Stanley D. Saperstein explains in this quick article how to make a relic box, or stamp box. Very few survive from before the Revolution, he says. They vary as to size and can be square or rectangular; the most common sizes were 3 in. square, 4 in. square, and 4 in. by 5 in. He describes the best woods to use, suggests carving the sides before taking the center out, and advises honeycombing the block to scoop out the center. Templates are included in the article.

From Fine Woodworking #1