A Rabbeted and Nailed Box

Sometime in the fall 2014 I watched one of the Woodwright’s Shop episodes named Peter and the Box. In this episode, Peter Follansbee makes a carved ‘bible box’. It had very simple joinery (rabbet and cut nail construction) and was made out of red oak. As my primary interest in making pieces had been boxes, I thought I would make a box with a similar design, but without the carving. I have not done any carving and do not own any of the appropriate tools.

Rabbet and cut nail joined box - back

The box began as a piece of 1×6 pine I found. I think it is ponderosa. The board had been siting around for some time, at least 10 years but perhaps more, and had a great patina to it. In the article Peter Follansbee wrote entitled Recreating a 17th-Century Carved Box, he stated that many of the bible boxes he has studied had 1/2” material on the fronts and backs and 3/4” for the sides. Thus my first task was to cut this 1×6 board into the rough dimensions I needed. This involved my first attempt at resawing lumber into thinner stock. The four boards for the box carcass turned out pretty flat and uniform; I was pleased. I cut the rabbets at the end of the front and back pieces and nailed the carcass together with 4d cut nails. The top was made from two pieces of the pine I edge glued with Old Brown Glue (a liquid hide glue). Had a bit of trouble with the hinges, but the lid mostly sits alright. I finished with two coats of danish oil rubbed with a brown paper bag between coats. Finished the piece in late 2014 and it was delivered to its recipient, my mother-in-law, in early 2015.

Rabbet and cut nail joined box - end

Rabbet and cut nail joined box


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