Pekovich-Style Tea Box
Based on Mike Pekovich's plans in Fine Woodworking Magazine, this tea box was a chance for me to try my hand at cutting dovetails. I have also been listening to the Shop Talk Live podcast (also by Fine Woodworking Magazine), and one of the bits of advice that stuck with me was that a good way to increase your skills at woodworking is to choose a small project and make it as perfect as you can. Since the size of the project is small, the tolerances are also small, making precision important.
In the case of this project, the outer box is made of some leftover cherry hardwood flooring that I got for free, planed down to a thinner thickness and to remove the finish, and the interior box is curly maple that I got at Rockler. The box is made all as one piece, the top is then cut off, and then the inner liner is made to fit. If you look at the original plans, Pekovich creates a rope clasp and magnetic fastener to keep the box closed. I got lazy and just made a handle and use gravity to keep the box closed.
The finish on this is shellac, with a final buff with OOOO steel wool (to dull the gloss) and a coating of wax.
It was a fun project, highly recommended to help learn dovetailing. I also highly recommend buying one of those clear dovetail cutting aids, as it's quite tricky to get square cuts as a beginner.