the carved box class at CFC

Here’s a few more photos from the recent box class at Center for Furniture Craftsmanship (CFC)

We had split sections of riven oak to start with, these needed hewing before planing. Here is Jim, one half of a lefty-husband and wife duo.  My hewing hatchets are righties, so Jim & Mary both used the Hans Karlsson double-bevel hatchet. Worked fine.

the students made lots of oak boards, riving, hewing & planing on & on.

Fred in motion

Proof. one of many barrels-full.

one of umpteen

Then to break their minds instead of their bodies, I gave them carving practice. They really took to it.

Raking light is great for this work.

I always stress body position; motions that steady & support the tool are helpful. Here’s Jim again, carving at his bench. Sorry for the garish color.

lefty carving too

Then I forgot my camera one day, and we cut the boards, finished the carving. Made rabbet joints, and pinned them together.

Patrick pinning his box

We used plain ol’ modern glue, and pinned the joints with square wooden pins. Then nailed bottoms on. (more about nails soon)

Here is a detail of a box with its cleats test-fitted, ready to make & install the lid. but we were out of time. Agghhhh,


That’s it for carved box classes for me this year (I’m out of vacation-time at work). We’ll see where I end up next year. It’s a busy but fun week making these things. Seems like a little project, til you factor in making all the hardwood stock from the log. I’ve been on a box-making frenzy since I got back. Will shoot some photos soon.


carved box class, July 23-27

one done one started

July is a great time to come “down” to Maine – so why not get over to the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship’s website & sign up for making a carved oak box? You can’t find a better place to be, and we’ll have some fun with red oak…

This is the last box class I’m scheduled for this year.  Maine is one of my favorite spots, this will be my first time teaching at CFC. I visited there earlier this year, it looks like quite a place… here’s a set of photos from that visit:

busting open an oak at CFC

We’ll have some oak to learn riving with, but the boards for the boxes themselves have been split out and are drying a bit…so we’ll plane those, do a series of carving exercises, then dive in & carve the panels for the box.  Rabbets, wooden pins, hand-wrought nails, all that kind of stuff. I’m going to bring some Atlantic white cedar scraps, this class might be the one that we include a till inside the box. I often make the sides & bottoms of the tills with cedar. Oak till lids.

Here’s my latest box, oak with white pine lid, cedar bottom. This one features wooden hinges, this is what we’ll do during the class.

carved oak box, July 2012

Here’s the hinge:

wooden hinge

The more students I get means I get to do more teaching – so if you’ve been thinking about it, now’s the time. See you in Rockport, ME July 23-27.


my next workshop, July 23-27 at Center for Furniture Craftsmanship

It’s about five weeks-plus until my next workshop. This one is making a carved box, this time up in Maine at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockland.

Center for Furniture Craftsmanship

Dates are July 23-27, the website is here:

I got a bit of a tour when I was at Lie-Nielsen in May, and it looks like quite a spot. Lots of space, and plenty of windows. I split open a log during that visit, and it will become the stock for our boxes.


Here’s some photos of that visit

Browsing through the school’s website, I am thrilled to be included in such a list of instructors. This will be my first time at CFC and I am really looking forward to it, & to being back in Maine again.

carved box 2011


The boxes will be oak, with pine lids and bottoms. Iron nails, wooden pins – all period techniques. I’ll have some of my boxes with me as examples, and a slew of carving tools, mallets, axes, planes, carved samples, study photos, etc. It should be great fun. If you are inclined, get over & sign up now. Birding was great in May, July will be slower, but should still see some stuff. See you in Maine, I hope.