Travelling Hexagon toolbox – Part 3

See Previous installments on this project here:

Part  1 - Part 2

Today saw the completion of the third panel for my toolbox project, which I am pretty pleased with. This pattern is based on the work of Peter Follansbee whom I owe a great debt of gratitude to for his blog, and his heavy emphasis on authenticity and style.  He has done a great video on this exact pattern, which I believe is based on a pattern from a William Savell box from sometime in his life 1590 – 1669 which you can see here:

Finished Carving - My version of the PF/Savell pattern.

Finished Carving – My version of the PF/Savell pattern.

I took some liberties with the pattern, making it my own which was partially dictated by the tools I have and width and characteristics of the Alder.  Based on all the images I’ve pored over, comparing patterns by the same maker, or from the same shop I think this is pretty much how the period craftsman did it.

This pattern is laid on a square grid due to the arcs that are the basis for this pattern.  To find this scale, I laid out the long center-line, and the short center-line as usual, and used my dividers to find a spacing that worked which took a few tries to get right.  I started with one point in the center and put the other near the top in what looked like a decent border for the edge.  The first attempt was somewhere in the neighborhood of 1/2″, and when I walked this down the length to the end.  The first attempt ended up roughly halfway to the end, so I adjusted the arm a little bit, and did it again until I found a measurement that looked right at the end and the top margin.

Pricking the top and bottom margin first, I used my marking gauge to set these in with the scratch point.  Then I walked this out again along the center-line, pricking the board deep enough to leave a mark.  Finally I used my square and awl to scratch a line at each of these points to complete the layout.

Layout, and first cuts with the V Tool

To create the arcs, I picked a point along the center and with my dividers scratched a half circle onto the top half.  Leaving the point in the wood I scratched the bottom half, then repeat all the way down doing the top and bottom half. (Really, go by Follansbee’s video, he does a better job explaining this).

Then I pulled the arms in a little judging it by eye what would look good, and struck a series of arcs inside the first arc.  This is my main outline for the circular bits which I followed the scratch lines with my V tool going down the line, stopping at the center line as seen above. (I snapped the picture showing the little pigtails that get left behind as I went down the line.)

Next it’s a simple matter to set in the fleur portion at the points where the half circles meet. I used small deep gouge first for the underside of the fleur, then followed by a bigger slightly less deep gouge to make the leaves.  Remove the background with a small flat gouge, and bevel the outside of the top arc.  Finish with the texture punch on the inside, and add come half moon gouge cuts to the top, followed by a nail punch accent just for kicks.


Here are the tools I used in this carving.

Tools used

Tools used

Three more panels to go!

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