My basement rehab project is temporarily on hold because Butch, the groundskeeper/laborer here on the estate fractured a foot disciplining a wayward ottoman. Since good help is exceedingly difficult to find now that Amurka is great again, I am forced to postpone further construction until Butch is out of the boot.
So I got a chance to get a head start on my Christmas white elephant gift exchange project for this year. I’ve had an idea percolating around in my head for a while for something with contrasting wood, so I started with maple and walnut.
Plenty of contrast between those, for sure. Maybe too much for my conservative taste, but what the heck, I’m giving this away anyhow. The next step is to assemble those pieces into a box using a technique known as finger joints. I just file some alternating notches in the ends of the boards and slip them together like lacing your fingers.
Speaking of fingers, it was at this point that Butch clumped by in the boot, waggled some in the center hole and said “It doesn’t look like it will hold much.” Sigh. Being a top-notch groundskeeper, Butch doesn’t work on indoor projects much, and doesn’t have the vision for it. Butch could not see the potential hole, the hole that was not yet there. So I whipped out my pocket knife and quickly carved out the center of the box.
Butch said, “Oh… Now I get it.” And hobbled back into the house, still not overly impressed, still failing to not see what is there. I quickly sharpened my pocket knife and sliced the corners off the box, revealing the final shape.
Not too bad. I like the shape, but I’m thinking the extreme contrast between the light and dark woods will make this a “love it or hate it” piece for most people. The last step is to make a lid. I wanted to try my hand at a little inlay work, so I went with a simple sine wave.
I incorporated another idea I’ve been playing around with, using guitar purfling for non-instrument applications. It came out okay, but looking at it in that photo right now, I can’t help but think I should have used more of the walnut for that inlay instead.
There is still a lot of sanding and finish work to do. I will post a photo of the finished product when I get it done. No telling when that will be. Butch is itching to get back on the basement.