Little boxes


My girlfriend makes candy for Christmas every year. She makes a lot of candy. It’s a fun little gift to give to friends and family, because really, who doesn’t like chocolate?

Last year, I got a little obsessed with cherry cordials. (We had some cherries that we macerated in bourbon, brandy, and almond liquor that I thought would make good cherry cordials.) Of course, the first time that we tried to make them, they didn’t turn out very good. (I have learned that cherry cordials are more than a little finicky.) But, a couple of attempts later, and we are starting to figure out the little tricks to making the little suckers. Furthermore, I had the brilliant idea to try making a rosemary ganache for rosemary truffles. Well, one thing lead to another, and we ended up with some pretty fancy chocolates to give away this year.

Of course, I wasn’t quite satisfied yet. I decided that our fancy candy should get a fancy box. So, I disappeared into the shop to mill up some scrap wood for boxes.


Yep, that’s a lot of boxes.

And, here they are put together waiting for lids.


And, here’s the stack of completed boxes.


And, the completed product all filled up with candy.


Unfortunately, we ended up being just a bit short of the fancy boxes, so a few folks on the list will have to make do with a plain paper box. I’ll be better prepared next year.

A bed

I’ve been pretty heads down for the past little bit working on a big ol’ king sized bed frame. The customers are civil engineers living in North Portland, and wanted it to look something like the St John’s Bridge. For any folks reading this that don’t live in Portland, here’s a photo of the bridge taken from the deck of the bridge.


It’s really a very pretty bridge.

Now, I couldn’t help but to introduce a little curve here, a curve there, but we worked through a number of ideas and settled on a design for the headboard that features the three gothic arches that are so prominent at the top of the bridge’s support towers.

Considering that I had just enough elm that had been salvaged from the Portland Park blocks 20 years ago sitting in my shop as leftovers from another project to build the frame of this bed, and considering that the St John’s Bridge is a Portland landmark, it was a easy decision to use that elm as the basis for all of the other wood choices in the bed. I settled on using some figured maple for panels to represent the gothic arches, and some pretty basic walnut as panels for the remaining spaces. A bunch of milling, cutting, and shaping ensued, and this is what came out the other end.


A little more shaping …


The footboard is much more simple.


I had to do some rearranging of the shop in order to get it all put together.


And, here’s a close up of the birds on one of the arches. (I had some significant tearout when I planed it, so I figured that inlaying a bird would be the perfect way to fix it. And, now it’s art.)