The Liquor Box
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The Liquor Box, Part 2

First, let me remind readers that this is a project which was built during the Spring and Summer of 2020. See part 1 of this series here.

With the opportunity to build this box, I tried a few things that I had never done before: 1) The box itself is a first; I’ve never built a proper box before. 2) I decided to try making my own quarter-sawn material from what originally were flat-sawn boards. 3) I had a piece of live edge walnut lumber which I thought would be ideal for this project. I’ve never worked with lumber directly from a saw mill. In short, this was going to be a totally new and fresh project for me.

Making Quarter-Sawn Ash

I bought a supply of ash a while back, intended for a chair project I lost interest in. Some of this ash was close to 1 3/4″ thick or more. It has since been in my workshop waiting to be used on some other project. I was thinking that the light color of ash would work well with the dark color of walnut. I’m not a fan of flat-sawn ash (also referred to as plain-sawn). The grain is strong with cathedrals which are broad and pronounced. I’m at a point where I like grain that is more quiet. In a video by Philip Morley, he talked about how he likes to take thick, flat-sawn lumber and slice pieces off turning these slices into quarter-sawn boards; a process he calls the “rip and flip”. I used this method to make quarter-sawn ash. Take a look at the image below…

My version of the “rip and flip”.

Above, the thick ash board on the left and a stack of slices on the right. The resulting slices have a very linear grain. Then on to the jointer and planer to get uniform edges and faces. And then some glue-up.

Forming the Basic Box Shape

Following the simple plan I created in SketchUp Layout (see it here), I had to create rabbets and grooves along with 45 degree miter cuts to each end.

Note the linear grain. I’ve never seen this look from ash.
Ends cut to a 45 degree and grooves added.

Note the little router plane above. I’ve always wanted a router plane and this project was the impetus for buying one. So this is another first for this project: using a router plane and I’ll add that it was fun to use. Now I need a large router plane. 🙂

The ash components taped together. Note the lid fits onto rabbets in the box.
Note the joint between the lid and box is hard to see.

So far, everything is going well, the lid and box components were cut to length with the same set-up at the table saw. What I mean is that I cut the two long sides of the box as well as the two long sides for the lid at the same time with the same set-up (fence location, stop bock) ensuring these parts were identical in length. Then I did the same for the short sides. The grooves were all cut with the same set-up as well.

With the box and lid components fabricated and fitted together, next comes the walnut parts. I’ll be using a rustic, live edge piece of walnut for this which was a first for me. That will be coming soon.

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During the week, I sell flooring products for TDG Floors. Weekends, you'll find me in my basement workshop making furniture.

6 Comments

    • That is a kind thing to say. 🙂 my dad thought I should have been an architect. I guess woodworking is the closest I’ll ever get to being one.

  1. Javier MartĂ­nez says

    Excelente trabajo, Jeff. Ya no eres un aficionado sino todo un profesional

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