I was asked a while ago to make a box to store bread in. I gave a minimum quote and said I would cleave wood and nail it together. Not any old nails you understand, but nails made from pure natural iron drizzled with the sweat of the blacksmiths. I had a huge lump of rippled willow, which unfortunatly would not cleave very well. I sawed the wood out on my bandsaw and stickered it with weights on to dry out over the weekend. Because the wood was not quite quarter sawn and it wanted to move a bit from internal stresses. I thought it would be best to dovetail it. I have never made a nail in my life and I thought the young lady concerned would not appreciate my sweat drizzled over the nails.
I needed the dovetail practise as I have some apple wood boxes to make later in the year. Believe it or not, I have managed never to make dovetails in my life before.
I also wanted to use my trade mark wooden hinges. Not wanting to rely on glue to hold them onto box and lid I made them dovetailed. The wood for the hinges is English walnut. I did use a bit of glue but, this box can be made with no adhesives at all, just a couple of small dowels through each hinge to stop them sliding out.
Knowing my client prefers a natural finish, I got one of my long handled open sweep hook knives and starting in one corner, went over each side of the box. This was remarkably quick and gives a beautiful textured and tactile finish.
Willow is a lovely wood to use and I highly recommend giving it a go. The hook knife finish also works just as well on other woods, you may have to spend slightly longer on it though.
I was really please with the box, and wanted to make a longer one for our kitchen, but somehow I got the measurements wrong and made the first box 2 cm to small, so no wood left over. The old adage of measure twice and cut once is very true, but does not take into account misreading the measurements in the first place.
8 thoughts on “Bread Box”
Very nice box, I have it on good authority that it is very happy in it's new home and that the (titter) young lady concerned is very happy with her purchase. It is used every day and admired often, it makes a fine partner for a breadboard made by the late George Lailey. The wooden hinge and it's dovetail attachment are nice touches and the textured surface very pleasing.
Very nice Sean, I really like the finish with the hook knife and the hinge looks great , nice contrast between the two colours of the Willow and the Walnut.
Great box Sean! Coincidentally (honest!) I was yesterday working over a chestnut bench I'm on with. I agree the long handled crook knifed finish is pretty quick and looks good. It would have taken ages to do the bench with a hand plane as it came fresh off my chainsaw mill. So chestnut is another easy one for this finish. I like the way it's easy to change the direction of cut to accommodate changing grain direction.
Beautiful, no two ways about it. Oh to have your skill.
(Less of the sniggering thank you Robin!!) It is indeed very lovely and some time when the kitchen doesn't look too much of a state I'll takes some pictures of it with the assorted other wooden canisters it lives with.
Hi Sean Ive just taken a look over your blog . And thought I would say how interesting and innovative your work is :)Brian(:
I'd love to see a blogger I know paint a box like that. 🙂 She paints clocks onto slices of trees… and magical beings onto wood panels.
Michelle, I would love to meet Rima some day, I know she does not live that far away from me on Dartmoor. I do love her work