Elegant Veneered Boxes
Veneer creates striking patterns, yet construction is straightforward
Synopsis: Seth Janofsky’s veneered box is relatively simple in design, but the figured maple parquet veneer makes it especially striking. The box itself is built with tongue-and-groove joinery. Both the box and veneer can be made on the tablesaw. Janofsky gives step by step instructions for cutting the maple squares, piecing them together, and cutting the veneer strips. Then he takes readers through the process of applying the veneer to the box and binding it with oak strips. A companion Master Class gives directions for a second box, which features an intricate pattern of cut-out leaves.
When I have a bit of time to work on a special project, I like to make a beautiful box. It’s manageably small yet involves a fair amount of interesting detail work. One of my favorite designs is covered in a parquet of figuredmaple squares.
I originally made boxes like these for collectors of netsuke (small carved objects of stone, wood, or ivory), but of course they can be used for just about any collection of small things.
The box itself is built much like a drawer, with tongue-and-groove joints for the corners and the bottom held in a groove. You can make everything, including the veneers, on the tablesaw.
Although conceptually simple, a parquet pattern can be difficult to execute precisely. In theory, you could cut many squares of veneer and piece them together into a sheet. But I find advantages to cutting blocks of maple, gluing them together, and then cutting that piece into strips of parquet that are glued into sheets.
This method keeps the veneer squares in an orderly sequence relative to the piece of wood from which they came. It creates a surface made more interesting by its display of multiple grain, figure, and color patterns. This…