Walnut Fountain Pen Box


This was the fourth in a progression of “shaped front” boxes, and the first to incorporate a hidden release drawer. The box holds my modest collection of fountain pens, but could equally serve as a jewelry box.

This box is 11 1/4” wide, 5” tall, and 8 1/2’ deep. It is veneered in walnut burl. The lid is a four-way match, and the sides are a two-way match. It was a challenging box to veneer, as the combination of curved surfaces and very close tolerances converge to create challenging shapes.

The substrate is Baltic birch ply, walnut solids, and MDF. The edging is boxwood, bordered by a black/black/white/black line. The lock escutcheon is brass, from www.WhiteChapel-Ltd.com as is the full mortise lock. The English-made Queen Anne handles are from www.LeeValley.com .

The drawer front is shaped on the inside to reflect the exterior shape and provide a bit more usable space inside. The release mechanism is spring loaded, and activated by the small turned betel nut knob located at the rear of the open lid. When raised, the drawer pops out a bit so it can be easily opened. When the drawer is pushed back in, the drawer latches back into the closed position. It is an elegant and reliable mechanism designed by Andrew Crawford.

I try to provide a surprise when the box is opened or turned upside down. The interior is lined with dark green pig suede leather, and incorporates a single offset tray of African blackwood, and inner partitions that hold a single bottle of Pelican “Edelstein” ink, chosen in part for its shapely glass bottle.

The inner edges of the lid and base are highlighted by a subtle white/black/white line. The hinges are Andrew Crawford’s smartHinges. I decided to also cover the bottom with leather, complementing the interior. The finish is French polish.

I’ve created a 112 page “photo documentary” which allows the reader to “look over my shoulder” throughout the construction of this box. It includes nearly 200 photographs and describes each step in considerable detail. It is available for download from www.smartBoxmaker.com. It is, perhaps, the most complete description ever published for a single box. LOL

Thanks everyone for looking in.


Still one of my favorite boxes, Beautiful.

Dennis Zongker

Gorgeous box and wood. Your attention to the fine details is so evident in your boxes.

Exquisite .

Very nice veneer. The inside of you boxes receive as much attention as the outside.

Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

Thanks folks. Appreciated.

Superb quality of construction and very pleasing to the eye


Super designs, Excellent craftmanship!


excellent amazing box your workmanship shines through you glorious work.

woodworking classes, custom furniture maker

Superb doesn’t even cover it- this is a Master Work. I am in awe!

Amor Vincit Omnia

Beautiful wood, which the beautiful work brought out. A piece both the maker and the owner should be proud of.

WOW incredible wood art !!!

working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

I know this is an older submission, but wow!

Ryan/// ~sigh~ I blew up another bowl. Moke told me "I made the inside bigger than the outside".

Roger was a great box maker, one of the very best. Unfortunately we won’t be seeing any more of these wonderful pieces from my very good friend.
RIP Roger.

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

I just started back with this site. I didn’t know Roger had passed. I used to follow his work on another site. His work was incredible, and I always looked forward to his posts. Thanks Roger for all the amazing projects, and inspiration. RIP Roger. Your presence will surely be missed. 

Steve Gaskins

oh wow thats sad to hear he wont be back with us ! at least he left us the gift of his beautiful woodworking ! 

working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.


That is a work of art.  Saving to my favorites.  I will look at your progress photos.  Thanks for posting.