Monday, May 30, 2016

A Maple WoodBox with a Sliding Lid

Everyone needs a box if they have anything they care about to be stored. Boxes were bought or made with basic woodworking tools. Small boxes were used in kitchen to store spices. When used in other places ranged in size from small to large. A slide box is not a highly secure box style because there is no locking mechanism, so it would and could be further stored inside a hinged chest that can be locked.
This type of box has no hinges. No metal meant this box could be made by a sailor at sea with few woodworking tools or by a person of limited means. It is good for home storage in a kitchen for spices, or for a deck of cards and a set of dice.
I needed a box because I have things I care about to be stored: more precisely, my gaming set. Pouches can be crushed more easily, as can hardened leather. Cards are best protected in a hard case, and this fits the bill. Maple was chosen for this for its look and weight. Maples are period and native to Wales [11], though Silver Maples are not indigenous to Europe. By the Tudor times, there was plenty of trade and importing of lumber. My persona is married to a sailor, though, and it is quite possible that a Silver Maple box could come to be in my possession. Further, because the Silver Maple is the softest of the Maples, it would make sense that a working class sailor might be able to come by the wood (say from a fire wood pile), like its look, and make a box from it, whereas a master woodworker might pass it up for such a thing because he finds the wood too soft and common and not worth his time. 
There is proof of sliding lid style boxes and dove tail joint chests and boxes in Tudor times and on the Mary Rose[12][3] 
In Viking time in Ireland [4],Early medieval Dublin,[4]in Egypt and the middle east all the way back to 6th century A.D[5][6]. 
 Boxes of all types are well documented in illuminations and through surviving pieces in museums today.My box is a design is based on small storage boxes from the wreck of the Mary Rose, which sank in 1545.  These boxes featured a sliding lid rather than a hinged lid, and they came in several sizes.

My Material
There was a large tree that we were cutting up for firewood; it was a Maple with Spalting [1].
 I had it identified by an Arborist and wood worker Master Avery, as Silver Maple [8] [9] I had a sawyer cut the block into planks. [8]

Hand tools used for woodworking have mostly stayed the same from what I have learned from Master Avery and Master Gerald and the St Thomas Guild[8][2][10]. It is well documented in illuminations what tools were used because Jesus’ father was a carpenter, and as such, illuminations in Bibles to that effect abound. The Mary Rose Carpenters Chest contained the wooden remains of most all of the tools I used.[13]

From my conversations about boxes with master woodworkers, I have learned that the dove tail joint has been used throughout the medieval times in different areas but not directly in Britain. They did, however, trade with the areas that did use them. Dove tails are still the mark of a well-made piece of furniture today. No less than two of the chests found on the Mary Rose had dove tails.[12][16][14]