble with staffing in the age of COVID and that things happen, but the JMP is a big hunk of regret, taking up space in my shop. I wish it was up and running. Would've used it building this box if it had been. Maybe one of these days I'll get the motivation to put it back together, but more likely, it'll sit there serving as a reminder.
 

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Nice box Dave. Making small stuff can be a challenge. Looks like you got the best of it. Love that flare on the top.
 

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Thanks, SteveN. The juniper branch I have looks like it was two or three branches that grew together, so it's got bark inclusions running through it. Makes for interesting color, especially when I manage to slice a piece "correctly" to expose it in a nice pattern.
 

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Nice job and congratulations on your 'Daily Top 3' award.
 
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