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Building A Keepsake Box

memory boxMy Grandmother passed away last December, who I was very close to. I hold dear those memories of growing up having such a great-grandmother. One of my favorite memories was all those summer weekends, sitting with her in the back of Grandpa’s boat as he rowed us around the lake so we could fish. Grandma used to joke with me that the stinky hand lotion she used would attract the fish. She would tell me that I should rub some on the hook, and I would catch more fish. I thought she was full of it, but somehow, she always caught more fish than me.

After the memorial service, my grandfather approached me and asked me if I would build a memory box for some keepsakes of Grandma. With so many great memories of my grandma, I told him I would be honored and went to work on my design.

Like many kids, when I was growing up, I made things for my grandparents, from bird feeders to a miniature grandfather clock. My grandmother kept every one of them. Her collection showed my growth as a carpenter and demonstrated my increasing skill level over the years. After thinking back on everything I had built her, I wanted this design to rival anything I had built up to this point.

The geometry of my design seemed overwhelming at first. I wanted to incorporate Dovetails into the box. I wanted it to be the featured piece, so it needed to be more than just dovetailing the corners together. The design I came up with used walnut posts as the corners, and I then dovetailed the figured maple into them. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever built.

Spending several hrs. in the shop building this project gave me time to reflect. It turned out to be a very therapeutic way to mourn. I believe my grandmother would think this makes a great final piece for her collection of the things I have built for her.

Follow the link if you want me to build you a custom keepsake box.

I’m the owner of Benham Design Concepts, a mixed media art studio where I design and build custom furniture and other works of art using wood, glass, stone, and various metals.
In this blog, I talk about the art I create, my journey, and the things I learn along the way.