Dragon Box

One of the things I enjoy most about woodworking is designing and making something for someone else.  I freind of mine is a very talented tattoo artist name Matt Greenhalgh of Only You Tattoo.  Matt specializes in traditional Japanese as well as traditional American.  I wanted to make a box that could be used in his shop that represented his work.

Small boxes like this are a great way to practice up on the hand tools.  With the small parts I find using a my carcass saw and a shooting board to be the most accurate way to make my cuts.  I also used a set of grooving planes I built from Matt Kenny’s design.  You can find his article on how to make your own set here: Shop Made Grooving Planes.

The box is made from a combination of woods including Cherry for the sides, Maple for the top and bottom, and Wenge for the miter keys.  The top slides on and off has a stop on the end of the top to make the box look solid when closed.

I used a picture of a dragon head designed by Matt for the top.  After drawing out the dragon I used carbon paper to transfer it onto the wood.  The lines were then burnt into the wood useing a wood burner.  I use the kind you can pick up cheap at any hobby store.  There are a few on the market that are completely adjustable and have lots of attachments but for the few projects I actually use it on the cheap one works fine for me.

It helps to smooth all of the parts before glueup as it is hard to get into the tight corners afterwards.  I finished the box with 4 coats of shellac.

Be safe, learn something, and have fun!



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2 Responses to “Dragon Box”

  1. January 5, 2013 at 4:26 pm #

    Very cool how you basically did the same technic as applying a tattoo. I’d love to find out more. My wife just picked up a burner before Christmas that she was experimenting with,.

    • highrockww
      January 8, 2013 at 12:43 am #

      Yes the process is very close to how a tattoo is applied. Just with a little extra tracing to get onto the wood instead of the transfer paper they use. The wood burner is a lot of fun. If you will look back in this blog I made my daughter an ABC block last year. I used the burner on that project as well. I would recommend getting started with letters like that to get a feel of how the burner reacts to the wood. In the ABC block I used Chestnut, Oak, and Maple they all reacted very different.

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