Published by The Taunton Press, Connecticut, USA.
As reviewed in The Australian Woodworker Issue 174
There would be few people who work with wood who have not, at some time, been interested in making boxes.
Aesthetic considerations aside, and even ignoring their usefulness, there are many practical reasons for this. Boxes are generally small enough to require little material and only a modestly sized workshop. They allow inclusion of 'special' wood and, above all, encourage exercise of skills to achieve a finely crafted result.
There have, however, been so many books written on the subject that any new text must offer something quite different.
This book does just that. It contains instructions for seven projects, each a unique box. Together, they require the use of an unusually wide range of skills, including joinery, carving, marquetry, radius inlays and even segmented turning.
Zongker’s first creation is the Serpentine Coin Box which has a serpentine bow front and sits on a plinth supported by small bun feet.
The author begins with cutting instructions, first for the hardwood parts, then the veneers for the box top and bottom, followed by the mitres and rabbets...
Already a pattern emerges. The author explains each step so as to focus not only on the requirements of the specific project, but also more generally, on the technique as it might be applied elsewhere.
These are some of the headings of the sections that follow: Rout the corner dovetails; Make the dovetail splines; Glue the box together; Veneer the box top; Make a serpentine caul; Turn the bun feet; Install a full-mortise lockset.
The treatment given to each of the projects is similar, although the boxes are different.
The Playing Card Box is conventionally rectangular; it has decorative banding around the top edges and sides as well as marquetry images of playing cards on the lid. (A six page description of the ‘window method’ of marquetry is included).
The Artist Sketch Box, also rectangular, is covered with decorative veneers.
The Music Box has projecting mouldings on the lid and at the bottom of the sides; it sits on turned feet and is square at the rear corners.The front corners are mitred off and it has a marquetry image with a musical theme on top.
The front and back of the Rose Box are concave; the ends form serpentine curves. The lid is handsomely curved from its centre to the edges and is decorated with rose carvings.
The last two projects are jewellery boxes. The lid of the Cameo Box is decorated with a marquetry cameo and ribbon banding. The top of the lid is flat, but every other outside surface of the box is comprised of complex curves.
The final project is a Traditional Jewellery Box. Its sculptural design incorporates tapered corner pillars, a shallow divided tray beneath an ornate lid and below that, three drawers hidden behind a curved and marquetry-decorated door.
While the book will doubtless appeal to those who already have the necessary skills to undertake work of this standard, the author clearly hopes it will also guide many others to develop their woodworking skills.
Units of Measurement: Imperial