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Forum topic by StumpyNubs posted 11-05-2011 08:27 PM 9349 views 3 times favorited 236 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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7853 posts in 4015 days

11-05-2011 08:27 PM

Topic tags/keywords: humor resource jig tip question trick oak ash cedar willow basswood cherry maple pine walnut bandsaw carving tool drill-driver planer scroll saw chisel drill press miter saw router spray gun blade clamp jointer plane sander tablesaw milling shaping finishing joining sanding sharpening rustic victorian traditional

UPDATE: The voting is over, the auction is ongoing, please visit the “WRAPUP THREAD” and leave your comments there. Thanks again for all the votes- every single one was very much appreciated!

If you are new to this thread- here’s the original instructions. But since the voting has ended they do not apply anymore. Background: Charles Neil, perhaps one of the most well known professional woodworkers in America today, challenged yours truly (Stumpy Nubs) to a friendly competition. It is not intended to decide who the best woodworker is, it is merely about which of these two boxes are best. The winner can certify himself the world’s greatest craftsman anytime he likes.

How the judging occured: LJ members just read the instructions, looked at the photos and left their decision in the comment section below. This wasn’t meant to be a simple vote for which one you like best. There are three specific categories upon which each box must be judged:

1. Form & Concept: This is the “style” category. How much does the craftsman’s design appeal to you? Is the overall form attractive and unique? Rate this category from 1-10.

2. Joinery & Construction: This is the “skill” category. Did the craftsman build the box to last? Did he create a proper balance of strength and beauty with his selection of joint types? How well were those joints executed? How difficult were the joints, and what level of skill do they reveal? Rate this category from 1-10.

3. Function & Usefulness: This is the “practicality” category. The rules stated that the purpose of the “box or small cabinet” must be to sit on an end table and hold a remote control and whatever else a person would want nearby. Did the craftsman follow those rules in his design? How useful would this box be on the average living room end table? Does the box display a significant level of thought about what a person may want to use such a box for and application of those ideas into the design? Rate this category from 1-10.

EXAMPLE: You may make any comments you like, but your vote should also include something like this (substitute whatever numbers you deem appropriate for the categories):

Form- 9

AUCTION FOR CHARITY: The original rules of this contest stated that Charles and I would give our boxes to each other in an effort to ensure that neither craftsman invested an excessive amount of money in an effort to win. Since then I agreed to alter those rules to allow for the boxes to be auctioned off and the proceeds to be donated to charity. Well, SOMETHING HAS COME UP. A couple of days ago, while I was working on this build my father-in-law died suddenly. So I have decided that, instead of selling my box, I am going to give it as a condolence gift. Charles will still be auctioning his off for charity, but that auction can not be held until after the judging ends and it is revealed which box he built. So judge now, and if you like, you’ll be given the opportunity to bid later. Sorry for the confusion, but death in the family trumps the proposed sale of any box.

So without further adeu- here’s the entries…


This unique box is an eclectic mixture of long standing period forms that cut across many furniture periods and geographical regions. The box is constructed using claro walnut and antique tiger maple. The wood tones and extreme figure compliment and enhance each other. The secret compartment in the bottom of the box adds to the uniqueness of the design and adds an element of surprise for the user. The box uses conventional internally reinforced miters. The box demonstrates how well known forms can be combined to create a new innovative design.

This box was inspired by the 1920’s Art Deco table top radios, which were inspired by the scyscrapers and tall buildings of the day. It combines the beauty of a unique form with loads of functional features including a clock, and three drawers that will hold all the stuff that usually clutters an end table. The box is constructed using salvaged black walnut and spalted maple from a firewood pile. The box is carefully designed so that the seams of the door are impossible to see except for on the back, making it look like a simple clock or radio that doesn’t open. Several different types of joinery are used including rabbet, dado, tongue and groove, miter and dovetail joints. The box demonstrates how classic forms can still be used in fine furniture today.

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

236 replies so far

View shopdog's profile


582 posts in 4700 days

#1 posted 11-05-2011 08:45 PM

Beautiful boxes…both.
There are no losers in this contest.
It’s gonna take time for my mind to percolate
I’ll make my decision someday soon,
after looking at them a couple hundred more times.

-- Steve--

View John Ormsby's profile

John Ormsby

1288 posts in 4952 days

#2 posted 11-05-2011 08:51 PM

I like both entries.

Entry # 1

form 9
joinery 10
function 9

Entry # 2

form 8
joinery 7
function 7

Please note: I would have made something more in the IKEA designs range if we’re talking about for the average home. Something that needs assembly.

Good luck to the both of you !!!!!!!

-- Oldworld, Fair Oaks, Ca

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 4389 days

#3 posted 11-05-2011 08:53 PM

Holy pig poop !

Anybody have a coin I can flip ??

-- -- Neil

View StumpyNubs's profile


7853 posts in 4015 days

#4 posted 11-05-2011 08:54 PM

John- Thanks for the vote, but please read the instructions on how to judge. We will be adding up the total scores on all three catagories, so you have to follow the instructions for this to work. Thanks.

-- Subscribe to "Stumpy Nubs Woodworking Journal"- One of the crafts' most unique publications:

View sras's profile


6326 posts in 4344 days

#5 posted 11-05-2011 08:55 PM

Two exceptional entries! Congratulations to both builders. Stumpy – sorry to hear about your loss. Your box will be going to a good cause. I’ll cast my vote.

Form – Both are quite attractive. Box 1 has wonderful lines and materials that create a stunning result. Box 2 offers a classic shape that invites curiosity. I’m not sure about the material choice for the drawer fronts – but that is a matter of preference…

Joinery – Another close match up. Both appear to have solid and well crafted construction. The dovetails on box 2 put the joinery on display while Box 1 relies on perfect miters as the means to show the maker’s joinery skill.

Function – When it come to holding remotes and being part of the TV room, this depends on one’s needs. The capacity of Box 2 adds some practicality. Both provide an excellent alternative to the clutter of multiple remotes.

So … here are my scores

Box 1:

Form – 10
Joinery – 8
Function – 8

Box 2:

Form – 8
Joinery – 9
Function – 9

Best wishes to both entries and their builders.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View RONFINCH's profile


143 posts in 4139 days

#6 posted 11-05-2011 08:59 PM

Entry #1
Form & Concept: 10 – Beautiful
Joinery & Construction: 10 – Nice and tight
Function & Usefulness: 8 – Might hold 1 remote, but I have three

Entry #2
Form & Concept: 10 – Absolutely love the concept
Joinery & Construction: 10 – Flawless, as far as I can tell
Function & Usefulness: 7 – Too dang big for my end table or coffee table

I really like both of these entries, they both show skill in their conception and construction.

View Newage Neanderthal's profile

Newage Neanderthal

190 posts in 3765 days

#7 posted 11-05-2011 09:01 PM

Box 1:
Form – 9
Joinery – 9
Function – 8

Box 2:
Form – 7
Joinery – 7
Function – 8

-- . @NANeanderthal on twitter

View ShaneA's profile


7085 posts in 3813 days

#8 posted 11-05-2011 09:14 PM

Box 1
Form 9
Joinery 9
Function 6

Really beautiful box, wood, execution all very nice.

Box 2
Form 7
Joinery 8
Function 9

Nice looking box, more functional, nice wood for drawer fronts.

Congrats to you both, very good entries. Stumpy, you did well no matter which box is yours.

View woodsmithshop's profile


1425 posts in 4760 days

#9 posted 11-05-2011 09:15 PM

box 1

form 10
joinery 10
function 9


form 10
joinery 10
function 7

my feelings about the function of the boxes is that both would not be as handy to use as I like, I want my remote really handy, I don’t want to have to fiddle with lids and such in order to use it, (ok, I’m lazy) other than that they are both beautiful well made boxes

-- Smitty!!!

View 1978's profile


167 posts in 4824 days

#10 posted 11-05-2011 09:20 PM

Box 1:

Box 2:

View MikeZ's profile


5 posts in 4264 days

#11 posted 11-05-2011 09:23 PM

Both are real nice and I think anyone would enjoy having these in their living room. Box 1 would be a universal fit in just about any decor while Box 2 is large and might stick out a bit in the wrong decor. Function wise, Box 2 is a bit more specific to the task being able to hold various items sure to be found in the TV room and the clock is both a practical and graceful addition. Form wise, Box 1 just blows me away with the beautiful wood contrast, grain enhancing finish and how the curves in the top accentuate the curves of the box sides.

Way to go guys.

Box 1:
Form- 10
Joinery- 9
Function- 7

Box 2:
Form- 8

View semi75's profile


78 posts in 4115 days

#12 posted 11-05-2011 09:26 PM

Wow #1 is a beautiful, I am impressed!
Form- 10

#2- Sorry, I can see how it would be useful but I have never been a fan of art deco on any level. Still you can tell a lot of work went into it.
Form- 4

View JJohnston's profile


1622 posts in 4506 days

#13 posted 11-05-2011 09:31 PM

Box 1:
Form – 6
Joinery & Construction – 10
Function – 5

Box 2:
Form – 10 – Reminds me of the movie “Brazil”, or a Tex Avery cartoon
Joinery & Construction – 8
Function – 10

-- "A man may conduct himself well in both adversity and good fortune, but if you want to test his character, give him power." - Abraham Lincoln

View shopsmithpoppi's profile


37 posts in 3766 days

#14 posted 11-05-2011 09:32 PM

Entry #1

Form- 9

Entry #2

Form- 8

I really like both of these boxes. I think they are both very well thought out and constructed. I did how ever feel they both had different weak points.

The First Entry was elegant and yet simple at the same time. When I say simple I am not referring to easy of construction or craftsmanship. I mean it has a simple concept to its functionality which gives it its beauty and eye appeal at the same time. I really loved the secret compartment and the way its held in place again holds to the simple but appealing element of this project. I thought it was over very well done but lacked in total functionality.

The Second Entry hit me with a flood of nostalgia and a feeling an old life that has long been past by. I loved it but my first impression is where is the spalted maple? Then I was flooded again when the lid was open with the spalted maple. I love spalted woods epically maple but it seemed out of place and didn’t fit. If perhaps there had been some accent of the maple on the exterior then I would have thought it belonged. Which brought to mind what type of wood is the clock mounted in?

I however did love the fact that the box was well thought out and highly fictional able to hold many items you would find on an end table. But at the same time it seem to be too large not gaudy just over sized for an end table in my opinion.

Over all I would love to have either of them in my home. But I really liked the simple beauty of the first entry the best.

-- Think it, See it, Design it. Build it, Enjoy it!

View ColdAudio's profile


16 posts in 3697 days

#15 posted 11-05-2011 09:32 PM

Box 1:
Form – 6
Joinery – 8
Function – 5

Box 2:
Form – 9
Joinery – 8
Function – 8

showing 1 through 15 of 236 replies

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