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Any Woodworkers Here? This is in the end, a woodworking question but starts with background.


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My niece (41/42 years old with some drug issues in her past) found herself pregnant. During this, they ascertained that the child had Edwards Syndrome.




Seems babies with this affliction are not expected to live long, it has a high mortality rate. She had to go to the Dr's office three times a week so they could verify that the child was still alive within her. She wanted to carry to term, should child last that long, in case perhaps some organs might be able to be donated and (I hate to use this word) 'salvage' some good out of this situation.

Seems the child, Benjamin Luke, was born Wednesday. Because it was a live birth, he was/will be given a birth certificate. Hospital did some kind of plaster cast of his feet or foot to be a momento for her as he passed away within five minutes of being born. I've come to understand this might really be a blessing as they were warned, were he to survive, he'd likely pass away weeks/months later and that time would be spent in the hospital verses at home with his moither.

I got this call Wednesday Morning from my sister (Benjamins grandmother).

Ok.... now, some (unrelated to this) history. I made three of my nieces a wooden box. Picture of one is below. I asked her what color she wanted and she said PURPLE. Ugh, I didn't want to stain or paint it so, I got some Purple Heartwood, brass hinges and made this for her. My other two nieces had one made for each of them but I used Zebrawood as I recall, as it seemed to fit their equestrian background....kind of earthy too. Not being terribly creative, they are all essentially the same.











Enter a new nephew (brother to Benjamin) Chance is now three years old. They live out of state so I've not even met him yet. I thought I might build him a box like this....but what to use. For some reason, White Oak is calling my name so as of now, that's my thinking. Nothing done yet.

Only 2 weeks ago, I learned his mother was pregnant with Benjamin (who by the way, had a birth weight of 1-pound). I was told of the Edwards Syndrome and the reality that he'd probably not survive either at all or, very long.

This got me thinking about this box I was intending on making for Chance. and this is where I'm open to ideas/opinions.

If I made this box out of White Oak for Chance, I thought I might take ANOTHER type of wood to either inlay into it or more likely, swap one of the boards as I was gluing them together. Look at these boxes and imagine a 1/2" "stripe" next to the wood you see. This "stripe" would be a representation of Benjamin. The brother Chance never got to know yet, later in life, (to the degree he keeps the box) would have this image that would be a representation of his brother.

Last week, I asked my sister about this as that is when it came to my mind..... well, Benjamin was still swimming around inside Mom so it was a bit premature even though this ending seemed to be a lock.

Well.... sister held it together but I sensed she almost started bawling so I backed off and figured I'd wait a while. (I probably won't do ANYTHING until summer arrives). But, you knuckleheads here won't be as closely attached to this as my sister might so thought I might ask here.

If I were to use White Oak for a box like this..... what wood of natural color, (which is why I used Purple Heartwood) might I use to represent a little boy. so his brother might have this momento years later.

Just now, literally as I'm typing this (and seeing these attached photos in front of me..... I just got an idea.

What if I used White Oak. As a precursor, look at the purple box with the top closed. White Oak for the box, take the lid, route a (dado?) route a slot in it from front to back, maybe 1/3 distance from the side..... and then, insert an inlay of this Purple Heartwood as a contrast.  Possibly use Maple instead (?)

Just typing this out has put that thought into me. I've never done an inlay like that but can't imagine it would be too difficult, I've got the tools but might need to acquire an appropriate router bit.

Thoughts?  What might be some design touches that might make this a keepsake for him once he's old enough to appreciate it.  (I still have a decopauged box my grandmother gave me when I was maybe 13/14)



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Inlays---patience of Jobe---razor sharp tools, razor sharp pencils, and your cuts must be withing .015" of an inch. And you cannot exceed that tolerance for the length of the inlay. Use intense lighting and make the cuts under a magnifier. No kids, no animals and lock the doors.


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2 hours ago, PrestonTom said:

Coytee, Getting back on topic, sort of, this is a wonderful thing you are doing.

Best of luck. -Tom

Yes it is, very nice.


And great looking boxes, very nice work.   And it's fun, slow but fun.

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