Don And Liz's Boxes

Cocobolo and Maple, "patchwork" technique

These boxes arose as a dual result of wanting to try a new technique and having a desire to create boxes for my good friend (and Chris's girlfriend) Liz, whom I'd been remiss about sending one for her birthday months ago, and my buddy Don Musial who had shown an interest in my boxes. I had this idea in mind about how to easily create an interesting set of boxes but it required that I make two simultaneously.

In order to make the boxes I first cut two identical sets of tops, sides, and bottoms each from a plank of maple and cocobolo. I then glued the matching pieces from each kind of wood together (the top from the cocobolo to the top from the maple) using a temporary adhesive. Then by cutting the pieces into random patterns, I had two alternate "jigsaw" puzzles of each kind of wood. By mixing and matching the cocobolo and maple and gluing the pieces together I created the tops, sides, and bottoms with the patterns of the finished boxes. I sanded the resulting pieces on the belt sander till they were smooth before constructing the boxes from them.

The boxes were constructed in the usual manner by first gluing all the parts together with butt joints, then cutting the tops off and reattaching them with hinges. Some red velvet for Liz and black felt for Don finished them off.

I call this my "patchwork" technique. The boxes came out pretty well and the technique obviates the time consuming routing that would normally be required with inlay work. Plus the pattern shows on the inside as well as the outside of the box. I hope to use this technique again with a more formal pattern like flowers or triangles.