Carved Oak boxes

Carved Oak Boxes

Another item I make regularly is a carved oak box commonly found in early New England (& old England too). They are oak, often with white pine lids and bottoms. The period ones are usually carved only on the front, mine are almost always carved on the ends as well.

Inside is a small lidded compartment called a till, for storing small items that would get buried in the larger box opening.

They are usually around 7″-8″ high, 22″-24″ wide, and about 14″ deep front to back. The corners are glued and pegged with wooden pins. The bottoms are nailed on with handmade iron nails, just like the originals that I study. Sometimes paint is part of the decorative scheme as well.

box, white oak & white pine

They start at $900, larger versions are available also. One I’ve done a few times is a slant-lidded “desk” box, with drawers and compartments inside.


I often have one or two available for sale, and will always take orders for them too. Write with questions,


12 thoughts on “Carved Oak boxes

  1. Enticing indeed. A froe continues to climb up on my list of tools to get/buy/make list. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. I like the way you articulate the reasons for enjoying your work with hand tools. I really hate loud noises and fine sawdust too and so I’ve been migrating towards hand tools myself after reading your stuff along with Schwarz’s and of course Roy Underhill.

    In fact, I’ve been in your shop (years ago) but you weren’t there. But Roy Underhill was!
    I ran into him eating lunch at the museum and since nobody was bothering him, I thought I would. I found him to be very affable and willing to tell me everything I wanted to know – which was a lot. He told me that they had been doing some filming (videoing?) through the night and that you and everyone else had gone home to sleep but he stayed.

    We ended up going into your shop where he explained how you used mostly green wood. He said that he would have hopped over into the shop and started showing me how to do it myself but decided not to; apparently thinking that they may need to come back for more video work and he didn’t want to get anything out of place.

    At least that’s how I remember it – that was probably in 2003 and many neurons have fired and died since then.

    It was memorable. If I can ever stop working and raising kids long enough, I intend to go to his school and spend a week learning something. Every time I see an article about riving oak, I look out back at the oak tree that needs to be taken down because it’s too close to my house and think “if I only had a froe…”.

  3. A few years ago i’ve finally decided to get into woodworking and get what tools i needed to basic furniture for my family. But where to start so i went at home depot and met two bankrupt woodworkers who now orange aprons and preached the good news of ridgid tools. You need this and this, dont look elsewhere or you’ll be in the flock of lost sheeps or goats. Ridgid makes everything you need and you need ridgid for your salvation. It left me doubting. Then i went at à machinery retailer and i had new needs or duties to build just my furniture, 30000$ of machinery, plus à 50000$ workshop, under this nothing Could be made righteously. Still in doubts. À much long while later i’ve Côme upon Chris schwarz book Anarchist i saw some light. Im grateful to you mr follansby for showing à instinctive way of looking at woodworking i’ve much appreciated your last chest DVD. Truth is Free. Im à lumberjack and right now im secretly managing forests to grow woodworkable trees for thé réal people of tomorrow im treachering our superficial world everyday with great joy. I hope to come to your shop in thé spring

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