The Editors Mailbox

The Editors Mailbox

Cello Box Wins Tablesaw Prize

comments (10) March 26th, 2009 in blogs

thumbs up 68 users recommend

Cello Box by Christopher Moore
Cello Box by Christopher Moore
Cello Box by Christopher Moore
Cello Box by Christopher Moore - CLICK TO ENLARGE

Cello Box by Christopher Moore

We’re absolutely overwhelmed by the response to our Build Outside the Box gallery challenge. It received more than 350 entries in every imaginable size, shape, and material.

It was tough for us to pick just one winner, but we have only one tablesaw to give away. We chose a last-minute entry, Christopher Moore’s Cello Box.


Moore wowed us with his creativity. Adapting cello techniques to this new creation is clearly “outside the box” and the skill required to make a box like this is obvious.

We love the finish… varnished and antiqued to make it look like a “200-year-old, well-used sort of box.”

According to his Web site, Moore graduated from the Chicago School of Violin Making (watch our video tour of the school) and makes instruments professionally. He lives in Madison, Wis., with his wife, also an instrument maker. (Moore actually posted his winning entry while logged in with her account; his screenname is Boogieshop, not MuesliMama, if you were wondering.) 

Cello Box

Ode to the boxes
Entrants demonstrated incredible creativity and skill. Below is a sampling of the boxes that caught our attention.

Michael Craigdallie gave the cello box a run for its money with his Lotus Box. We love this impeccable creation with its graceful legs and intricate design.

Lotus Box  Lotus Box

“It might very well be the finest box I've ever seen,” commented Sandtazam.

People posted countless eccentric designs.

My Nightmares and Dreams

Jeff Baenen's box, My Nightmares and Dreams, captured the attention of many Fine Woodworking editors. Baenen he spent four months of evenings and weekends completing the offbeat piece. "I am a little nervous...nobody but family and friends has seen my work...I hope you like it," he wrote. We surely do.

Walden Pond  Fish Box

Jack Taylor posted two whimsical creations: A rustic reliquary for several pebbles from Walden Pond and a box for a fisherman stuck at his desk.

Surfer Box  Surfer Box

Katherine Tipton's spiky-haired Surfer Poker Box captured several votes from the California contingent on our staff. "All the surfers I have known get out of the water and shake or wipe their hair and then it stands on end," wrote Tipton. She used sharpened hardwood dowels to re-create the effect.

Many boxes made us chuckle, but we were blown away by the beauty and careful craftsmanship of others.

Cauldren Box

Cauldren Box by Alan Carter, also known as Wooddood, garnered many votes from our staff.

Walnut Burl Box

ArronNZ designed a refined box with simple lines to take advantage of an exquisite piece of English walnut burl veneer.

Jewelry Box  Jewelry Box

Jeff Guthrie's skillful Jewelry Box with a bent-laminated lid captured the attention of others.

Black Box Series

Jim Motto's sleek mahogany box is also a favorite. Visit his Web site to see more of his boxes.

The viral vote
Many boxes drew the attention of Web surfers and the online woodworking community.

A Box of Drawers  A Box of Drawers 

Gary Kemper, of Lumberjocks, designed an intricate box for his wife's cross-stitch supplies and raked in more than 23 comments.


Danser, by David Knipfer, drew tremendous popular support with hundreds of recommendations and 20 comments.

Mixed media
We are Fine Woodworking, so the bulk of the submissions obviously were made of wood. Some box makers also made creative use of other materials.

 Throw Me A Curve Throw Me A Curve

Tim Cozzens built his elegant Throw Me a Curve gift box from aluminum with tamo ash and pommele sapele veneer. Photo Jerry Cox

Kathy's Box

Bob Edenhofer made this Cylinder Jewelry Box with black walnut and bird's-eye maple along with pommele sapele and bubinga veneer. He capped the box off with silver-gilded ends finished with a chemical patina. (For more on patina finishes, read David Marks' recipe from FWW #170)

Zen Garden Box

Garethhgriffith's copper and glass Zen Garden Box doesn't contain a speck of wood (even the rake looks like it's made from metal) but it sure is attractive.

Several of the boxes draw on architecture... some even looked like shrines...

Golden Temple  Golden Temple

Roytroutbum built an ornate jewelry box called Golden Temple Of The Ivory Moon.

Outside of the Box

AbBob built a mini Shinto temple.

Pagoda Box

The craftsmanship in Pagoda Box in a Box by oldboxmaker impressed our editors. For another box inspired by Asian architecture, scope out the Tibetan Box

The eeeeeew factor
Finally DrFilmo wins the prize for the most anatomically correct box. It's a thoughtful Valentine's gift for his wife, read the back-story on the entry page for more information, but it's not often that you get to see carved internal organs in our job. The box gave one editor an idea for an upcoming Master Class article: Carving the Superior Vena Cava.

Valentines Box

So, on that note, this will end one of the longest posts in Editors Mailbox history. Thanks to all for the creative and fine-crafted entries. It takes courage to put your work before the world to analyze and judge.

Please feel free to sound off with comments below. If we missed any of your favorites in this round-up, please give them a shout-out below.

Congratulations to Christopher Moore and his Cello Box. And for all the rest... never fear, there are more Fine Woodworking gallery challenges to come. Our "A Whole Lotta Shaker Goin' On" challenge started earlier this week.

posted in: blogs, box, contest winner

Comments (10)

OldSaw OldSaw writes: Absolutely beautiful cello box. I'd love to see an article on how the finishing was done.
Posted: 11:54 am on April 8th

ozmike ozmike writes: Brilliant, I thought I had imagination and reasonable skills. I feel a little humbled, but I enjoyed looking a some great work.
Posted: 3:22 am on April 3rd

Lori K Lori K writes: OMG... I don't know what is more impressive the craftsmanship or the imagination. Great work. Thanks for sharing.
Posted: 10:50 am on April 1st

AlteredCarbon AlteredCarbon writes: Wow. Just, wow. Incredible work, every one of you. Thanks for sharing your talent with us. :)
Posted: 4:10 am on April 1st

marsto45 marsto45 writes: Congratulations! Beautiful artistry. The finish is truly awesome. I too would like to see some more pics of it!

This contest was great, I'm really enjoying the incredible boxes you all have created. They're all amazing!
Posted: 3:48 pm on March 29th

peppersvnv peppersvnv writes: KNock it off, gentlemen. I logged on to do some research, got distracted by the boxes and now I don't remember what it was I intended to research. Give a guy a break will ya!

Beautiful, artistic, original - every one.

Posted: 6:36 pm on March 28th

Boogieshop Boogieshop writes: I just want to thank everyone for the nice comments. It's truly an honor to have my box chosen out of the many creative and well-executed pieces submitted. Thanks so much.
Posted: 10:02 am on March 27th

woodrae woodrae writes: The boxes on this page show an amazingly high level of design and craftsmanship, and boast the talent and diversity of the readership. Everyone here deserves a prize!
Posted: 8:26 am on March 27th

Sandtazam Sandtazam writes: I would like to add that the finish is incredible. To create the aged look as well as it has been done here is nothing short of amazing.
Posted: 3:16 pm on March 26th

Sandtazam Sandtazam writes: While being a beautiful piece, it would have been nice to at least see the inside of this project. Congratulations to the winner. A fine piece of work.
Posted: 2:46 pm on March 26th

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