Angled Boxes/Cabinets/Stands

Last year, at the start of the pandemic, I had some time on my hands, and decided I’d try making boxes with something other than right-angled miters at the corner. I’m not entirely sure what I was going for, other than it seemed like a challenge. I decided on trapezoids, and these were mostly successful, but I never really feel like I nailed it. At least, I never really feel like I nailed the top and bottom panels, and the ones I managed to get right I almost feel like it happened by accident. Still, I managed to get a couple of them right, like the one above, and you can get one here, if you care to.

Continue reading “Angled Boxes/Cabinets/Stands”

Mostly-Reclaimed Wood Footstools

UPDATE 7/5/2021: Now for sale in my etsy store.

So, here’s another project that’s been kicking around a while waiting to be finished.  Not that it wasn’t on me because I’m slow — which I kind of am, given the whole day job thing.  No, it’s because I finally just gave in and finished them.

Let me explain.    

Continue reading “Mostly-Reclaimed Wood Footstools”

Ash Coffee Table/Side Table

If I had my way, I would have made the table from maple or walnut — I really prefer the look of those two, especially together.  I mean, who doesn’t love the grain and figure in walnut in maple?  But at the time I was launched into the project I had no maple, or hardly any at all, and what walnut I had was earmarked for something else. Continue reading “Ash Coffee Table/Side Table”


In my last post about the non-jewelry boxes, which are basically jewelry boxes, I mentioned that while that I’d built a table for my coffee-maker in my office at work.  (Yes, I have a day job).  There really wasn’t a need for a table at work – after all, there was a filing cabinet that did a perfectly fine job as a stand for my coffeemaker.  And, in full disclosure, that’s all the filing cabinet did – it was otherwise empty.  Of course, when you like to build things you’re always on the hunt for something else to build that has use to you, so I decided that a table to replace that filing cabinet was in order.

So I built one.

If I had my way, I would have made the table from maple or walnut — I really prefer the look of those two, especially together.  I mean, who doesn’t love the grain and figure in walnut in maple?  But at the time I was launched into the project I had no maple, or hardly any at all, and what walnut I had was earmarked for something else. Continue reading “Ash Coffee Table/Side Table”

Everyday Carry Trays (or, Jewelry Boxes?)

UPDATE: The red laminate version of this is available in my Etsy store — go there now1

Admittedly, there’s been a minute since my last post here, but it isn’t because I’ve been slacking.  Rather, my day job has been busier than usual, which means my hobby gets pushed slightly aside.

To be fair, I’ve tried to be busy with that too.  One thing I’ve been doing is collecting junk chairs from the side of the road for repair/refinishing.  One of the chairs will need significant work in refinishing, another will probably need a top down rebuild with about half the chair being replaced.  Why do this repair/refinishing work?  Practice, I suppose.  And also because I can’t stand seeing something that’s basically useful being junked because somebody didn’t want to spend a little time with it.  Do I have a plan for the chairs once they’re finished?  Not really, but that’s not why I do this sort of thing. Continue reading “Everyday Carry Trays (or, Jewelry Boxes?)”

Art Boxes/Valise/Charger Case

Last year we swapped out some rotting fence sections in our yard and I rescued as many good pieces as I could before we did away with the rest. I used those to make wine boxes, a pencil holder, and a few other boxes with hinged lids. I put a handle on top of one and when the wife and I went away for a weekend around Labor Day, we put all our cords and cables in it and that’s how we carried them around.  It was better to have one place dedicated for them every day than trying to remember if they went in this suitcase, or that backpack, or whatever.

Unfortunately, that box was not sufficient to corral them all, so I built a bigger one from reclaimed pallet wood. It looks like a small valise. Unfortunately, the pallet wood proved finicky and while the box — and many others I made from it at the time — looked good out of the gate, the lids were all very responsive in all the worst ways to the weather.  In particular, the tops all shrunk pretty dramatically and because I’d only face-glued them, this eventually warped the box lids to the extent that they would not close. It’s lovely to be taught the lesson about wood shrinkage even at my age, and even as I should need to be taught it. Continue reading “Art Boxes/Valise/Charger Case”

Shoeshine Boxes (that are not shoeshine boxes)

If you happen to watch Woodwoorking for Mere Mortals on Youtube, you know that last year Steve Ramsey (he hosts the series) did an irregular series of videos in which he led a neophyte woodworker through creating a shoeshine box.  They made it out of pine boards, edge joined, using simple joinery.  In the end, the project is mostly basic, which is why it’s being done on a program called Woodworking for Mere Mortals.

Now, I don’t watch the show because I need help with woodworking, or anything like that.  As I said, the box was basic.  Continue reading “Shoeshine Boxes (that are not shoeshine boxes)”

Apothecary Style Desk Caddy

Early in the pandemic, back when we were all optimistic it would end in three weeks — those were the days, right? — I decided to make a hardwood desk caddy for work.  And, while I was at it, I thought I’d try to make three.  One of them I made from hickory — that was to be mine.  The other two were made from some Chinese Sumac I got somewhat cheap. Continue reading “Apothecary Style Desk Caddy”

Trapezoid Keepsake Boxes

Back at the start of the pandemic I set about making some keepsake boxes, intent on trying to reproduce several at a time, but also to play with angles. There was some amount of success in it, but given they were experiments, they were more learning endeavors than attempts at perfection. This is why they are imperfect, but even in perfection there is beauty.

Since these were meant as some sort of lesson to myself, what exactly did I learn? Angles are hard, and reproduction is never as fast as you’d think.

At the end of the day there are four left — a couple were given away to family. (1) Maple sides with a walnut top, (2) Walnut sides with maple top, (3) Cherry, and (4) Paduak sides with maple top.

You can buy one, or all, of them here if you life.

Cutting Boards

Cutting Board 3Many people make cutting boards from scraps — the wood left over from other projects that’s just big enough to make you resistant to throwing away.  I tend to turn those scraps into coasters, largely because I save the bigger scraps to use on other projects that may never come to pass.  This might make me a hoarder, but if it does, I know I’m not the only one.

Cutting Board 2Anyhow, when me supply of bigger pieces of scrap started to get a bit out of hand, I turned to making cutting boards.  One was primarily maple, but with walnut accents.  Another was primarily cherry, but there’s probably some oak in there.

104795634_10117556992523064_4360651205402851715_oMore interestingly, I decided to make a cutting board inspired by the art of Mark Rothko.  This doubly interested me as I love Mark Rothko paintings, but also, my wife hates them.  So it was both satisfying to me on an aesthetic level, and also on a troll level.  This cutting board was made with paduak, purple heart, and poplar.

Cutting Board 1Of course, because purple heart and paduak are not cheap and were bought special for this project, I couldn’t bring myself to throw away those scraps either.  So, I mixed them in with the leftover poplar and some zebrawood to get another cutting board.

The Mark Rothko board is mine and stays in my house.  If you want the others, they’re on sale here.  (I suggest reading the descriptions carefully, as one board has a slight flaw in an edge glue joint).