Carved Box finished!

Carved box complete!

As chronicled in the following posts one, two, three, I’ve been working on a carved box in the style of a 17th century pattern.  Inspired by Peter Folansbee, and his blog I’ve gone down a pretty deep rabbit hole, and I’ve been having a blast with it.  I’m planning to continue the practice carving starting with my next project, possibly a saw till, and keep at it.  While I am happy with what I put together, it only showed me how much I had to learn.  I’ve been doing lots of research, and as usual buying books.  I still can’t find Chinnery, but I do have it on loan from the library right now, and it’s a gold mine of pictures and information.

Picking up where I last left off with the carved sides and ends, I now had to put together these carved boards into a box of some kind.  I started by trimming the boards to their final size, which took some work to figure out as I didn’t have any good wide boards for the bottom or a possible lid.  I had to rethink my design quite a bit, and finally settled on a shape.  It had been going to be a box with a lid and molding around the bottom edge, but instead I opted to simplify things quite a bit.  It’s now going to be for my carving tools which I’ve started gathering a number of.

Rabbets and Birdcage Awls



After I had the sides trimmed, I used my moving fillister plane and a rabbet plane to make some rabbets, a simple procedure I nonetheless made more complicated that it needed to be.  My fillister plane needs a bit of adjusting I think, so I had to do a lot of clean up with the rabbet plane.  It’s something I need to do a few more of before I feel comfortable doing it.  Next I needed to make some holes for my nails.  I decided to try something I’d read about, and use a “birdcage” awl.  I took a cheap ice pick I’d gotten from Harbor Freight, and using a grinder made the tip a four sided pyramid instead a rounded point.   Using this I twisted it back and forth in one spot, and it made a rather nice hole.  It’s a old trick apparently, but it’s not too common from what I’ve around the blog-o-sphere.  I also tried out my gimlet bits that I picked up ages ago at a tool show.  Those worked well enough, but took a long time to get started, so I finally settled on a combination of awl and gimlet bit which was fairly quick, especially when I did a whole series of holes.

Scalloped Edges

Once all the wholes were bored, I put some finishing touches on the edges with a gouge.  I’ve seen this done on quite a number of 17th century boxes, and it was quick and easy to do.  So now I had my bottom board cut, sides trimmed, and everything prepped.  I nailed it together with some Wrought Head Nails I ordered from Rockler.  They gave it a nice touch.  I’m not sure if they are accurate, but my box isn’t really going for full period anyway.

End View (sorry for the bad focus)

Side View

After I finished I brought it up to show the family.  My son immediately put it to it’s proper use, putting wooden train tracks into.

Nice box Dad!


  1. Alviti May 3, 2011

    Love the box. I think its great that even though you spent a lot of time and effort on this box your not wrapping it up in cotton wool – it’s being used! I’m sure your family will use and keep it for many years to come.

  2. Badger May 3, 2011

    Oh yeah, around my house stuff needs to be functional! And sturdy. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *