Saturday, 9 June 2012

Lining boxes with Andrew Crawford

 Last week I spent two very enjoyable and informative days with the famous box maker Andrew Crawford. I wanted to learn his techniques for fitting and lining box interiors. Here I am using his mini vacuum attachment for cleaning up.

Andrew is shown here cutting a 2mm slice of foam through the band saw, yes you can do that!! The blade was a fresh 6 tpi one and the foam was pushed through against a high fence with a sand paper backed board of mdf.

Here he is cutting slots on the inter connecting pieces with a 4mm router bit on the spindle moulder, yes you can do that as well! Note the pieces are being cut laying down which gives curved end to the slot and puts less pressure on the cutter. The spindle table was shrouded by a tight fitting jig incorporating a built in stop.

Here is his set up for sanding 45 degree mitres as well as trimming to 90 degrees. The jig has a hook to register it square. The sander was a monster and with no brake takes 45 minutes to stop once full speed has built up.

This is one of his fantastic boxes, if you're interested there will be very little change from £5,000.

For those of you familiar with Andrews magazine articles you'll know his is a great advocate of sanding machine and jigs rather than relying on planes. When I turned round and caught him squaring up some stock on a shooting board with my jointer plane I just had to get a shot!

This is one of the trays we fitted and lined with bottle green pig sued.

Here is a very neatly fitted ring rung, something I have always struggled with, but not any more. Below is a series of steps to take multiple trays on one of my larger jewellery boxes. This was lined in black to pick up on the spalted maple panel.

This box was lined in royal blue and the Victory oak box below was done in a nice muted burgundy.

I had been looking forward to this visit for a little while and it certainly didn't disappoint. I can see why his short courses get booked up so quickly.


  1. Those liners add a wonderful finished touch to those boxes. really completes them, I need to understand how to do this better.

    1. Andrew has written 3 or 4 books on box making which cover lining as well as a lot more.

  2. Lovely job with the linings, David - they add that special hushed atmosphere on opening a jewellery box.

    Still, do you experience a slight tussle of 'to line, or not to line' when you build in such special wood? I guess the wood has two sides, so you can have both!

    1. Any piece with a door or lid has two opportunities to impress and surprise. Leaving the interior unlined is probably going to miss the second opportunity.

  3. Totally unique stuff is here really amazing!!!
    best band saw