cliff-gidney-by-bandsaw

Making fine boxes

What we do

There are many reasons to use a combination of traditional hand-making and contemporary furniture making techniques. Creating fine boxes to the client’s preferred design and expectation is my primary motive.

It would be great if each stage of the box making process – from felling the tree to delivering the final box was completed by hand but this would prove too expensive. Fortunately there are always processes that can be done with more contemporary methods and tools.

Traditional hand-making

We continue to use many traditional hand-making skills and tools in our work. Tools such as chisels, hand planes, spoke-shaves, scrapers and hand saws etc are the foundation of our handwork.

We can create almost any shape with these tools and some tasks can only be done with them.

Timber smoothed with a hand plane produces surface lustre unmatched by sand paper or a machine. Hand tools excel at trimming components producing shavings thinner than 0.02mm; this allows for great accuracy and proper fitting.

Joints are hand cut for accuracy and strength, or for aesthetic detail. A dovetail created by machine is quite obvious and does not have the finesse or closeness of hand cut dovetails.

Contemporary furniture making

Today, many modern design requirements depend upon contemporary furniture making skills.

Curves and compound shapes are made possible by laminating thin pieces of wood together over shaped forms to produce light, thin and strong components. Most elegant, flowing lines are only possible using modern methods.

Shaped components can be easily veneered using a vacuum bag, enabling accurate veneering to be done on almost any surface without the need of expensive factory machines.

Hand power tools enable repetitive jobs to be done accurately, providing more time to concentrate on finer detailing by hand.

Our timber is initially flattened and prepared by our workshop Jointer to produce the lines from which all other measurements are made. The cost of converting rough planks of timber to flat usable timber by hand would be exorbitant with no benefit to the client.

Some designs requiring sunbursts and other complicated juxtapositions of timbers can only be done by veneering over stable substrates such as plywood or MDF, otherwise wood movement would crack and destroy the piece.

Traditional and contemporary furniture making skills are the same skills used to make our fine boxes and are still taught today.

The benefits of a balanced approach

A balanced approach to making fine handmade boxes allows a combination of traditional and contemporary skills to be used appropriately.

Timber is prepared and then the components are made by hand, jointed by hand and finished by hand. Some aspects of a design may require a component that can only be created with the use of a power tool or vacuum bag, however the box will be assembled and finished by hand.

All our fine boxes are made to last, consider giving a handcrafted box as a beautiful special gift.

Shop for our available boxes or read about commissioning a truly unique and personalised box.

We specialise in making watch boxes, cufflink boxes and valet boxes for men, but we can make all types of handmade box whether as one off or part of a collection.