Checking the Boxes

I’ve been gone awhile. Yes, there were broken bones and new puppies and job changes and National Political Turmoil and plenty of family stuff, but let’s be honest: there’s always that stuff simmering in the background. To be honest, I’ve just been in a bit of a creative funk. I just haven’t been making very many things lately, nor have I been writing all that much.

Seriously, the new puppy was enough to sideline anyone. LOOKITTHATFACE!!



As you may know if you follow the project on Facebook, we moved into town last year and the new house has given me a new, well-lit, subterranean place to create and build and make sawdust. Not a “man cave” just a workshop. Someplace where there’s a place for everything and everything has a place.


Some of what I’ve been doing is setting that up and building up the infrastructure necessary for being able to find that tool you need when you need it. There’s a saw till on the wall and I picked up an antique (1900’s) joiner’s toolchest, started on an approximation of a 1600’s toolchest, and generally got myself better organized. I also built a more period-correct seated workbench with staked legs.

Scotts Chest

So I have some stuff to write about.

Some of the things I’ll be working on this summer will be retreads of things we’ve already done. I want to revisit the pinmaking and the especially wire-drawing and a new pinner’s bone (if I can get my new one away from the aforementioned dog, of course). I’ve also continued in my typically haphazard manner my research into the project-that-almost-killed-me, thimblemaking.

nailed it

I’ve also been making boxes (hence the headline) the past few days and I’ll leave you with that. These are, admittedly, pretty squarely in the 17th century. Nailed joinery of a rough & ready character that’s undercut by the beautifully detailed carving that goes into them. They’re not my original research even, but rather that of the OG woodworking scholar Peter Follansbee, former master joiner of Plimoth Plantation. So they’re a bit outside the goal of this project, yet right in line with my goals overall. I made this because they’re beautiful and because I haven’t built anything ‘just for fun’ in far too long. Also, I haven’t carved anything in far too long and wanted to shake off the dust.

These should be made in riven oak (of course), but I don’t have any and wanted to prototype the heck out of it in cheap wood before committing to oak. So these are made from standard-issue home center 1x dimensional lumber. Here are some pictures of the Prototype In Pine

I doubt I’ll do any detailed writeup on this project. You can find out everything you could possibly want to know about these boxes, their history, and how they’re made at Follansbee’s marvelous blog:

I hope you’re having a wonderful week and if you’re in the U.S. a safe 4th of July with your family and friends.



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