Much like the first time I saw a barn raising, these carved boxes really called to me. I’m a very visual and hands-on type of person and both of these crafts are just that.

The more research I do into the history of early 18th century furniture making the more fascinated I become, particularly with green wood working and solving the mysteries of early layout systems.  A compass, square and gouges are the tools used to layout the geometry plus a good eye for aesthetics and spatial patterns.

Most of the original pieces I’ve seen usually have just the front panel carved but I like to carve the side panels as well. When viewing the boxes you can see two faces and with a raking light it is truly stunning.

I use two types of wood for the boxes.  I use radially riven red oak for all of the panels and sometimes for the lid. I use sawn eastern white pine as a secondary wood for the bottom board and sometimes for the lid. Oak and pine are used for the interior till compartment as well. The till lid also serves to prop open the main box lid. I enjoy making these boxes entirely with hand tools with the exception of a chain saw to cut the massive oak logs (sometimes twenty four inches in diameter) into smaller sections for riving. From there I use both metal and wooden wedges to open up the log by always riving into halves. I then use a traditional froe to rive the oak into panel planks.  Flattening and sizing the boards is achieved with a broad hatchet and hand planes. When the boards have air dried to an acceptable moisture content I begin the carving.

Several years ago, I attended a class at the Yestermorrow deisgn/ build school in Warren VT, on traditional chair making techniques.  After working on chairs for a few years I decided to take a class with Peter Follansbee on making traditional 18th century boxes.  What began as a source of fascination on the side of my work as a joiner has now grown into an extension of my craft.  Please feel free to browse  the photos below  showing  the process of making a box.  If you are interested in purchasing any of my pieces or would like something made to order please feel free to contact me at

Furniture Portfolio

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