Chisel #1, © Jonathan Lubin
I no longer have the same hands that I did 25 years ago, but I do still have the same wood-carving gouge.

For the twins, Devlin and Harris, I would need to present two boxes simultaneously, or at most ten minutes apart, at any rate. But not two identical boxes! The first of the two, I decided, should be a miniature chest, but with false fronts and false drawers. There is a rear side, completely blank, and three “front” sides: left, fore, and right. The two genuine drawers are on the fore side and the right side, while the left side has only the two dummy drawers.

The most time-consuming task was to construct the two drawers. The front and back of the drawers are of cherry, but the sides are of maple, because these are the part that slides on the internal guides. Once the drawers were out of the way, the rest, as complicated as it was, seemed to go very rapidly. The carcase is all of cherry, joined with simple finger joints—I'm not skilled enough to do real dovetailing. I didn’t want to have any end-grain on the top, so I glued it together from four triangles, and the effect is very pleasing.

gluing drawer gluing drawer gluing drawer gluing drawer gluing drawer
Gluing up a drawer. The strap clamp is ideal for holding together a hollow rectangle. The carcase is ready to be glued. It’s been pulled apart a little so that you can see the finger joints. The guides for the drawers are in place, but the front-plates need to be glued on to the drawers. Using a carving gouge to give the drawer-edge a rounded chamfer. One of the drawers has been oiled in tung-oil, as has the top. Note how the oil brings out the grain.
finished box
The chest was finished in Spring 2003, and I think it’s the most successful of my projects. If you have broad-band service instead of dial-up, you may click in the picture to open another window with a stop-frame “movie” that shows the box rather well.

little ladybug In early ’07, I finally finished the third box, in the shape of a ladybeetle, work described on a separate page.

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