Box Joint Box for Jeff

Two things: I love wood with a story, and if you give me wood, you can almost always expect to get some of it back in a different form. One of Jeff’s customers requested Vertical Grain Douglas Fir (VGDF) for window parts, a species he hadn’t processed in the past. He gave me a few boards to play with and I decided to make him a piece that could sit on his desk as a representative sample of this new product.

A box is a common woodworking project to use a small amount of an interesting species, and to try out different joinery techniques. Box or finger joints have been around for a long time and make a really strong joint because of the large amount of gluing surface the fingers provide. I decided on a sliding lid to keep this box design simple, incorporating the 1/4″ spacing of the fingers. A tiny piece of walnut made a contrasting pull on the lid. A few coats of tung oil really brought out the beauty of the Doug Fir, and highlighted the end grain of the alternating finger joints, as well.

Note: Machining VGDF proved a little tricky, as the grain structure and orientation makes cross cuts quite spintery. Some painters tape for the cross cuts and a backer board for the finger cuts kept splintering to a minimum.