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Box 4 In Afromosia And Walnut

author-gravatar MarksWoodworking Apr 16, 2017

Box 4 in afromosia and walnut.  

Reproduction of Matt's box #4, which is obviously a beautiful damn box.  Pulls are keyrings wrapped in string, drawer fronts are a custom mix of milk paint, painted on thin to leave the open grain of the afromosia visible.  

Walnut drawers with walnut veneered drawer bottoms.

Glamour shot of the afromosia.  So much chatoyance - it just shimmers in the light.  Finished with shellac and paste wax.  

Quick note on paste wax - I picked up some renaissance paste wax for these boxes and while it was obnoxiously pricey ($25 for a little can) it's a solidly superior product to the minwax stuff I was using before.  I'll never go back.

So to stay faithful to the original it needs to be 6" deep.  Problem - my benchtop bandsaw can't do a 6" resaw.  Solution - rip, resaw, and glue back up.

Resawn pieces about 3" wide

So I'm trying something tricky here.  When you use a single board for the box to get the continuous grain wrap, the 4th joint has no grain wrap.  So what if I bookmatch the long way?  Then, if I cut it right, where the last piece ends the first piece begins - continuous grain wrap.  

Another shot of layout.

Pieces cut and mitered on the donkey's ear, now time to be glued back up.

Stopped dado for the divider and the first of my two errors.  I didn't notice when putting this together that Matt's drawers are different sizes.  

Box glued up; time for the drawers.  The drawer pieces are all RS walnut - resawn from a board that was exactly the right thickness (just over 6/4).  Result is gorgeous - the straight grain of the RS walnut compliments the straight grain of the afomosia.  I also looked for a piece of walnut that looked like it hadn't been steamed.  I got this board secondhand so I don't know its origins, but it sure looks like unsteamed walnut to me.

Same method for the shopsawn veneer for the drawer bottoms, just a thinner cut.  Rip 'n flip. 

Veneered to 1/4" ply.

My veneer press - cookbook to apply even pressure.

Pretty, huh?  And this is even before surface prep.

Divider running the same direction as the box.  Because wood moves.

Decided to take my first shot at shopmade ply for the back.  Used offcuts from the boxes - afromosia, walnut, and ash.  So, some pretty damn fancy plywood.

Drawers done and fronts taped on to finalize fit and placement

Cutting the cotter pins that hold the pulls.  I used Matt's method of wrapping to avoid having a hump in the pull.  It's complicated to explain (Matt discusses it a couple of times in his blog I think) but involves using a second throwaway piece of string being wrapped under the final few wraps, looped around the main string, then pulled back through the wrap as you're finishing.  

This is also the second of my two errors - Matt's rings are definitely smaller than these.  I got the smallest ones I saw at Lowe's but clearly I should have looked harder. 

Finding center for the holes.

All done!  

This was a hell of a fun build.  I'm really happy with my decision to substitute afromosia for QSWO, even if abandoning QSWO isn't going to score me any points with Mike P (yes, I listen to way too much shoptalk live).  I think it captures a lot of what the QSWO accomplishes in the original - same color tones, same open grain - but I just love how the straight ribbons of afromosia compliment that RS walnut.   

Thanks for looking.  


I love all of your boxes but I think this one is my favorite. Just stunning. I love all of the wood choices and the paint looks great too! Thanks for sharing. 

Thanks Sean!  Obviously this contest inspired me quite a bit.  Shoptalk Live is my favorite podcast and I've really enjoyed following Matt's 52 boxes project, so I was stoked to be able to dig in for this contest.  This box is also my favorite - it's just a beautiful piece of design - which is why I saved it for last (I finished it this morning).  I needed the experience on the smaller boxes to to build up to this.

 Sean  said:

I love all of your boxes but I think this one is my favorite. Just stunning. I love all of the wood choices and the paint looks great too! Thanks for sharing. 

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