Lest anyone think that I came up with the design of my recent Box Swap offering on my own, I'm here to confess that it came straight out of an article in the September 2003 issue of WOOD magazine (pages 70-73) called "Double-Take Keepsake Box".
The idea is to create a 2-piece box that appears, at first glance, to be a one-piece hollow vessel:
The illusion is created by three details ... the overall form of a Southwest-style vessel, a darkened recess at the top of the lid, and a set of small grooves that help to hide the line where the lid meets the base. I used a sycamore limb from a former coworker, India ink in the lid (the article suggested flat black acrylic paint, which might have worked better) and a mini skew for the grooves.
WOOD did a good job on the article. They included step-by-step instructions along with photos, diagrams ... and cool templates that you can copy, cut out, and hold up to various parts of the box at different points in the process.
I kept the Sep '03 issue "handy" for several months after receiving it, and even copied the templates at 66%, 75%, 100% and 141% so I could make a graduated set ... but I never made one until last week. I used the 100% template as a guide, but I wanted to use more of the blank I had, so I "fudged" a slightly larger form. I could have undercut the base more for an even better Southwest flavor ... but for now I feel pretty good about this first one.
Oops ... did I say "first one"? I guess "first successful one" would be more accurate. Behold the Russian Olive prototype that didn't survive...
Photo 1: Not looking too bad, right? You can see where the experiment to darken the grooves with India ink has gotten a little out of control, but I'm working on it.
By the way, in an earlier step a 3/4" diameter, 1 7/16" long dowel was inserted into the 1/2" deep hole in the lid and a corresponding 1" deep hole in the base ... to provide a way to turn the underside of the lid.
Photo 2: Yeh ... well. This is what happens when you use the right tool (spindle gouge) in the wrong orientation. Can you say Catch-o-rama?
Photo 3: The inside had come along pretty well, although the Russian Olive was almost too much for my (Ahem) less-than-razor-sharp tools...
Photo 4: And here we see that the prototype was doomed to fail anyway. I hadn't left enough "meat" around the rim. My attempts to sand away the extra India ink, along with some "concentrically challenged" remounts were about to wreak havoc on the project regardless.
But hey! Like the man says, this is how we learn, no?