Birthday Gift              10-1994

This small wooden box was the first birthday gift that I ever gave my wife, and it was while we were dating. The box is made out of coco bolo which is a very dense wood that has some beautiful grain. The size is 4" X 3 1/2" X 12" and I first squared the piece and then cut the lid off so the grain matches. It's a pretty simple design but it has one feature that you might not find on other boxes, which is the way the lid is held in place.



I machined the lid with a dovetail but the unique thing about it is the dovetail wasn't cut straight. What I did was machine the dovetail with a taper so the lid only goes on only one way. It took a bit of fitting while doing this because I made it on a conventional milling machine. The way I did the taper was I set the automatic feed to machine nice and slow and then every inch I moved the Y axis in .002 (the thickness of a hair). I did this for the lid and box and then had to sand the dovetail to make one smooth surface out of them.



Once I had the two fitting like I wanted, I still needed to put some kind of a finish on it. And sure enough once I had a clear finish on it, the lid didn't fit anymore and I had to sand a couple of surfaces so it would fit again. But the worst part of the whole project wasn't the sanding and fitting, it was the finish that I choose that wouldn't dry.

Day after day went by and the gift was still tacky so I finally forced dried it in my oven at the lowest temp with the door propped open so it didn't get too hot. Well that worked fine, but my wife's special day came and went so the present was late. I felt pretty bad about the whole thing but she was just fine with it which made me feel better.






The bottom is covered with brown felt so it won't scratch anything that it sits on. Now this looked a whole lot better back in the mid nineties when it was new.



I put a 45 degree chamfer on the lid and also cut a fine detail line around it too. This was pretty easy to make and has held up pretty good over the last 20 years.