Hexagonal Keepsake Box
This year really disrupted life in my shop. Working at home really turned my hobby time into work time, so I didn't seem to do much of anything between now and last year, but I wasn't going to let that stop me from making a box for my annual Reddit Secret Santa. For some reason I always end up doing something different, and this year was no exception when I saw these hexagonal boxes Clark Kellogg featured in Fine Woodworking. I'm very pleased with how it turned out, so much so that there are three more waiting to get done on my bench.
I started with an offcut from the cherry I used for my bedframe. At the time I figured it would be handy to keep for this kind of occasion. This does not help my hoarding tendencies.
I was able to get 4 pieces out of this, each with a jointed face on one side. I cut them around a fat 3/8", as I knew they'd be better on the lean side considering the size of the box.
I originally thought I'd be making a single big box out of these, but later opted to make a smaller one with an additional three to give to others.
Sliced up with the first proof of concept.
Labeling joints to make sure I don't make some parallelograms.
I really should have made a sled for these, but due to expedience I opted to use the miter gauge. It did a decent job, but there was enough goofiness that I was not 100% satisfied. I wrestled a lot of it out in the glue up.
I can see why those hexagonal shelves are so in right now. Pretty neat the way they all nest.
For the top and bottom I'm also drawing from the bedframe offcut pile. This time it's a piece of curly maple that I couldn't stand to let go.
Normally when I resaw I just get it where I think it should be and let it fly. This time I was sawing something actually close to a veneer, so I wanted some reassurance. I grabbed this piece of Alaskan Cedar and it turned out fantastic for a first shot. I've kept this around because it's so straight, but the smell is really something else. I don't want to ruin a box interior with some wacky smelling cedar.
Never cut anything this thin before.
Looks even enough.
I chose the less risky move first. These are for the interior parquetry, which isn't ideal with the curve in the grain, but it will do.
They turned out pretty even!
I was too zoned in with the maple to stop and take a photo, but they turned out fantastic.
This stuff really is out of this world.
I traced out rough triangles on the slips of walnut then used the shooting board with a 60 degree insert to trim them to final size.
In true walnut fashion, it was a little splintery at times.
Preview of what to expect in the inserts.
IT looks perfect, but I glued them up in stages and trued them after each one.
First I glued up each half.
Then I would shoot each side straight and glue them together. I didn't get a perfect rotational symmetry on these, but it was close enough for a first try that you can't tell when looking from far away.
Wood sandwich with some 1/4" BB at the core.
Thankfully I saved the small veneer press from last year's box. I followed Sean's instructions on this one.
Parchment paper to make sure I'm not making unintentionally thick lids. :)
After a decent attempt at flattening with a ROS as I have no drum sander on hand.
One side shot, looking like I had good adhesion.
Enter the sketchiest router table without a router table setup you'll see this year.
Looking like it works.
Lid and bottom rabbets.
Utilizing the shooting board to trim this to fit each side.
Fits exactly in place.
Looks good on the inside as well.
I should have used the veneer press to press these in, but this worked out well enough.
Following the same process for fitting the trim around the lid and base.
Blue tape doing work.
Only undershot 1 or two of the trim pieces.
Looking good, no gaps.
Always the worst part. It takes so much confidence to cut your newly completed box straight in half. Thankfully it went well.
Removing the saw marks from each side, not too bad with a sheet of 220.
Just thought it looked fun.
Fit well enough you can hardly see the lid line.
I was in a rush to get this box out the door, so I failed to document the liner, but it was the same process as the sides: resaw and plane to thickness and tablesaw to cut the bevels
I glued them in place with a small dab of liquid hide on the backs of each one as I slid them into place.
Two swipes with my LN 101 to break the sharp edge of the lid and body joint.
Chamfers on the liner for comfort.
In standard fashion, I was two days late at this point so the only finish to go with was shellac. 5 coats in a few hours. Nothing fancy, buffed with white scotchbrite when I was done to give it a matte sheen.
Interior came out good too!
Another year, another box. Using "veneer" has been fun. So much that I'm considering a few projects this year to try it out a little more in depth.
Wow really most impressive! I like details like the interior sleeves which I also do. It makes the box stand out that much more. There are quite a few boxes on my list to make this year and I might just have to try a version of this one!
Great work Scott, really beautiful piece. All my favorite woods too.
That cherry will darken a little too and add even more contrast to the Maple.
You killed it, Scott! I hope you start to sell these because I want one! Damn fine work, man.
Wow, this is beautiful! Great job!