John Schutz, Winona, MN, US

I am a retired school teacher and have been a woodworker for many years. I love creating new designs and using "repurposed" wood for my projects. I am an avid fisherman and golfer (better at the fishing than the golfing), and I enjoy gardening, travel, reading, and sports.
One of my passions is turning wood that would otherwise be discarded into something beautiful. Much of what I create is based on the size and type of wood I have been able to find or inherit. A beautiful small box can be made from one board foot of wood.

Gender: Male

Birthday: 05/16/1943

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Ship's Wheel and Telegraph

The Minnesota Marine Art Museum in Winonna, MN is a wonderful addition to our community. Recently, the Education Director asked if I could come up with a display that would use the wheel from a...

I-Phone Amplifier

I-Phone amplifier….2.1  I had to try one more…..This is the single "speaker version that allows the phone to be placed in the upright position or on its side. The open slots (see pictures) allow...

Kaler's Treasure Chest

My grandson, Kaler, just had his third birthday, and I figured when a guy reaches that age, he ought to have a place to store his special "stuff". This box is made from quarter sawn oak with African...

Charter Oak Box

Charter Oak Box.....My brother-in-law gave me some lumber milled from a locally famous Black Oak that died a few years ago and recently fell down. As family legend has it, an old great uncle, who...

Two Asian Style Candle Holders

Asian Style candle holders:  Both are constructed of jatoba and solid surface counter material.  The first has the solid surface material drilled through to allow the votive candle holders to hang...

Celtic Knot, French Style Rolling Pin

Celtic Knot, French style rolling pin of oak and walnut.  I finally had to take a shot at doing one of these fascinating designs. The pin is 18 inches long and approx. 1.7 inches in diameter...

Walnut and Maple Recipe Box

Walnut and maple recipe card box with maple splines and linked ring decoration....a wedding gift for my niece.  The piano wire dividers hold the cards upright. The lid is hinged with brass hinges.

Asian Style Stash Box

Jatoba Asian style box with oak accents and a lift-out interior tray. The lift-off lid features a oiled bronze knob, and the box stands on extended oak legs. Approx. 6 x 6 inches with black suede...

Cherry Recipe Box

Cherry / Koa Recipe Box.  Commissioned wedding gift. The box is sized to hold 4x6 recipe cards; cherry with koa splines, lid band and linked rings. The piano wire dividers prevent the cards...

Fruit 'n Nuts

Fruit 'n Nuts.  African Cherry and Hickory box with contrasting wrap-around line detail.  Approx. 3.5 x 6 inches, finished with hand-rubbed poly. The lid is hinged with hidden pins and the...

Train / Boat Whistles

My grandson got a train set for Christmas, and I figured he ought to have a good whistle to drive his parents up the wall. After a little on-line hunting, I found a plan and made a couple. The sound...

Zebra wood -Walnut box

Zebra Wood box with Walnut lid and interior tray.  Approx. 5.5 x 5.5 inches. Tapered sides; lined with black velvet and finished with hand-rubbed poly. 

Cherry Leaf Box

Cherry Leaf Box with walnut accents; splines, lid edges and leaf veins. Crafted from reclaimed wood.  Approx. 5 x 7.5 inches and finished with hand-rubbed poly. The lid is hinged with hidden...

Kaler's Piggy Bank

When grandson, Kaler, turned two, I decided it was time for a guy to have a place to stash his birthday money. I made him this oak piggy bank with leather ears and tail. approx 9 in. long and 5.5 in...

Hickory and African Cherry Box

Hickory and African Cherry Box.  This little box looks like it has a mechanical latch, but it really does nothing but keep the lid from falling into the box.  Approx. 5.5x3 inches, finished...

Presentation Box

A customer asked me to create a presentation box for a vintage fountain pen she was giving as a gift.  I did this box in Koa and birds eye maple. She also said that the recipient loved being on the...

Asian Flair in Cherry and Walnut

Asian Flair in Cherry and Walnut. Standing on tip-toe, this slant-sided box features walnut legs and an interior tray. Approx. 5.5 x 5.5 inches and finished in hand-rubbed poly.

Wenge and Oak Box

A good friend gave me a small piece of Wenge several months ago.  It was too small to make a whole box, but combining it with the oak made a 4 x 6.5 inch box with a pin hinged lid. The...

Hickory Dickory Clock

Hickory with Padauk accents.  This box has bedside or desktop storage and a clock, too. Approx. 4 x 6.5 inches with a lift-off lid.  Battery operated clock has a glow-in-the-dark face...

Cherry Stash Box

Cherry Stash Box. Featuring walnut and maple inlay and interior divided tray.  Approx. 5 x 5 inches with hand-rubbed poly finish. 

Double-Duty Box

Two-Tiered Box  This Hickory box features an upper level with a lid hinged with hidden pins, and a lower slide-out drawer.  Splines and accents are walnut. Approx. 5 inch cube, finished...

Cherry-Walnut Box with Tray

Asian influence Cherry-Walnut stash box with lift-off lid and inside tray.  Approx. 6x6 inches with tapered sides, walnut accents. Tray and box are lined with black velvet. Spray poly...

Cherry-Walnut stash box

Cherry-Walnut Stash Box - Created from reclaimed Cherry and walnut.  Asian style box with legs and tapered sides. Lift-off lid is rabbeted to sit down into box approx. 1/8 inch. Bottom is dadoed...

Pagoda Box

Pagoda Box. Curly maple and Tigre.  Lift off lid. Approx 6 x 6 inches with hand rubbed poly finish. More like this at www.johnschutz.com 

Decorative Christmas Trees

This set of decorative trees is made from scrap 2x2 pine.  The trees range in height from 6-12 inches. The star topper for the tall tree is optional. A fun project that makes a great holiday...

Autumn Leaves

Oak box with maple splines and leaf veins.  Carved leaf decoration acts as lid stop as well. Approx 3.5 x 5.5 inches. Poly finish. Lid is hinged with hidden pins.  see more at...

Purple Heart / Maple stash box

This Purple Heart and Maple Asian style stash box features a lift off lid.  Approx. 5 x 5 inches.  See more like this at www.johnschutz.com

Walnut Box

Walnut box with maple splines and lid stop. Approx. 4 x 6 inches with router detailed corners and edges. Lid is hinged with hidden pins. See more at www.johnschutz.com

Bonsai box

Exotic wood box with inlaid disk and splines of birds eye maple and bonsai tree design. Approx. 5 x 8 inches with lid hinged with hidden steel pins.  See more at www.johnschutz.com

Asian Stash Box

Asian Stash box.  Maple with Makore accents.  Approx. 5.5x5.5 inches with lift-off lid. Interior tray is makore with a maple center lift.  Tray and box are lined with black velvet...

African Cherry Box

African Cherry Box.  Approx 5.5 x 8 inches, with maple splines and leaf vein. The lid is hinged with hidden steel pins  More like this at www.johnschutz.com

Koa box

Koa box with leaf decoration on lift-off lid.  Oak splines and rounded sides. Approx 5x5 inches. Natural hand-rubbed poly finish. See more at www.johnschutz.com

Filet knife rehab.

After 45 years of sharpening and filetting thousands of fish, the birch handle of my favorite filet knife finally cracked and rotted to the point that I had to give it up... or fix...

Zebra wood box

Zebra wood box with double leaf detail. 4.5 x 7 inches, with rounded sides and hinged with hidden pins.  Walnut splines and center leaf vein.  Want to see more?  Visit...

Dueling boxes

These two boxes are a matched set; Walnut with oak splines and leaf vein, and Oak box with walnut splines and leaf vein.  Approx. 5 by 8 inches, hinged with hidden steel pins, hand rubbed poly...

Swiss Bell tower

I created this oak bell stand for a good friend who was given this Swiss bell by a long-lost relative.  The thick leather belt was becoming misshapen, and he wanted to be able to display it and...

Christmas trees

Decorative Christmas tree set, made from scrap 2 by 2 lumber.  Pine, fir, birch, cedar, or what ever you have will work.  It takes about 5 ft of material to make a set. Makes a great gift...

Cherry / maple box

This cherry box with maple accents has a three-piece leaf lid stop. This box is approx. 8.5x5.5 inches with curved sides, and the lid is hinged with hidden pins.  Want to see more, check my...

Cherry box with walnut accents

Cherry box with walnut accents, three piece leaf lid-stop. This box is approx 8.5 x 5.5 inches, with curved sides, and the lid is hinged with hidden pins.

Koa, oak and brass stash box

This Koa box features oak splines and lid accents, with a brass "bamboo" handle.  Approx. 6x6 inches with a lift-off lid and tapered sides.  Like to see more? Check my website at...

Cherry /walnut Asian style box

This Asian style Cherry and Walnut box features a lift-off lid, half-lap, splined, and dowelled corners and rounded sides. Approx. 9x6 inches and finished with natural poly. See more like this at...

Cherry and Maple box

Cherry box with maple trim.  Cherry and maple leaves accent the box lid.  Curved sides and a domed lid hinged with hidden pins.  Approx 8.5 x 5.5 inches.  To see more like...

Cherry and Brass Ashes Urn

This Cherry and Brass ashes urn was created for a wonderful neighbor lady at the request of her husband.  I built the box and had the text laser-engraved at a local shop.  The box is...

Hawaii Moon

Hawaiian Koa wood with maple splines and inlaid "moon".  Domed lid, hinged with hidden steel pins.  Approx. 8.5x5.5 inches. Natural poly finish.

Arrowhead boxes

A friend who is an arrowhead collector asked me to make a set of boxes for his collection, and this is what I came up with.  Each box is about 5.5 by 8 inches and made of reclaimed cherry and...

Wedding Recipe Box

Cherry recipe box with splined corners and interlocking wedding bands made of Koa wood. Sized to hold 4x6 recipe cards.  The lid is hinged with small brass hinges.

Asian style oak stash box

This Asian style Oak stash box features a pagoda shaped lift-off lid with a walnut splines and knob. Approx. 5x5 inches.

Bandsaw Christmas Trees

These decorative trees are a fun way to use up scrap lumber.  Pieces are cut from 2x2 stock, and 4 pieces make up a tree. They make great gifts. If you would like a set of plans, visit my...

Maple-Mahogany Stash Box

This Asian style stash box is made of Birds-eye maple with mahogany accents and splines.  It has a lift-off lid and is approx. 6x6 inches.

Heirloom Sled

My tribute to the Flexible Flyer.  When I was a boy, every kid in the neighborhood had one.......or wanted one.  This decorative sled is about 16x8 inches and made of birds-eye maple and...

Cherry / walnut stash box

Cherry and Walnut Asian design stash box.  Approx 6x6 inches, with walnut splines and accents. Lift-off lid and tapered sides. See more like this at my website; www.johnschutz.com

Cherry Captain's Chest

Cherry and Brass Captain's Chest.  8.5 x 5.5 inches with wood hinges, maple splines and brass strapping.

Hickory Bucket

Hickory bucket, 12 staves, dadoed bottom, bent wood handle. Approx. 12 inches tall.

Birdseye maple and mahogany box

Birdseye maple bpx with mahogany accents and corner splines.  8.5 x 5 inches.  Leaf is done in three parts with mahogany center vein. Lid is hinged with steel pins.

Hawaiian Koa Box

Decorative box, made from Hawaiian Koa. Curved corners have maple splines and the lid is hinged with hidden steel pins.

Sycamore boxes

Two Sycamore boxes with koa accents, spline and leaves.  My attempt at two seasons; summer and autumn. Inset lid is hinged wiith hidden pins.

Recent comments

Re: UPDATE: 3 Book Giveaway! Taunton's Complete Illustrated Guide to...

These books would make a great addition to my woodworking library as well as my skills.

Re: The Funeral Chair Part One: Assembling the Cut List.

The funeral chair video reminded me of the dignity and peacefulness of creating without power tools.

Re: UPDATE: Carving in the Round by Andrew Thomas and How to Carve Wood by Richard Butz

I enjoy adding carved elements to some of my boxes. These books would be a great addition to my library and serve to advance my carving skills

Re: UPDATE: The Foundations of Better Woodworking by Jeff Miller

I would love to have this in my shop library!

Re: Celtic Knot, French Style Rolling Pin

The design begins with a 2/2 piece of stock about 18 inches long. By cutting parallel diagonals the go nearly all the way through and inserting and glueing the contrasting stirps, the design is created, The proceedure myst be repeated on all four sides. Then off to the lathe. For an excellent turotial, visit Lumberjocks.com and search Celtic Knot rolling pin....or check Lew's page.

Re: Train / Boat Whistles

Here is the website where I got the plans:
I did take some license with the plans, since I had 1/2 inch dowel and a long 1/2 inch bit to bore the holes. Other than that, I pretty much stuck to the plans. You will need to play around with the little dowel plugs at the mouth piece end to get the best, clearest tone, but the sound is fantastic when you get it right.

Re: We're Giving Away Grooving Planes!

If I had a set of these I'd be "Feel'n Groovy".

Re: You Want What? Contest

A few weeks ago, I got a call from a woman in California that wanted me to make a custom box for her deceased husband's ashes. Well, I have done a few of urns, and I like to ask a few questions to help me design something special for each "client". Well, this one surprised me. She wanted one large box that would be able to house his ashes and hers......when the time came. In addition, she wanted a small matching box to carry in her purse with just a small pinch of his ashes.

Re: UPDATE: Book Giveaway: The Frugal Woodturner by Ernie Conover

I just got a lathe for Christmas and could use the help. I am looking forward to expanding my woodworking horizons. Let the sawdust fly!

Re: Curly box

Beautiful box, aa,
I just posted a maple box, too. Wish I could find some maple like you did. I sure chose a great way to highlight the curly quality of the wood. Love it!

Re: Bonsai box

4545...thanks for the props. Most all of my boxes are originals....I dream up the designs and then execute them; usually without any actual plans. The designs are often based on the size of the materials I have on hand. I especially enjoy making cast-off and discarded wook become something beautiful.

Re: Tiny Box

Hi, Brian,
I like your little boxes.....but even more the blog entries.
I am a box builder, too...been at it for about four years. I was inspired by a trip to Hawaii, where I saw some great work in Koa wood at a little shop on Kauai.
I have built dozens of boxes of various woods and designs, but the ones I enjoy most are those that are special requests, like a koa box with a Monk Seal carving on the top.
I live in Winona, MN, and noticed that you are in Iowa; darn near neighbors.
If you would like to visit my website; www.johnschutz.com
Let me know what you think.
Happy sawdust, John Schutz

Re: African Cherry Box

The leaf is functional....it serves as a lid stop and handle. The lid is hinged with steel pins, and without the leaf, the front of the lid would fall into the box.
Making the leaves: I start with two 1/4 inch pieces of stock about 3 inches square. I glue them together with the grain running at 90 degrees to each other, glueing two opposite corners. When dry, I bandsaw a meandering line from one unglued corner to the other. Then, I saw off the glued corners. The top left hand piece will mate with the bottom right hand piece. Then I do a glue-up with a very thin piece of contrasting wood for the leaf center vein. After it has set, I saw out the leaf shape and contour the top with a Dremel sanding drum, back-bevelling the edges to give it the illusion of thinness. I try to match the leaf shape to the actual leaf of the tree the wood came from.

Re: African Cherry Box

Thanks, cb,
My younger son gave me a small stack of exotic wood for Christmas, and I finally got around to resawing some of it. I wasn't too impressed with the African Cherry until I started to put finish on it. Thanks for the props. Did you get a chance to check my website? Any thoughts?

Re: Bubinga Box

Very nice design! The half-lap corners and ebony pegs set off the form. I have been making boxes for a few years and find that there is so much room for expression and experimentation. Check my website at www.johnschutz.com

Re: Hall Table

Beautiful design...it has a great rhythm and flow. Excellent choice of materials and craftsmanship.

Re: Dueling boxes

Thanks, robbo41. You are, of course, right about the walnut leaves, but there was no way I was going to have multiple leaves all over the top of the box. Some types of walnut trees have quite a number of leaflets in one group.
John Schutz

Re: Fish Boxes

I have seen lots of bandsaw boxes, but this one makes me smile.....a bit of whimsy. Very clever design.

Re: Plywood for Fine Furniture

I have been making small decorative boxes for a few years, and for most, I use plywood for the bottoms. I set it into a dodo, and I like that it is more stable and stronger than solid wood of the same thickness. In applications where the edge is in play, I would not use plywood. I think plywood is a quality product and has its applications.

Re: Cherry box with walnut accents

Thanks for the props; regarding the leaf....It is a little hard to see on this pic., but the grain on the two leaf halves runs at 45 degrees to the center vein. This is how I do it (it took me a while to figure it out). I start with two pieces of 1/4 inch stock, about 3 inches square. I glue them together with the grain of one running at 90 degrees to the other. I glue together two opposite corners only. When the glue has set, I draw a meandering line for the center vein from one unglued corner to the other and band saw on that line. Then, I saw off the glued corners. Now, the top piece from one side, mates with the bottom piece from the other side, and their grains are at 90 degrees to each other. Then, I saw a very thin piece of contrastin wood for the vein and glue the three pieces together. I draw my leaf shape, trying to match the shape of (in this case, cherry) the wood species leaf. A little careful band saw work and shaping with a dremel and sanding sleeve, and there you are. I back bevel the under side of the edges to give the illusion of being thin. On, my website, I have several boxes with leaves, maple, cherry, walnut, koa, etc. www.johnschutz.com.

Re: New Study Discusses Tablesaw Injuries

I must confess that I am one of the crowd that believes that pilot error is more responsible for injury than the design of a good table saw. I take full responsibility for my accident....nearly taking off my left thumb. Ofter 4 hours of surgery and $40,000 from my insurance company, I still have a thumb, but it doesn't work quite like the other one.
The best protection from injury is caution and knowing how to perform operations on safely on your table saw. I am much more cautious and think through what I am doing before I start the saw. One careless move can be disasterous.

Re: UPDATE: Book Giveaway: The Wood Finisher's Handbook by Sam Allen

A bad finish on a good piece can ruin the result, but a good finish can enhance good woodworking. I want to be able to enhance my work.

Re: No-lathe ribbons and bows box

I am very impressed with this project. I viewed your short video and want to give it a whirl. I have been making boxes for a couple of years now, and am always tinkering with design and trying different woods and looks. Thank you.
jbschutz. www.johnschutz.com is my website.

Re: Live Edge Ash Coffee Table

I like this; it feels very organic and true to the wood.

Re: Hickory Bucket

This bucket was not intended to hold water. It makes a great decorative accent to be used as a magazine rack or to hold a potted plant.

Re: Arrowhead boxes

The lids are hinged by drilling and inserting a pin through the box side into the edge of the lid. I counter-sink the steel pin, and then mix poly varnish and cherry sawdust to fill the holes. The tricky part comes in drilling the holes through the sides and into the lid edge. Accurate measuring and drilling make it work.

Re: UPDATED: What Tools Are on Your Holiday Wish List?

Santa knows I have been a good boy, but there are a few things I could use. I really could use a better router table and a dust collection system, but mostly, I would like some beautiful wood to turn into even more beautiful projects. I take a small amount of pride in creating decorative boxes from material that would likely end up in the dumpster, so I would love to have connections with those who create that waste, so I could take it off their hands.

Re: Asian style oak stash box

I really don't have plans to share. I was just winging it, hoping that the lid would turn out as I pictured. I did the rough shaping on the beltsander....the curved part of the belt. The box itself is about 5x5 inches at the top and the taper is 12 degrees. I like the look, but the next one I make will have better matching grain. The sides are rather plane grained and the top is highly figured. I did the knob freehand on the bandsaw and then on the belt sander. Everything was then sanded with the random orbit sander and then hand sanded. Finished with spray poly.
John Schutz
p.s. Take a look at my website....www.johnschutz.com

Re: Recipe Boxes

These recipe boxes are exquisite! I have made a few recipe boxes as gifts, but never the double size. Beautiful work and nice desigh, too.

Re: pistol box in velvet and wenge

Thanks for the comments on my cherry/walnut stash box. I am always trying to come up with new designs, and this shape pleases me. I have since made a similar one, only of maple and mahgoany. It is a little taller and I find not as pleasing to the eye.

Re: Birdseye maple and mahogany box

After carving several one-piece leaves for other boxes, I decided that the two halves of the leaf should have grain at a 45 degree angle from the center vein. Then, I happened on an easy way to do that. I start with two pieces of 1/4 inch stock, about 2.5 inches square, and glue them one on top of the other with the grain of one at 90 degrees to the other. I glue together two opposing corners. After the glue has set, I bandsaw the center vein line from unglued corner to unglued corner and cut off the glued corners. Now the left piece from the top layer should match the right piece from the bottom layer, and vise-versa. Then I cut a very thin piece of contrasting wood and glue and clamp the three pieces together. Once dry, I saw out my leaf and shape the upper surface with my Dremel and sanding sleeve. I back bevel the lower edges to give the leaf the illusion of being very thin. Good luck.

Re: Curved Dresser

It's dancing!... I am wondering about how difficult it was to get the drawers to function smoothly and properly, given their shapes. It makes me smile.

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