All About Yew

Four same-sized off-cuts of Pacific yew just begged to be shown off. The amazing colour. The grain. Each piece was thin, long and narrow, restricting my options of what it could be used for. I have always found decorative boxes fascinating and there are really no rules when building one. Four pieces of spectacular wood for a series of four boxes. Each box, I decided, would be completely different from the others. Not to detract from the focus – the yew – I chose plain maple to construct the bodies of the boxes. All the boxes were finished with given a name describing the yew, carved in Latin with a V-tool, and finished on the outside with Shellawax. Overall dimensions given are length x width x height, in inches.

CETERA DESUNT (“the rest is missing”)

13 x 2-9/16 x 1-5/8

If simple construction, the body was made from a single block of wood. I sawed off the front and back and, after hollowing out the center, glued them back on. The lift-off lid sits positively in the recessed body. The openings adjacent to the lid offer a glimpse into what may be contained within, teasing its audience while the curvaceous lettering blended with straight lines mimics the shape of the box itself.

IN MEDIAS RES (“in the midst of things”)

11-1/8 x 3 x 1-3/4

Featuring a slick, sliding lid which will almost open by itself this box is just fun to play with. All the joinery of this box is cut at the table saw. Rabbets in the front and back accept the ends, and the bottom and sliding top are also rabbeted to fit in their respective grooves.

INTRA MUROS (“within the walls”)

11-5/8 x 3 x 1-7/16

Framed by a mitered border, the yew really stands out as the center of attention. It’s clean lines are accentuated by the ultra-modern lettering style which wraps around the box, unifying the lid and box. The lift-off lid registers securely on the base thanks to carefully cut rabbets.

NE NIMIUM (“not too much”)

11-1/4 x 2-5/8 x 2-5/16

The cleanest and simplest design, the body is joined with dados and rabbets and the bottom simply glued on. A shallow rabbet around the outside of the lid permits a secure seat atop the box.

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