Tea Boxes (or Whatever-You-Want-In-It Boxes)

I’m not entirely sure what the impetus for making these boxes were. Some things just kind of come to you as an idea and you run with it, knowing exactly where the idea originated. Sometimes, though, something comes to you for no reason and you run with that.

The original box that led to me making these was made with Birch plywood scraps — its size and shape was dictated by what was left and the box was no bigger than what I had on hand. Well, despite being made of scraps, I was pleased enough with how it turned out that I decided to make some more. But this time I wouldn’t use Birch scraps — I didn’t have any more to use. And this is where walnut-veneered plywood came in.

These boxes measure (Note: all sizes are very close to this, but may vary from item to item as they are made by hand, not a computer):

  • Exterior — 9.75″ x 9.75″ x 5″
  • Interior — 8.75″ x 8.75″ x 3.5″
  • Bottom Trays has 9 (nine) 2.75″ squares
  • Upper Trays have 9 (nine) 2.5″ squares (Except for the one which has two trays of approx. 2.5″ x 8″

There are four varieties here. All have four have 9 cubbies in the bottom. The , three of them have 9 cubbies up top, one has two small/long trays:

  • Nine (9) divided bare wood cubbies in the bottom, with a tray of nine (9) unlined divided cubbies above
  • Another Nine (9) divided bare wood cubbies in the bottom, with a tray of nine (9) unlined divided cubbies above
  • Nine (9) divided faux-flocking lined cubbies in the bottom, with a tray of nine (9) faux-flocking lined divided cubbies above
  • Nine (9) divided faux-flocking lined cubbies in the bottom, with Two elongated sliding/removable upper trays above also lined with faux-flocking

Though these boxes were made of plywood — good plywood — they were all made with love. Each is edge-banded in solid wood, hiding the layers of plywood within, but still retain the stability plywood offers. As always, there are imperfections in the boxes — that’s the beauty of handmade. You can see a slight router accident on the back of one of them one and there are other bits of character that truly give these pieces character.

While I might call them ‘tea boxes’ you can put whatever you want in them — use your imagination.

You can buy them here

Chair Experiment v. 1.0

Look, there’s no good reason for me to make a chair — they aren’t that expensive to buy, so why spend the time?  But then again, most things woodworkers make can be bought cheaply, which also usually means you get something cheap.


What is the purpose of making a chair?  It could be that our own dining room set is incomplete, because one of the children broke the lower supports off the chair hears ago, at a time when I didn’t realize it would be fine just to fix it.  But again, our chairs are basically off-the-rack, and nothing special, so they could all be replaced fairly easily, without must trouble.  And if not replace it exactly, could come pretty close, and it wouldn’t cost too much.

But, when you like working with wood, you don’t necessarily think of things in terms of cost.  You usually think about the fun of making something, and the challenge of it.  Plus, you get the satisfaction of doing it yourself.  Which is all why I decided to make a chair — not so much because I needed to, but because the challenge of it made it so I had to.

The chair you see in the photo is my literal first attempt.  As such, I tried to keep it simple, with everything being a rectangle, and without curves.  More difficult features will come in version 2.0.  And since this was a first attempt, I made the thing out of pine.  That way, if it was a disaster the only thing I’d done was ruin two 2×4’s and a small bit of plywood.  Not a hundred dollars of oak or ash.  The only real flourishes were the seat is upholstered, and the back has no curve.

Ultimately, this chair was an experiment and a learning experience.  And I think I learned a lot.  Enough that version two of this chair will probably still be upholstered — I like the look of that — and will also have a curved back, probably made with bent lamination.  As before, the prototype will be made with pine, and if I like this one, then we might move on to making a set out of ash.  Let’s just hope I have enough wood for that.

Mixed Hardwood Coasters — Scrap No More

Some woodworkers finish projects, look at what’s left over — the offcuts, as it were — and there first thought is they either have (1) garbage, or (2) firewood. In a lot of cases, the wood they’re treating as trash has some life left in it beyond going to a landfill, or the burn pile. If you’re properly motivated, most everything can be of use.

Eventually, though, what’s left hasn’t much value at all. That’s when you make coasters.

Pictured above are two sets of coasters, but there are so much more than that.

Available to purchase are:
(1) set of four mixed cherry and other hardwood coasters in a walnut box
(1) set of four mixed hardwood coasters in a basswood box
(1) set of four maple and mixed-hardwood coasters in a basswood box
(1) set of four maple and mixed hardwood coasters without a box
(1) set of four exotic hardwood coasters, including purple heart, without a box
(1) set of eight cherry coasters without a holder.

These would look great sitting on your coffee table, or end table, or nightstand, or dashboard of your car (not recommended). Really, anywhere you put your drinks — you do what works best for you.

These coasters are 4″ by 4″ square.

You feel like spending some of your hard-earned money on something I rescued from the scrap bin and made something useful out of? Well, then go to my Etsy listing and have your credit card ready. It will be appreciated.

Reclaimed Wood Double-Wine Boxes

Imagine looking at a pile of old wood that somebody means to burn, but seeing something useful in it instead. That’s the story of my wife and the fence.

So, in the middle of this pandemic summer, the wife and I have been getting lots of little projects finished — why not? Can’t really do anything else, which has mostly been fine anyway. Well, one of the projects was building a shed and replacing some privacy fence around the corner of our yard. That whole project is coming together a bit slowly — the shed is up and that’s working out fine, but the fence is another story. Turns out getting treated timber for posts is a bit of an ordeal right now. Who knew?

Anyway, with the posts we did have I was able to replace two sections of fence and after taking down the old ones I leaned them against the side of the shed, intending to break them down and burn them. At least, I was. Because right about then the wife wandered by and saw the fence and wondered if it could be salvaged for something. Instead of looking at the fence and seeing fire wood, she saw a project. Of course, she’s not a woodworker, so the project was for me.

One thing the fence became were these wine boxes with sliding lids. The fence was broken down, planed to a uniform thickness, and the best of them were glued up into panels. Then, they became boxes.

Naturally, as these are made from reclaimed wood, the boxes have a naturally rustic feel, with all the expected charm and imperfections you get from reclaimed wood.

There are four available, if you want one for your very own. You can buy them here. Holds two wine bottles of your choice. (Wine shown is not included).