Boxed, Mitered and Mighty Nice

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A typical box project might feature solid box joints, or instead, the smooth lines of mitered corners. Doug Stowe’s walnut stationery box combines both techniques to achieve a handsome look with rock-solid construction.

Making what appears to be a simple box might actually involve a wide range of complicated techniques. Sometimes, that means some degree of learning and possible frustration for a beginning box maker. This particular box is the culmination of many years of box-making experience and involves a number of the techniques and features I consider important in making a box. 

For instance, I want my boxes to be sparing in the use of materials, and the box sides to be reasonably lightweight. This box is made from black walnut resawn on the bandsaw, with material for the sides planed to 1/2" thick. 

I also like my boxes to be strong enough to last beyond my limited lifespan. Box joints are very strong and relatively simple to cut with the right equipment and with some time invested in careful setup. Box joints have also become one of those techniques that people associate with quality craftsmanship. I want my boxes to say something about who I am as a person: that I care about my work, that I relate to the beauty of wood, and that I extend my own caring into future generations through techniques that guarantee lasting beauty.

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