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The Editors Mailbox

Working with reclaimed lumber, part 4

comments (3) September 28th, 2009 in blogs

MKenney Matthew Kenney, senior editor
thumbs up 15 users recommend

Simplicity. I like boxes clean and elegant. I tried for that with this one. The sides are cherry, the top and bottom are softwood that I reclaimed from studs, and the lift is ebony.
No one wants an empty box. I made three trays for the interior. I especially like the slightly arced dividers on the two top trays.
Shallow trays are good for notions. My mom is a quilter. Quilters must have small little notions and whatnots, right?
Trays on display. All three trays can be taken out of the box.
Simplicity. I like boxes clean and elegant. I tried for that with this one. The sides are cherry, the top and bottom are softwood that I reclaimed from studs, and the lift is ebony. - CLICK TO ENLARGE

Simplicity. I like boxes clean and elegant. I tried for that with this one. The sides are cherry, the top and bottom are softwood that I reclaimed from studs, and the lift is ebony.

Photo: Matt Kenney

Well, it's finally done. It took me less than a month to get it made and finished (Of course, I'm not counting from when I actually cleaned up the reclaimed studs and glued up the panels for the top and bottom. Then it would closer to eight or nine months!) That might seem like quite a while to make a box, but I also made a wall cabinet during the same time.

At any rate, I'm happy with how it turned out. I'm still not great at applying a finish, but I'm not terrible either. The finish is shellac. I applied numerous coats with a good quality Taklon artist's brush (more on Taklon brushes), sanding between coats after I got a good base down. Then I padded on several coats and wet sanded between them. I rubbed out the shellac with auto polishing compound that I applied with an old cloth diaper (see a better way to do it here). Lastly, I went over everything with a very fine Scotch-Brite pad.

I'll be boxing it up soon and mailing it to my mom.

If you want to follow along with me as I make the box, check out these other blogs: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.



posted in: blogs, box, cherry, pine, finishing


Comments (3)

neobassman neobassman writes: Matt, this is an inspiring project. I admire your desire to use reclaimed wood, to see the knots and flaws as "beauty marks," and the attention to detail that makes such a simple design elegant. I'm just beginning to master fine boxmaking, and youre provided a great benchmark.

Question: Did you take any steps to strengthen your mitered corners - such as a hidden spline? Can't tell from the photos.

Posted: 6:00 pm on January 28th

Tom Tom writes: That's dandy! Seriously...
Posted: 8:08 pm on September 29th

jakegest jakegest writes: turned out nice. I'm impressed.
Posted: 1:18 am on September 29th

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