Wooden Pen Box – Part 2…

The pen box is complete and I think it came out rather well.

Wooden Pen Box

Wooden Pen Box

It’s made of red oak and poplar and was completed entirely with hand tools.  The top and bottom are 5 piece raised panel construction and the sides are dovetailed at the back, with a sliding dovetailed dado-ed drawer support in the front (I guess that’s what you would call that joint??).  The drawers have half blind dovetails at the front, then what I think would be called a through tenon in the back (apologies on my lack of woodworking terminology!).  The sides of the drawers overhang the back a little bit, allowing for the drawers to hang open completely without coming out.  I added a small bead around the raised panel on the top and also the drawer fronts.  Finally, it was finished with a few coats of shellac, sanding very lightly in-between, with a final buff and wax.

For you pen folks out there, the interior of the drawer is just a pen tray from GoPens cut to fit.  Each drawer holds about 25 pens, with plenty of depth for large pens.  It fits perfectly on the shelf where it was designed to go and works out much better than the cigar boxes I was using previously for pen storage.

There were a lot of firsts for me with this project, so I learned quite a bit.

  • This was my first time doing half-blind dovetails and I think they came out reasonably well.  A couple were a little loose, but not so bad.  I actually really enjoyed cutting these, so will definitely try to add these in to future projects.
  • This was also my first raised panel try, which is why the top and bottom were made with them, just so I could practice on the bottom!  I had done flat panels before, but never a raised one.  The panel is kind of pillowed, more shaker style, which I think looks nice and was probably a little easier.  I was a little careless on the depth of the tongue and grooves however, so there are some visible gaps that I’m not real happy with.
  • Lastly, my first hand bead.  I sort of added this last minute and used the Paul Sellers poor man’s beading tool method (a screw and block of wood).  It actually looks OK, and the small size of it matches the wide, stretched nature of the box overall.  If I was planning this from the beginning I would have made the top panel with small miter joints for the beads, but this is mostly hidden away on it’s home shelf anyway, so I wasn’t too concerned with it.

That’s about it.  Like I said, I’m pretty happy with it and learned quite a lot, my pens will certainly be happy with their new home!

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