Walnut Man Box

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This is another box from a while back. I don’t make many solid boxes, generally preferring veneered pieces, but this one is another favorite. It is made from highly figured black walnut with a thumbnail moulding bordering the solid lid piece. The lid was a bit of a challenge, as the rabbeted tongue on the lid fits into an eighth inch groove in the moulding. As such, the fit has to be absolutely perfect, or the miters will not pull up tight. The inside edge of the moulding also needs to line up with the box sides, or the resulting ledge will make lining difficult. A small rebate on the underside of the lid reduces the apparent thickness.

The entire box, except for the bottom, is made from a single board, so the size was pretty much determined by the available wood. I still have more of this same slab available, so perhaps there will be another piece on the way sometime.

The delicate base moulding follows the pattern on an antique humidor I picked up many years ago. It is very finicky to make without aberrations in the very fine cuts, but I do like the period look.

The box is not large, measuring only 11” x 6 1/2” x 3 1/4” high.

The finish is Sutherland-Welles tung oil over Herter’s French Red. The lift is a shaped teardrop piece of African blackwood. The hinges are 1 1/4” Brusso, hand polished. The factory supplied Phillips head screws were replaced with polished slotted screws.

Of the four boxes in this “series” this is my favorite interior, as this piece of walnut was just wide enough to permit a shallow tray, also of African blackwood. The interior and the tray are lined with dark green pig suede. I also covered the inside of the lid, allowing the blackwood tray to be the star of the interior, and not compete with the figured lid. It’s possible to have too much of a good thing.

With only a single offset divider, the tray and the open area beneath offer space for somewhat larger items than would normally be found in, say, a jewelry box. Hence my created title of “man-box”. This one might hold an iPod or cell phone and the related cables, or thumb-drives, a favorite fountain pen, or other stuff a guy might keep. (No sexism implied or intended; I just like the name “man-box”.)

The bottom is finished off in the same leather as the interior with a small pedestal of blackwood presenting the maker’s mark.

Thanks for taking a look.



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