Bruce’s “Reclaimed” Memory Box

Viewer Project - By Bruce Cherrill from Co. Carlow, Ireland
Added on March 5, 2012

Most of my inspiration comes from the internet and pictures I collect. Materials I mainly use are those donated, collected or recycled. It’s a preference, as money to buy wood is scarce and knowing where my timber comes from is somehow satisfying to me.

Anyway, I was trawling the internet and I came across a ‘memory box’, a term that was new to me (we don’t have such fancy names for boxes over here in Ireland!) but it gave me an idea for a box for my long time girlfriend. She needed a place to put documents and the like, so I thought I could make something big enough so she could ‘file’ things without having to fold them. This would be a big box compared to those I had previously made.

I was a little short on timber at the time but found a white oak board that came from The Lisnavagh Timber Project just up the road from me. Unfortunately, it was not quite big enough. So another rummage around and I came across a piece of walnut that was an off cut from a floorboard. It was just big enough to fill the shortfall. Admittedly, this was all being figured out in my head, but I reckoned the walnut could be the centerpiece to the lid, if I was lucky.

After measuring I realised that I could have it floating like a panel, which was preferable to me at this point as I had no idea what the shrinkage would be and how the oak and walnut would interact (I work in an old converted cow shed, so no humidity control to provide comfort in wood moisture content). After deciding I needed more in the way of decoration, I looked towards the African Mahogany I had recovered from our local church. A few off cuts from that would make great contrast!

After doing some drawings to confirm the picture in my head wasn’t too off the mark, I went ahead and made the box you see here. I didn’t like the look of the bare plywood base from underneath so I ripped some of the walnut into thin strips and glued it on.

I’ll have to work on the feminine part of my personality for the next project like this because it is a bit on the masculine side. However, it did fit the task and is well used.