Carved Utility Box

We recently got back from a summer family road trip which was refreshing and tons of fun.  While I was on the road I had a lot of time to think, which you might expect when you put 2950 miles on  your brand new (to us) Subaru Outback. Of the thoughts that looped through my head as we ate up the miles on our Big Adventure (that’s how we pitched it to the three year old in the back seat) was about woodworking.  I also had some time to explore some of the Redwood forest and the carvers that ply their wares by the road side.  Needless to say when we got back, I wanted to get back to the shop and work.

Here is what I got done this nice and sunny afternoon.

Carved Utility Box Front

This is made from some really crappy Big Box oak, which I will never buy again unless I need small crap boxes.  I tried to carve it and it splintered, and chipped, and generally sucked all the fun out of carving.  However, I decided to make it into something I could use around the shop to hold tools and assorted sundries which my shop desperately needs.  So I tried some more free hand carving designs on the sides just for fun, and nailed this together.  It’s sitting outside and drying the coat of spray shellac I just put on it before I snapped these photos.

Carved Utility Box SideCarved Utility Box Side

It doesn’t look half bad in the pictures, but if you got a closer look at it you’d see the quality (or lack thereof) and the terrible job I did nailing it together. For some reason I had some real problems with the nails, and I think I rushed it too much.  Something I need to stop doing when I work.  I need to take my time and focus on the task at hand, not the end product.  It makes me make mistakes, which affect my over all interest in the craft.

Carved Utility Box Side

But I did learn a lot from this box, and I will continue to grow my skills (on some better wood thank you very much).  It will serve a purpose in the shop holding chisels, and reminding me to slow down and work thoughtfully.

Plus it felt good to MAKE something.  I have a very people oriented job, managing a number of teams which makes the physical labor of craft so much more appealing to me.

Now to plan out my next project for this Quartersawn Oak I picked up.  Maybe another box?  Maybe a portable tool carrier? I know it will be carved, so I can continue to practice.


One Comment

  1. Torch02 August 8, 2011

    I know what you mean, both with the boig box oak and the rushing/mistakes. Despite any of your discouragement, it looks like it will still function as required. That’s the great thing about shop projects – function & practice!

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