Small Cherry Box

June, 2014

I enjoy making small dovetailed boxes like this one, which is similar to what we make in my Dovetailed Box class.

The wood in this case is cherry, the inner tray is Port Orford cedar, and the finger grips are desert ironwood. The cherry is what I call ‘box-matched’, a method of bookmatching that results in the grain pattern running continuously around the outside of the box, meeting (nearly) perfectly at all four corners.

This box was donated to the Furniture Society’s 2014 Silent Auction, held at the conference in Pt. Townsend, WA, and now happily resides in the collection of my friends Roz Young and Alan Wilkinson of Hawaii.

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5 Responses to Small Cherry Box

  1. Dave says:


    First off, very nice work. I have just made a box slightly similar to yours out of cherry, slightly reder than yours though. I am after a finish like yours am have no idea what you’ve used. Could you help.

    Thanks very much for any help.


  2. Dave F says:

    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for your interest and kind words. The finish is good ol’ shellac polish – blonde, dewaxed, about a 1/2lb. cut. Padded on in long strokes with the grain, lifting the pad with each stroke, perhaps a touch of paraffin oil on the pad to reduce sticking. Multiple ‘coats’, I don’t count …. 15 to 20? Allowed to cure several hours after every 4-5 coats, then rubbed with a Norton ‘3X’ pad, 320 grit (Ultra-fine), about the equivalent of 600 or finer grit paper. After the last coat, allowed to cure at least 24 hours and rubbed again. The finish is applied to the parts of the box as the last step before assembly, so the inside of the box is easily finished as nicely as the outside. After assembly, I like to add a very light application of Renaissance wax. The cedar tray is unfinished.

    Hope that helps. Send a picture of your work!



  3. Dave says:

    That is a great help. I will get on it after my holidays and update you on my run.

    Cheers again,


  4. Dave says:

    Right back from my hols and finally finished the box.
    Not sure how to get pics on here though.

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