All about the boxes
All of the boxes (apart from the ring boxes) are signed and numbered on the underside. They are all categorised and catalogued for future reference. By engraving, the box's provenance is assured for the future. I'm sure they will become heirlooms and wonder what people will think in a hundred years!
I tend to use indigenous British hardwoods as I have more control over the selection and sourcing. I spend a lot of time looking for those unusual pieces that inspire that special box. However I have sourced and used exotic timbers. It takes a very long time to season timber to the degree necessary for boxmaking, more about this in commissions. Some examples of the woods I use can be found on the wood species page
I have an inherent dislike of metal, like Marmite you either love or hate it. Most of the hinges on my boxes are made of wood including the hinge pin. Different box designs tend to lend themselves to different styles of hinge some examples are illustrated below, some are no more than a simple hidden pivot. Some require an accuracy of 0.1mm - very challenging when working in wood!
Most of the boxes I make on a speculative basis though I do accept commissions for boxes and am happy to make bespoke boxes - however please understand that wood needs to be very well seasoned and this is sometimes the limiting factor as there is usually a timeframe involved.
Stains and Fillers
Wood to me is a beautiful material and the less done to change its look - the better. Knots, splits, holes where knots once were only enhance the character in my eyes and as long as the wood is structurally sound it stays as it is. The grain is left open and sometimes enhanced to give a more weathered look if I feel it is suitable for the overall design. Each box is finished with three coats of hardwax oil, or six coats of acrylic lacquer followed by beeswax.
Traditional joints are my favorite - mitres, through dovetails, half-blind dovetails, mortice and tenon. I'm a firm believer that joints should be an interference fit and that the use of glue be kept to a minimum. Joints can be made accurately enough that they barely need clamping! Some of the joints are tiny and very intricate.