Woodworking Design Elements

Incorporating Decorative Plugs in Tea Boxes There are countless ways to craft handmade artistic wooden boxes. The simplest form, a box made with 90° joinery, can be enhanced with carving, inlay, veneering, dowels, plugs, marquetry, and other techniques.

Below are photos of two tea boxes. I used plugs as a decorative element.

Technical Details

There’s a tool that fits in the drill press that is called a plug cutter.

It makes tapered plugs, maybe 3/8”long. After making the plugs, I used dividers to lay out evenly the placement of the holes. A divider looks like a compass but it has two points instead of one reserved for a pencil. I then fit the plugs in the drilled holes and trimmed them flush.

Design Considerations

I used the contrasting wood, wenge, for the plugs. I veneered the panel in the lid. Ordinarily, I use a contrasting wood for veneering, but I found using mahogany from the same board as I did for the box worked well for these tea boxes.

Indulge in some fine tea and consider one of my hand-crafted tea boxes.

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