Dovetailed Boxes

These are a set of four dovetailed boxes that I made as part of an exercise in practising cutting dovetails by hand. I wanted to improve my consistency with hand-cut dovetails and making four boxes at the same time seemed like a good exercise. All four boxes were made without any power tools. The dovetails were cut using a Dozuki and my 3D printed dovetail saw guides.

As with all photos on this website, you can click on the images to see a bigger version.

The sides, base and lid of the first box are ash and an unknown reclaimed wood that may be teak. The lining is Cedar of Lebanon and the handle is another piece of the unknown wood. The handle was cut with a coping saw and then shaped with files and sandpaper. To hold the handle in place, I tapped a couple of panel pins into the handle and then cut them off so they were short. I then glued the handle to the lid; the pins help keep the handle in place while the glue dries and also add a little extra strength.

The sides of this box are ash and the unknown reclaimed wood. The lid, base and lining are poplar. On this box I cut deep marking gauge lines and left them in as a feature to see what it would look like. You can see this in the left-most image.

The sides of this box are sweet chestnut and cherry. The lid, base and lining are the unknown reclaimed wood.

This box is a bit different to the others as it's the first box I've completed with a hinged lid. The sides are oak; the end pieces have been treated with an ebonising solution (steel wool dissolved in white vinegar). The result of ebonising the sides gave a finish that was more blue than black, although it darkened considerably once oiled. Having separated the lid from the box, the unstained oak was visible so I chose to cover that with some American Black Walnut, which was also used for the lining. I don't think I'll do much ebonising in future, especially for contrast situations. It's far too easy to remove the black finish when tidying up the dovetails.

The lid and the base are beech.

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