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Let’s Give This A Try…

May 31, 2011

I’ve always loved wooden boxes. I’m drawn to them at antique stores and art shows. I love the intrigue, the mystery – what’s in the box! For several years, when I was much younger, I used to sneak up into the stairwell to the attic of my grandparents’ house and try to pick the lock of a small cedar box my grandfather had sitting on a step. Rumor had it the box contained love letters he and my grandmother had written to each other before they were married.

(I never could pick that lock, and by the time the box made it into my hands after my grandfather had passed away, it was empty – so I don’t know what was in it.  But it sits on my dresser and I see it and use it every day. It is a reminder of the greatness of love and of my grandfather – out of all the boxes I’ve made and owned, it is one of the most simple – and it is my favourite.)

I’ve always enjoyed making things out of wood. After messing about here and there with a few different projects, I found I was drawn to making boxes (go figure!). I love the variety of sizes I work with, the different woods I can get more easily in smaller amounts with less cost, the ease in which I can do most of it with hand tools, and especially of coming up with ways to personalize each box to its new owner.

Lately, it seems my woodworking also involves another aspect of my life I enjoy – wearing a kilt! Most of the box commissions I’ve received over the last three or four years have been for sgian dubh presentation boxes. (The sgian dubh is the small knife with the black handle that is usually seen sticking out the top of a stocking when the kilt is worn.)

For some time now, I’ve mulled over the idea of trying to blend the two together (wearing a kilt and doing woodworking, that is).

Physically, it shouldn’t be much different from wearing my cargo shorts. It’s more like a… a change in my frame of mind. Among other things, the kilt represents freedom – freedom from inhibition, freedom of expression, freedom from bifurcation.  In my woodworking, I want to try and break my creative genius free of its restraints. I don’t want to re-design the box, mind you – I think it is perfectly acceptable in its current six-sided configuration.  But I want to open up how I modify that box to make it into something that will be used and appreciated by its recipient.

Maybe if I put my unbifurcated modus operandi into effect in my workshop, it will make an impact on my woodworking! Worth a shot, anyway, right?

Mostly I suspect this blog will be written word with in-progress project photos and discussions. Now that I have a flip camera, I’m sure it will also start including video at some point, though I haven’t thought that far ahead.

And… alright, I’ll probably include a few kilt shots here and there, too.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 9, 2013 4:25 am

    Having a sinus infection is the reason for being awake early on a Saturday morning. Cold medicine keeps me awake. Finding the time to read your entire blog is compensation for the lack of sleep.
    We share a common interest in woodworking, similar workshop layouts with machinery in the garage and hand tools in the basement, and boxes. I suspect I will not venture into the kilt part of your experience since SWMBO is showing concerns about my current mental state.
    Box making is what originally attracted me to your blog. I have developed a fondnessor small wooden boxes that is bordering on fixation. My experience is limited but I am fortunate in that my loving wife likes little boxes. Even my learning experiences have found homes in an amongst the decorative touches she does so well in our home.

    P.S. This is the second comment on your blog that I’ve written. The first one was lost when I tried to navigate the posting process favored by WordPress. Alas the first one was much better than this one but then we will never know.


    • March 9, 2013 6:31 am

      I’m sorry to hear about your loss (previous post), Sneelock (can I call you Sneelock?); not sure what happened to it. I hope it didn’t get sucked up by a Spam filter. I try to scan through everything it flags before I delete them, but it may have slipped by. Or it might have been before I closely scanned them.

      Either way, welcome and thanks for taking the time to read… Well, all of it! Not quite a daunting task at just 30-some posts, but still… A lot.

      We share sinus issues, as well, then. Or, rather, I’ve had my share of them, including surgery just two months before my son was born.

      One difference so far is that I won’t use that acronym you used. I find it demeaning. Don’t get me wrong – I get why people think it is funny. And I don’t delete messages or base friendships on whether or not someone uses that acronym. But I won’t participate in perpetuating the notion that marriage isn’t an equal partnership. (Sorry; that’s the kind of honesty you’ll get from me at 6:30 in the morning… Or any time of the day, really. I try to run an honest program. 🙂 Us guys count for something, too!)

      Anyway… Thanks for reading! I’m trying to increase my posting rate. I don’t know if I’ll ever be as prolific a blogger as Chris Schwarz, but I’d like to maintain a rate of once a week, if possible. Thanks for taking the journey with me! Maybe one day you’ll even try on a kilt!




      • December 11, 2013 10:48 pm

        I’m looking for something totally different and I run across your reply. Thanks for taking the time to respond. Sorry I evidently didn’t go back for 276 days…………. and check for responses. Man I have got to get a system for this.
        The acronym is an inside joke between dear Lydia and I. She likes to think that’s her and I find it funny to let her. After 37 years it’s still a work in progress.
        Go figure.


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