Gift Box

Posted on September 13, 2012


Here’s an extract from a conversation I’ve had a few times recently with several different (non-woodworking) people:

Me: I’ve bought a spindle moulder
Other Person: What would you want one of those for?
Me: Do you know what one is?
Other Person: Well I assume it makes spindles…why would you want to do that?
Me: No, it machines profiles onto bits of timber
Other Person: You don’t normally make things with spindles in them
Me: NO, THAT’S NOT WHAT IT’S FOR, it cuts a moulding on the edge of the timber
Other Person: Oh, like on a spindle?
Me: ARRRRGGGGGGH *bangs head repeatedly against spindle moulder*

and so on…

Interestingly, American woodworkers would call this a shaper, because it shapes the wood…that’s far too straightforward for the nation that invented cricket and parliamentary democracy, so we’ll have to stick with Spindle Moulder. Strictly speaking it’s not really necessary for this project, but in the interests of commissioning and trying out a new machine I decided to make use of it on a box for a friends upcoming wedding gift.

See, not a spindle in sight.

The profiles on the lid (including a rebate that you can’t see in this picture) and base are machined on with the said machine.

The box sides are joined with hand cut dovetails, which people seem to like and should create something that will last for generations.

This box is an exercise in recycling;

The bottom is a board end of American White Oak left over from the downstairs bathroom project.
The sides are the very last board of my stash of recycled 1960’s oak library shelves.
The top is one of the few pieces of useable wood from a stack I bought years ago at a local tree surgeons sawmill*

*As I examine the stack of wood in question the tree surgeon says to me “there might be a bit of Turkey Oak in that pile”. Never having heard of Turkey Oak, but determined to style it out, I respond “Oh right, Turkey Oak, Yeah no worries” We agree a price and delivery and I leave the sawmill feeling like a true craftsman sourcing his materials in the wild. Five minutes on Google after arriving home and I learn that Turkey Oak is prone to crack and split and is generally seen as pretty useless…fast forward about 5 years and what I can confirm is that Turkey Oak burns very nicely indeed. I’m pleased to say there were a few bits that got used in furniture, of which this is the last.

The delicately hand painted plate in the box is Claire’s contribution to this truly handmade gift, which hopefully will remind the recipients of their happy day for years to come.


Posted in: Ed, Furniture, Woodwork