Once again, relying upon my local Woodcraft store in Omaha to supply me with some nice promotional woods to try out, I found a couple of pieces of Black Mesquite. Obviously, the two pieces were from different trees as the coloring of the two boards were quite different. But, the piece I picked for the top was way too interesting to care about matching the coloring to the sides.
The knots and swirls in the wood turned out as beautiful as I hoped they would. I found this wood pretty good to work with compared to other exotics and oaks. The one oddity was that it did not glue well with my normal Titebond 3 glue. It required much longer clamping time than typical. So, I found myself re-gluing and clamping a couple of joints.
The piece used for the sides had a smaller bit of figure, and I positioned it to fall on the front of the box. Over the past couple of years, my boxes feature interest points. The trick for me has been to bring those interest points together as a delight to the eye without becoming a jarring effect that the brain rejects. In the best cases, you get a sense of delight as the eye notices subtle nuances of which it was not readily aware on first look.
The handle or lift for this box was taken from a knot that I had saved from a piece of walnut. Because of the knots in the lid and the one featured in the front piece, the focus on the walnut knot seemed to tie in well.
I used a new finish on this box. I have a very cheap airbrush that I bought 36 years ago. I Resurrected it to spray the Behlens Rockhard Waterborne that I also purchased at Woodcraft. Waterborne and water-based finishes tend to preserve the original color of the wood unlike oil-based products. I found this finish to be quite easy to work with, and I could spray it right out of the can without thinning it. The finish seems to be hard and sanded reasonably well between coats when I used a very light grit.
The box measures 9 3/8 x 5 3/8 x 2 5/8 inches.