A Small Carved Box

I needed a small box to hold my auger bits for my braces. I had a little mahogany laying about and figured, a little upscale for auger bits but what the hell it's not doing me any good over here on the cut off pile. As I was cutting the dovetail joints I started to think about how I had heard that mahogany carves like butter so I figured, hey why not, a great chance to practice some of my 17th century carving techniques I picked up from Peter Follansbee's DVD. A couple minutes on the net and I had a couple patterns I hadn't tried yet and I went to town.

The cool thing about this is I got this project started and finished in just one day in the shop, it was a good long enjoyable day, but it was one day, and that makes me smile. At any rate I thought that from here on out I would stop typing and just let the pictures tell the tale of the day.

In some pictures you get a good look at the contrast in the wood between sap wood and heart wood, I oriented the stock when I was putting it together to make sure the darker band chased itself around the bottom of the box. A Danish Oil finish and I called it good. I do have to give a little shout out over to the Badger Woodworks Blog because it was his practice carving of a similar vein that inspired me to give the "S" scroll a try on the backside. I have to admit, his turned out better than mine, I ended up trying to stretch it too much for my proportion tastes.Overall a very satisfying project.

Here's a few final pictures:

I really begin to dig that heart wood, sap wood contrast. I made a good choice orienting the darker along the bottom, I think it gives this small box a little bit of gravity and weight.

Ratione et Passionis


  1. It is much more rewarding to have a complete project from the practice rather than just a bunch of pieces of carved scrap.

    My first gut reaction was that it was awfully chunky thick stock. Then I remembered the box that my auger bits are in and how it is falling apart. :)

  2. Oh by far a complete project feels better, I am actually pretty proud of this little box. It was a lot of fun.

    I kind of thought the stock was a little thick too, I would have resawn the stock down from 3/4" thick to 1/2" if the box's destiny was anything else I might have done more to refine it. At least I like to think I would.

    Hopefully it will hold up for a while :)

  3. Stunning work Derek, keep it up !

  4. nice job, looks great

  5. Looks a little better than the hardboard and pine box mine are in. :) Keep up the good work Derek.

  6. Derek,
    This is my first visit to your blog (through Adam Cherubini). I really like the literate side and really like this box. I do 18th cen. woodworking and have always admired the extra time and effort made to adorn plain objects. I look forward to following you.

    Clark Schoonover
    South Beloit, Il.

  7. Hello Clark.

    Thank you very much for the kind words, I have to admit I list a little 18th century myself. Thank you for following along.



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