Walnut Dimpled Box

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Texture and techniques wrapped up in a fun build

This box started out as an experiment in playing with texture. I wasn’t sure where I was going to go with it, but I had in mind power-carving a surface of random dimples using a ball grinder in a rotary tool. After playing some with the design, I decided to wrap a band of texturing around the box walls, bordering it with string inlay. Miter joints create clean corners that allow the grain to wrap around uninterrupted. Because miters themselves are not particularly strong, I reinforced them with splines, which are set into grooves in the miter faces. 

I found that the inlay lifted the box into a classy realm that seemed to demand an equally classy frame-and-panel lid. After dimpling the lid panel and framing the textured section in string inlay to complement the sides, I added a wooden handle that attaches with two dowel posts. The lid simply lifts off, as I didn’t want to incorporate hinges or other hardware. Removing it reveals a soft surprise inside: more texture in the form of a suede-covered bottom. A sliding tray sitting atop mitered ledger strips gives the box even more utility. 

Obviously, you can use any materials you like, but this piece sure does love to be built from walnut with maple stringing that really makes the textured surfaces pop!

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