Made a mistake? Celebrate it!
This year for my wife’s birthday I made her a small mitered box out of English sycamore. It’s a simple piece, with a rabbeted lid and cherry splines reinforcing the corners.
Work on it went fast, but when it came time to flush-trim the splines, I made what looked to be a fatal error. On the last spline, I tore out a small bite with my block plane. Chin down, shoulders hunched, I mulled the options… remake, patch, or recut the splines… Eeek.
Suddenly, as I was holding the box, I noticed that the chipout was catching light in a cool way. I looked closer at the bite mark, and realized it sort of looked like a lamb’s tongue. Inspired, I took a risk and proceeded to nip away a small portion on all of the splines in the same way using a chisel. Turns out, my mistake was a design victory, creating multiple points of interest in the corners.
This small box was an enlightening woodworking journey. Sometimes a mistake can change a project for the better.
Small chisel bites in each spline created small, eye-catching details in the corners of the box.
I rode the creative wave onto the lid, taking the sole knot from the board and making it into the handle. It’s mortised into the lid, and the curve was feehanded on the bandsaw, following the grain.
You can see the facets pretty clearly here.
I made the box for my wife's birthday. It can hold pens, pencils, hair scrunchies, phone accessories...