carved oak box

I finally got around to some photography of the box I finished this past fall. I made a molding around the front and sides, and carved some gouge-cuts into it. The box is pegged together, and the molding is pegged on as well. This is an example of a box that in a sense I made up; I copied the front carving from one box, and the sides from other period work. Red oak with a white pine lid & bottom.


red oak box, fall 2008
red oak box, fall 2008


Here is a detail of the carving; and also of the till inside the box.

carving detail
carving detail
till, box interior
box interior, till

3 thoughts on “carved oak box

  1. Hi Peter,

    That’s just beautiful. Saw your “Peter and the Box” episode on Roy’s show to get an idea of how the carving itself is done. Wonderful!

    A question about the lid though. Is it just a modern prejudice that some might feel the lid should be oak as well, whether carved or not, or is there a historical or other unspoken reason why you chose pine for it?


  2. James & John:
    thanks for the notes on the box. James, your stool/box is up next, mid-February.
    John, the lid timber selection is unspoken for sure. The lids on New England boxes in the seventeenth century were either pine or oak. I often make mine from pine just to conserve the oak for the next box, chest, etc. It is most jarring when the box is new; given a few years the finish evens out, and both woods are a comparable color. I do make oak lids from time to time, or on special order. The lids are rarely, if ever, carved. I have seen some punched decoration. Usually it’s just a molded edge as here. When I get back from Williamsburg next week, I’ll post more box pictures to give you an idea. There might be some on the website;

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