And Now For Something Completely Different: (Rosewood Stationery Box, Pt. 1)

I recently received an order for a Stationery Box similar to this one, but in Honduran rosewood instead of narra. I'm pretty excited about it (I'm pretty excited about every project), but doing tiny stuff is always a nice break from moving gigantic stuff for weeks on end. Anyway, below is the rosewood billet with a little bit of shellac on it:

What will be the sides of the box, resawn and stickered.

A few days later, the sides are milled and cut to length and width. After that, I can lay out, saw, chop, and pare the dovetails. This is always my favorite part of a project - no machines for hours, and about the only time I can actually sit down while working. Always good to have a few episodes of Radio Lab & This American Life on hand...

Box sides, dry-fit together. Next up is routing the grooves for the top and bottom panels, (usually with a 1/8" slot-cutter), and the wide, shallow groove to fit the lip once the box is split into two parts.

The stock I had wasn't quite wide enough for the panels, so I cut two thick slices on the bandsaw (each one long enough to make two panels with). Once the pieces are dried and milled, I can slip-match them to make one wider panel. Hopefully, the wood will be dark and "stripey" enough so that the seam will disappear.

Gluing up the top/bottom panel...

Bottom panel, cut to size. After scraping I'll take both sides down to 400-grit. Rosewood is sort of a pretty princess wood, and every little spot you missed during surface prep will definitely show up once you have some finish on it.

Pre-finishing the parts. Shellac on the insides of the sides and panels, Liberon oil on the outsides of the panels. After both the oil and shellac is dry, everything will get taken down with 0000 steel wool, then buffed with two coats of TFB Tabletop Wax.

Up next... Glue up, fitting the top, and finishing the outside.