A few months back in blog titled The Ones That Got Away , I wrote about two auction items I coveted but apparently not enough to win. One of them was this salt box:

I didn't win this one.

I didn’t win this one.

For a friend’s birthday I made this saltbox:

I turned the knob, too. I couldn't find a brass equivalent.

I turned the knob, too. I couldn’t find a brass equivalent.

I was pleased with the build. Only thing I believe I got wrong was the angle of the cut-a-way for the lid. I didn’t pick the color, the recipient did. My mistake was picking up a milk paint sample chart from an antiques dealer 80 miles from home. I did find a local dealer but would have preferred she had chosen one of the General Finishes acrylic “milk paint” over the mix-me-up powdered genuine milk paint. She also wanted a more primitive finish, not the smooth and uniform finish that I usually try for. Just like Peter Follansbee not letting me make the English jointed stool too pretty when I took the class at the Woodwright’s School.

If you read Chris Schwarz’s blog at either Popular Woodworking or Lost Art Press, you know he has been writing about historic squares in the past month or two. The squares looked like an interesting project, relatively quick to build and not requiring much material. (No trip to the Hardwood Store.) As a woodworker with ADD, I am always looking for a diversion and something to keep me from doing what must be done. These fit the bill.

Walnut, I have lots of walnut.

Walnut, I have lots of walnut.

It was a rewarding build. Hadn’t really used hollows and rounds to any great extent. I scratched the bead on the Melencolia square with a #66 beading tool. The challenge is to figure out the sequence of using the planes and the best way to rough out the molding profiles before using the molding planes. I have been taught it is best to use a block or other plane to remove most of the wood before switching to the hollows and rounds to refine the shape. Block planes are easier to sharpen than a molding plane.

From the front, the Melencolia squares, the Wierix squares and 'Der Schreiner' squares.

From the front, the Melencolia squares, the Wierix squares and ‘Der Schreiner’ squares.

I made multiples because it is easier to make longer moldings than shorter ones. I have learned my lesson there. Now I have to find something to do with the spares. Always my problem, what to do with the stuff I make. Not a bad problem to have. Beats gout.