Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Little Boxes

Is it just me, or do all woodworkers find boxes irresistible? I'm especially attracted to small ones that you discover tucked behind a mountain of other goodies at an antique store. The desire to open the lid to see what the box contains is unsquashable. Even if it turns out to be empty, it was worth looking, wasn't it?

The writing box features a 1/16" thick lid with detailed pull for a small compartment, and 1/16" thick tongues on the breadboard ends of the writing surface that conceals a larger compartment. Details like this reel me in.

A little finger-jointed box (also box-jointed), measuring just 1 3/8" x 3 5/8" x 1 5/8", has a sliding lid with finger pull. All the pieces are 1/8" thick. I have no idea what a miniature box like this might have housed. Maybe drill bits?

Another one of my favorites is a sharpening stone holder that measures 1" x 4 5/8" x 5/8". The lid is hinged and a pin keeps the lid in place. The recess that holds the stone was removed with a chisel, so this box started out as one piece of wood.

The stone also started out as one piece, but quickly became two, as I promptly dropped it upon leaving the antique store where it was purchased.

It might be the spirit of discovery that drives my box attraction—the same reason I love to poke around shops belonging to woodworkers who are pack rats. My shop is on the tidy side, so it's a little dull. But shops with stacks of "stuff"...well, they're just the bee's knees.

Or, to coin a new woodworking phrase, maybe I should say.....
wait for it.....the box's knees.