Building a Carved Cherry Wood Box

Carved Cherry Wood Box

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 (amazon link). 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.

Start carving


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

Carving 2

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

Carving 3

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.

Decorate the lid

Decorating 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.




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.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.