Medal Box

For Christmas my stepson’s mother in law suggested that she would like to buy a small box to hold my step son’s military medals and ribbons, which currently reside in a plastic bag on his dresser. Since I have a wood shop, making him a box seemed like a much better idea. The box is out of black walnut, the trays have figured cherry sides and maple plywood bottoms. The trays were lined with suede.

I joined the sides with finger joints, partially because I like the look of the joint, but also because I can cut it quickly. If I had more time, I probably would have done this with hand cut dovetails, because I find the joint pleasant to make.

The lid has a recessed lower edge, so that it fits securely into the top of the box. My father made a small pencil box for me when I was a child that used a similar lid, and I’d been thinking about it recently, so I echoed it in this box. It also has a raised panel lid. I’ve always liked the look, and wanted to do one by hand. This was a great chance to give it a try. I found it very easy to do, and I really like the finished result, so I’ll probably do more hand raised panels in the future.

The finish is a boiled linseed oil and varnish combination from Tried & True. I’ve worked with it before, and it’s a pretty hard finish to goof up. It also looked better than any of the other test finishes I tried. I’ll put a final coat of bee’s wax on the box, which gives it a nice feel to the hand and is easy to restore to a brilliant shine.


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