Tansu Teabox

Short Description: 

A small counter-top box, inspired by Matt Kenney's 52 Boxes in 52 Weeks project, and my appreciation for Japanese Tansu chests.  Intended to store loose leaf tea and the tools and vessels used to make it.

No votes yet
Nov 06 2021
Percent complete: 
Finished project?: 
Starting on the teabox dovetail joinery
Work History: 

11/22/2021 - Set dimensions and basic design - Documented the basic dimensions and design. Cut the raw parts from a single curly maple board. And created a replacement crosscut sled to use on the project.4/10/2023 - Main case joinery commences - After a long delay, finally making progress again.

Design Notes: 

I've been wanting to build a small project again, but something nice. Something with some challenging joinery and some nice wood. But not too large.

I was inspired by Matt Kenney's "52 Boxes in 52 Weeks" project. I happened across it during a podcast, I think. Probably the Fine Woodworking podcast, and in one of those rare instances where I was motivated enough by a podcast discussion to actually open a browser and *type in a search phrase*, I found Kenney's MEK Woodworking website. Not only did I like the boxes, but I love the web design. 

A couple of the boxes later in the year are naturally tansu-like. Since the author also seemed to be interested during that same year in learning about Kumiko, or the art of wood screen making, several boxes have kumiko added as design elements. Box 2Box 39Box 45, and Box 51 all spoke to me on an id-type level. While thinking about the need to build a tea box for our kitchen, I remembered boxes 45 and 51, in particular. Those became the design inspiration for my latest project.

MEK Woodworks boxes 45 and 51 were the design points I wanted to reference for my teaboxI drink tea. I don't drink coffee. At this place, in this time, announcing a preference for tea over coffee has the impact of making me as appealing to be around as a leper in the Bible. All I'd have to do is mention that I can't stand the NFL, and my favorite flavor of ice cream is vanilla to have the majority of my fellow Americans shun me and shame me. Mostly, though, they just look at me in vague disgust and confusion. Like trying to understand a sea cucumber. Anyway . . . I like tea. And in fact, I like serious tea. You know, the kind you brew loose leaf in a steeping tea pot or an infuser. And I've got lots of different teas . . . in glass jars and pouches and metal containers in our pantry. I need someplace to put the tea, and the paraphernalia. It's a weakness . . . thank you Adagio, you marketing maestros.

Drawings of key dimensions and the overall layout of the drawersI started by measuring my favorite Adagio steaping tea cups, and the glass jars I use to store my favorite teas in. And I built around that, as well as the dimensions available on our kitchen counter top. It had be less than 15 inches tall, and not too deep, so it wouldn't take over too much of our counter space. I'll put it into Sketchup eventually, but I started out with a simple gridded sketch pad I was gifted last year and drew what I had in mind.

Over the next few weeks, this is what I'm going to work on. My goal with this is to finish it fairly quickly. I'm over the multi-year projects. 

Project Files: 
File Parts list.xlsx6.95 KB