bookmark_borderSmall Boxes from Surplus Wood

I picked up some small-ish thin pieces of mystery tropical wood from a friend, and I had a pile of surplus from the Storage Trays for Tama project, so I decided to make some small lidded boxes to give away. I started this back last fall, but they sat in the garage waiting for another slice of time I could devote to completing them. The largest of these has an 8″ by 8″ lid on a 5″ tall body, so they are mostly too small for storage but a great size for gifts.

Three small lidded boxes from mystery wood

The mystery wood boxes are finished with salad bowl oil finish, so you could use them as bento boxes, but since I can’t guarantee that they are water-tight or that the wood is not poisonous, I would not recommend it. This wood is only about quarter-inch thick, so the proportions are attractive. I decided how to use the pieces by stacking up all the wood by size and then moving down through the stack making lids and then boxes to match. All the cutting was on the band saw, then glued and pinned together. Unless the pin deflects inside the wood and pokes out, this method is fast.

Three small lidded boxes from pine

These are all made from half-inch pine, and finished with a variety of shellac techniques that I wanted to try. I think my favorite one is the rightmost one in the photo. I started with a really dilute cut of light amber shellac to give the wood a little more color, then top-coated with a thin coat of blonde shellac.

Anyway, I already have plans to fill one of the boxes with braids and add it to a gift basket that our SCA Kingdom is putting together for another Kingdom. In any case, the pile of surplus wood is a little bit smaller than it was, so success.

bookmark_borderMovie Review: Knives Out

I am an unabashed Rian Johnson fan. His first three films, Brick, The Brothers Bloom, and Looper, are part of my permanent library. I’m not sure why Disney thought it would be a good idea to have him lead a Star Wars main line film, but I admire what he tried to do, dragging the franchise in a new and unexpected direction. Knives Out is a return to what Johnson does best: Twisty little stories about people who’ve made bad choices.

I don’t mean to say that Knives Out is one of those mysteries that misleads you every step of the way. In fact, it’s one of those that lays out nearly everything you need to know, just may be you don’t realize it at the time. If you’ve seen the trailer for it, you know that a veritable wreath of murder weapons is in view for much of the film. The rules of drama dictate that something should happen, but how? Is it just a rack of red herrings?

The dialog is sharp, and yet realistic. The acting is enthusiastic, and yet not inhumanly hammy. The set is gothic, and yet not baroque. The detective is smart, and yet not brilliant. The protagonist is a good person, and yet not an angel. The script is funny, and yet not comedic. This movie walks the finest tightropeimaginable, and it never wobbles.

Each time I watch a Rian Johnson film, I feel like had I never watched one before, I’d go back and find out what I’ve been missing. See this one. Watch his other films. Look forward to the shape of the plot. Pay attention. I promise you will find the experience rewarding.