Build a Beautiful 3-Top Box

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A distinctive design combines grain-matched sides, handcrafted handles, and painted accents.

By Matt Kenney

When making small boxes, I usually design a box first, then select the wood I’ll use to build it. But this box is different. When a friend gave me some beautiful, vertical-grain Douglas-fir, I worked on a design that would allow the wood to be the most striking feature. My box has mitered corners that allow the grain to run continuously around the square perimeter. The grain display continues at the top of the box, with three different-sized lids that nest in rabbeted sides and dividers. Green paint accents the handle recesses and the edges of each lid. The handles themselves are made from cocobolo. Inside the box, the bottom is lined with a quilting square.

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