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Companion Tool Box

This is the companion box to the little box I posted a couple weeks ago which holds my little mini router plane. This one is larger, 12 3/8” x 9 3/4” x3 3/4” high. The boxes are similar in design, but not intended to be a matched set. This one is fitted to hold my Steve Latta/Lie-Nielsen inlaying tools and the various blades. In the case of each box, the tools have a number of small, easy to lose, parts, so I thought a fitted box was the way to keep things all together.

The box itself is made of intensely figured imbuya veneer over Baltic birch substrate. I’ve been quite taken with this veneer ever since I first saw the picture on line. It’s very dark, almost black in places, yet the “snakeskin” like pattern is so fierce that it still comes through clearly. I’ve been looking for the right project for it for a while, and this is it.

There are numerous ways to complete inlays, and I probably use them all at one time or another, but Steve Latta designed this set to do the stringing inlay common to Federal period furniture. And, they do this job really well. As with all Lie-Nielsen tools, they’re also attractive in their own right, so a box to hold them seemed appropriate. (Not to mention keeping track of all the little blades and accessories.)

Edging is black dyed boxwood, with white/black/white accent lines. The interior is veneered with nutmeg burl, and the fitted bottom tray lifts out to reveal the original tool documents. I used a contra partie (reverse pattern) of the same cipher (monogram), using the dark version for the larger box, and inlayed it on the inside of the lid. It was stack-cut on my chevalet from ebony, cherry and curly maple.

The hinges are heavy extruded brass butt hinges from a hardware store in Wales. The catch is a brass slide catch from Andrew Crawford. The hardware has been hand polished. The finish is French polish. Probably not the smartest idea to put a mirror finish on a shop box, but what the heck. Beauty is beauty. Practical, well, that’s a different thing. LOL

No ebook on this one. It’s essentially the same process as the Pepperwood Writing Box edition available from

Thanks for taking a peek. Now, I need to get busy on a couple Federal tables.


Both real beauties Roger, so well crafted and suited to their purpose.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway

Setting the bar pretty high Roger. These boxes are unmistakably yours. They have RB written all over them …….. literally. :-)

Really nice work.

-- The early bird gets the worm but its the second mouse that gets the cheese.


-- MontanaBob


Your work never ceases to amaze us. What incredible perfection!


-- “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin

Incredible nice tool box but then the tools that it houses deserve this .
Over the top Roger !!!!!!!!!!

These are elegant and graceful. So often our “toolboxs” are cheap plywood affairs that we’ve thrown together out of necessity. Yours are things of beauty that I’m sure you are proud of every time you look at them.

-- Rob, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

“What the heck…beauty is beauty.” You are amazing.

-- Might As Well Dance :

absolutely beautiful boxes.

Unless the tool is made from solid gold no tool is worthy of such a amazing box.

-- woodworking classes, custom furniture maker