Oak Trinket Box for Lehua

A small project this time. Quite small by my recent standards. I want to build a small toolchest for myself and felt that having some sort of prototype would help me answer some questions: what sort of joinery works well but is less fiddly than dovetails? how thick does the wood need to be? how should the removable trays be supported? It seemed that it might be possible to kill two birds with one stone and have my prototype and a gift at the same time. Since my friend Lehua in California has let it slip that she likes oak and that she is fascinated by compartmentalized boxes the die was cast.

There was plenty of scrap white oak left over from building the console table and only a bit of resawing and milling was needed to provide all the material I needed. Since my project was a bit whimiscal to begin with I decided that if I was making an oak box then I would truly build an oak box and as such it should have oak hinges also. Not a brilliant choice and a bit of trouble in the execution but oak hinges it has. In fact, the only non-oak in the entire project are ten small brass screws and two short pieces of birch dowel as hinge pins. There are two half-width liftout trays in the top made of ⅜-inch material with inset ⅛-inch solid oak bottoms. In the bottom of box there are are three compartments which also serve to hold up the trays. The finish is boiled linseed oil with garnet shellac padded over. Overall size in inches: 16¼ X 8½ X 7¼

Overall the box is rather pleasing to me and with luck it will please the intended recipient. The only regret is that the oak hinges look as clunky as they do even though they work well enough in this application. When the time comes to build tool chests I'll opt for metal.

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