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Ben's Maple & Rosewood Box

Ben came from IBM China to work in my department for 6 months. He spent a lot of time with me in the workshop and asked if he could build something to give as a present for his manager who would be leaving China soon.  We considered several projects and decided on a hinged box made of rosewood with a tiger maple top and maple kerf slots in the corners.

Here we have cut the sides to size and glued them up, with a maple bottom inset with a small dado. A style element of this box is the use of kerf slots fitted with the same maple as the top, giving a striking contrast. Since I didn't have a kerf slot cutting jig, we made one.  The jig holds the box at a 45 degree angle and slides along the fence of my table saw. The 1/8" kerf is cut with the table saw blade, matching the 1/8" thickness of the maple. The size of the kerf is determined by the height of the saw blade.

Below, Ben is cutting the slots in the box using the jig.  Then he had to cut triangular pieces of maple to insert into the slots.

The maple slices had to fine-tuned to fit the slots perfectly. We then glued in the tiger maple into the top of the box.

With the slices and top glued in, we clamped everything down.  After the glue dried, Ben sanded the maple flush with the sides.

Below we're applying the tung oil finish which really brings out the deep color of the rosewood and the curly figure of the maple.

And the finished box.  Just look at the figure in that maple.  Trust me, it's sanded dead flat but looks like there are waves rippling on the surface.