Sunday, December 29, 2013

2014 Box Challenge

It’s not a resolution!

As a way to celebrate my 100th blog post and ring in the new year, I’ve decided to give myself a woodworking challenge.

Some of my favorite projects to build have always been boxes.  They are a great way to practice techniques and joinery on a small scale, they make use of smaller scraps and off-cuts of what is sometimes expensive wood, and they make great gifts.  The boxes I have made over the past few years have given me my first exposure to topics like keyed miter joints, veneering, inlay and bent lamination.

There is just something about a box that invites a story, or the expectation of a story.  Almost everyone I know has some old box (or other container) floating around in their possessions that belonged to someone special, perhaps preceding them by two or three generations.  Acknowledging that the United States is still a fairly young country, many of us have relatives that came to these shores from all over the world…usually with very little…about what might fit in, say, a small box.

We have stories of our grandparents and great grandparents coming to the U.S. with a sack of clothes and a small collection of precious things.  Maybe they were pictures…medals of family heroes…a special piece of jewelry...a rock, twig or leaf from “home”...maybe even the only few cents to their name, tucked lovingly into a little box that hid in that sack of clothes.  Their careful selections of those choice items that meant the most to them traveled across the world, protected by wood, leather, cardboard or tin.  The thought that I might build a box that serves someone well beyond their own years is very inspiring.

I’ve never been a New Year’s Resolution kind of guy, but I do have a desire to spend more productive time in the shop doing things that inspire me…so, I’m challenging myself to build a new box every week throughout 2014 and give them all away as gifts.

I’ve got a little bit of a cheater’s head-start in that I have a few unfinished box projects in various stages of works to help get my mojo going again.  J  I’ll start with knocking those out first and then move on to new designs.

Stay tuned for Box #1 to be revealed on Sunday, January 5th.


Dyami Plotke said...

Quite the challenge, Pete. Good luck.

Pete said...

Thanks Dyami!

Tucker Tuck said...

Pete, great goal with an great description. I look forward to seeing what you create.

I'm also setting out to walk a trail of project completion; each utilizing some design and/or technique heretofore unrealized.

Thanks for sharing.

Pete said...

Thanks Tucker! Do you have a website or facebook page where you post your work. I'd love to follow along.

Tucker Tuck said...

Hi Pete,

I'm no longer Lumberjocking for a few reasons, and I'm not blogging, but I'm using Google+ as a sort of blog. I should be going the other direction and simply linking blog posts to the Plus page. Maybe soon I'll get to that.

You can view that Plus content by following this ridiculously long indexed url: