I enjoy making small dovetailed boxes like this one, which is similar to what we make in my Dovetailed Box class.
The wood in this case is cherry, the inner tray is Port Orford cedar, and the finger grips are desert ironwood. The cherry is what I call ‘box-matched’, a method of bookmatching that results in the grain pattern running continuously around the outside of the box, meeting (nearly) perfectly at all four corners.
This box was donated to the Furniture Society’s 2014 Silent Auction, held at the conference in Pt. Townsend, WA, and now happily resides in the collection of my friends Roz Young and Alan Wilkinson of Hawaii.
This cabinet is similar to the one we make in my Cabinetmaking class – in fact, this one remained unassembled for a couple of years while it served as the teaching model. I finally decided it was time to finish it, put it together and hang it on the wall. Often when you cut joinery but leave it unassembled for a period of time, nothing fits quite the way it’s supposed to. I was lucky in this case, the Honduras mahogany behaved nicely, as did the spalted maple and Port Orford cedar panels.
The spalted panel is a bookmatch, which deserves mention. Often the fungal pattern (“spalting”) in wood moves so rapidly and unpredictably, and without regard to grain structure, that when bookmatching a piece the two faces seem to have little relationship to each other. In this case — a 19mm board found in some wood shop or another — I could see that the spalting pattern remained fairly consistent through the board, and I was rewarded with a fair match. This particular piece was very punky and fragile. It absorbed many, many coats of shellac before any finish build was noticeable.