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Canary Wood Kitchen Box and Accessory Set

This is something new for us—a suite of matching products. We acquired two small pieces of exotic canary wood quite a while back and have been trying to figure out how we wanted to use them ever since. Finally, we decided we would like to make a tea box, and then from there, the other related ideas just popped out. So the final set includes a tea box, a spice jar box, a napkin holder and a salt and pepper caddy. All four pieces share the same design and construction techniques. All of the joints are finger joints done in a uniform size to create the basic shapes. For the spice box, we created sloped sides with a lower front panel so that both large and small jars could be accessed and viewable. The tea box has a lift-off lid, rabbeted on the underside to keep it in place on the box, with an overhang that matches that of the pedestal bottom. To all four pieces we added decorative/functional handles made of exotic Cocobolo wood cut into festive arcs. The tea box also has interior dividers made of Cocobolo that yield three separate rows intended to hold standard sized tea bags.

This was a great project to work on because it allowed us to use our seldom used finger joint jig again and because we were working with small and special pieces of exotic hardwoods. We came up with the basic shape of the handles because we had an old scrap of wood leftover from another project lying around and it happened to get onto the table we were working on with the canary wood and ‘poof’ we could see the shape would be just the right contrast to the sharp angles of the boxes themselves. We used that basic idea to create cardboard templates that we then transferred onto the Cocobolo for cut out. While the handle for the tea box is “to scale”, we decided to deliberately over-size the handle for the salt and pepper caddy because it really added a lot more personality to what might otherwise be a somewhat ordinary rectangular box. We love the look of this little guy. The napkin holder and spice box didn’t truly need handles for function, but we wanted them to have the same flair as the other pieces in the set, so we added little fingertip handles cut in the same shape to the sides of those as well. Too cute. The wood is finished in multiple coats of hand rubbed oil and urethane finish with a nice satin look.

These pieces are sold as a set, and the dimensions are as follows: Tea Box 9 1/2” long x 4 1/2” deep x 4” tall (6 1/2” tall including the lid/handle); Spice Box 8 1/2” long x 5” deep x 4 1/2” tall; Napkin Holder 5” long x 5” tall (on the tall side) x 3” wide; and the Salt and Pepper Caddy 6” long x 4” deep x 5 1/2” tall (at the top of the handle, with the sides of the box itself about 2 1/2” tall).

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