Carved Cherry Wood Box

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My father-in-law loves koi, he has a pond with many huge beautiful fish in it. One year for father's day I decided to make him a keepsake box from some scrap Cherry I had left over from an earlier project for my Mother-in-law. Anyway lets take a look at that I did. It was a basic box with no fancy joinery, but I decided that I would try my hand at carving.

I own Chisels, but they were far to large for the small box I wanted to make. So for under $10 I got a 10 piece 'cheesy' chisel set. true junk I thought until I started using them. They were easy to use and to sharpen with a wet stone or even better some 600 grit wet/dry sandpaper. That was it.

Step 1: Start Carving

I started with a sharp pencil and started drawing japanese coy using some paintings in an art book for reference.

Then use the chisels to indent and make deep marks on the pencil lines.

Then start to do the relief cutting for depth, and finish off with the details. sound easy enough? it took me 6 weeks doing it anywhere from 30 min to 2 hours a day... lol Some of that time was spent visualizing what it was going to look like or how to cover up a mistake or deciding what to have to eat.

Step 2: Decorate the Lid.

Not sure where the inspiration for this guy came from but I went with it. My projects are rarely planed from start to finish, they grow like a tree with no branch duplicated twice. All my projects, even duplications, are unique just like trees. The grain of the wood lets you know what to do with it, select the grain for your project or let the project be guided by the grain, either way you will be left with a creation of art instead of just a thing.

Step 3:

Added tung oil and urethane and ta da! I hope you like this as much as My Father-in-law does. I was pretty proud of my first carving attempt.

Make a Box Contest

Second Prize in the
Make a Box Contest

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    21 Discussions

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    warriorethos2

    3 years ago

    Nice carving work on this box. I like that you chose one fish for the lid and used a lot of fish on the sides. Great work. Good luck in the contest.

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    jdavis8

    3 years ago

    Good job!
    Can you give more details like what chisel you used for the different details of the fish, etc. I like your work, but think if this detail were added it would add to your instructable and may help you towards winning this contest.

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    Chipper Bert

    3 years ago

    Wow! Are you absolutely being truthful that this is your first carving ever?

    It is way impressive and very beautiful. I've been messing about with carving for years and have never come close.

    By the way it's Koi not Coy and Tung oil not Tongue but with talent like yours who cares about spelling

    I've made this a favourite so I can just come back when I'm feeling down

    Thanks for sharing...

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    Festrada007Chipper Bert

    Reply 3 years ago

    Yes sir, first time. and I enjoyed it so much I bought more chisels and have done more projects. It is very relaxing. Thanks for the proof read, I really do appreciate it.:) One of my friends was getting married and him and his wife love Celtic art, so I made them a blanket chest for a wedding gift. The blanket chest was my second carving project.

    I dont have enough pictures of it to make an Instructable from, but you have inspired me to do a project and record it for this purpose,

    380460_2131752385110_1669116765_n.jpg393577_2131752305108_2001710526_n.jpg
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    Chipper BertFestrada007

    Reply 3 years ago

    I too, need to get off my butt...

    I'm not advertising but have you come across a website called
    www.woodcarvingworkshops.tv
    You have to subscribe to it to get full value but it has a members gallery where you can look at other carver's projects. If you do, you will see that you have nothing to stand back for.

    Again, wow!

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    tribyoidal

    3 years ago

    can you please share a link to the $10 chisels and/or nicer ones you ended up getting please?

    1 reply
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    Festrada007tribyoidal

    Reply 3 years ago

    The chisels I used to make the Koi box are like these,

    http://www.amazon.com/Carving-Chisel-Knife-Woodwor...

    The other ones I got were from Costco and cost around $50 similar to these.

    http://www.amazon.com/SUNREEK-Sculpture-Carving-Wo...

    They do not have to be fancy, just be able to keep an edge, I make then sometimes from hacksaw blades too, just make sure when sharpening, never heat the tip to much, if it discolors then you lose the temper and it will not hold an edge.

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    zabs

    3 years ago

    This tutorial is AMAZING! Somehow the concept of carving nifty boxes seems really fulfilling! I don't know if you're interested in making tutorials to make the actual wooden boxes but if you ever do I would be beside myself with joy!

    1 reply
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    Festrada007zabs

    Reply 3 years ago

    I can do that, what kind of box and what kind of joinery?

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    zabs

    3 years ago

    ....So sorry about the comment hiccup. I would delete them if I could x.x

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    zabs

    3 years ago

    This tutorial is AMAZING! Somehow the concept of carving nifty boxes seems really fulfilling! I don't know if you're interested in making tutorials to make the actual wooden boxes but if you ever do I would be beside myself with joy!

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    zabs

    3 years ago

    This tutorial is AMAZING! Somehow the concept of carving nifty boxes seems really fulfilling! I don't know if you're interested in making tutorials to make the actual wooden boxes but if you ever do I would be beside myself with joy!

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    seamster

    3 years ago

    This is really nice! I'm inspired, and need to start carving more! :)