Last day and home with boxes

This is always a highlight for me and it is for attendees too. It has been for almost twenty years. I have made hundreds of these and maybe one day I should make one blindfolded.

As I said in a previous blog, creating a simple dovetailed box like this bespeaks of a time past when people recognized the need for order as an absolute. The Shakers of course were known for their orderly lives in both the home and the workshop. I know of no group that ever existed before or after the Shakers that established such a perfecting structure to define a people and not just a person. These Shaker candle boxes would have once stored the long beeswax candles hand made in the community in Albany and other regions of New York. The methods we use to form them match those of early makers from these American communities.



Amazingly, our standards matched theirs. Even on a very first box.

Each of the makers here over the past three days took much longer in making their boxes. I take about 1 1/2 hours to make mine, but then, as I said, I have made so many of them as I teach others to make them. At least twenty a year for twenty years!

Many skills were developed and mastered over the past three days and this brings order to the work.

Working wood doesn’t come easy to everyone, but perseverance always produces results pleasing to maker and teacher. I respect those who see the value in struggling to completion regardless of wether the work is perfected or not.



Concentration and thought are important breaks necessary to evaluate the outcome of a tools performance.












The lid fitting and hinging closes the work of the three days. There is something about hinge setting that challenges students because it’s usually something they have never done before or if they did the outcome was disappointing. We focus special time on this and the result is always reflective in that a misplaced screw can upset the location of the hinge or the alignment of the screw in relation to the countersunk recess.

I know this. Every time the lid clunks on closure a smile appears on everyone’s face including mine.

Every class is different. The results are always satisfying.