Dan Donaldson's Monogrammed Box

...and he finished it with eight hours to spare!

SHOP OWNER: Dan Donaldson

    Earlier this year, a nephew of mine was getting married and my wife decided to fly to the wedding. She was looking for a gift, and I thought it might be nice to give something other than towels or [insert standard wedding gift here]. I had a piece of lacewood that I had found a year or so ago, and some cherry left over from another project, so I decided to build a box.
    I did have ulterior motives when I suggested this project: It was an excuse to get some shop time, I really did want to make something a bit more personal than the junk you buy, and I needed something to practice my carving on, in preparation for an upcoming blanket chest for one of my daughters.
Monogram Detail

     I decided to do as much by hand as I could (just for grins); so, after resawing and cleaning up the wood, I cut the dovetails by hand, eased the lid with my new Clark & Williams plane (drive-by gloat), and carved the "B" in the lid.
    I only had a couple of weeks to get it done, and when I finished it up, LOML was waiting outside the shop door to pack it. I got it done at least eight hours before she had to leave for the airport, so I am not sure what the hurry was. ;-)
     The dimensions of the box are about 15" X 6" X 9". The sides are lacewood and the top and bottom are cherry. The finish is a coat of Watco to pop the grain, followed by several coats of rubbed-out shellac. I chose not to put any kind of stain on it, as I like the color cherry gets on it's own on exposure to light.
    A lot of the techniques that I used on this box, I figured out how to do by asking on WoodCentral's message boards and various E-mails. That advice and encouragement has really helped me to try new things. Now for the chest.........

. . . Dan Donaldson




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