They make their wood boxes with continuous grain. In this case, "continuous grain" means that the box sides consist of one board and the parts are assembled in order -allowing the grain pattern to wrap around the corners.
Their recipe card boxes have been finished with an oil/varnish blend. They have chosen this "penetrating-type" finish as opposed to a "film" finish because it gives the box a more natural appearance and is easy to maintain. They suggest that you apply additional oil to your box about once a year. They recommend Watco Danish Oil, Minwax Antique Oil, or Deft Danish Oil. These brands are found in most hardware stores. First, you may want to give your box a light sanding with 180-220 grit sandpaper to remove scratches or marks. Next, simply wipe on a light coat of oil, and about 5 minutes later, wipe off the excess. You may be wondering, "What if I never oil my recipe box?" Well, it will continue to perform just fine. However, it will look dry and lack the luster that results from additional coats of oil. Please consider the annual oil application a caring gesture. Enjoy.
Tyler has maintained this exact design since 1998. They typically make them in batches of 200 boxes.
Tyler Morris Woodworking has been making the finest wood recipe boxes available since 1998. It is designed to hold 700, 4x6 index cards or 3x5 index cards (not included, sorry.) It's meticulously sanded and joined and is built to last generations. The corner joints are glued then reinforced with "sandwich" splines. The lid is hinged with durable steel pins. Also, they attach a brass rosette on the back of the lid, allowing you to prop up a recipe card while you're cooking. They are finished with an oil/varnish blend.
"How do they do that?" Customers (and other woodworkers) often ask Tyler Morris how he creates the 1/32" maple "outline" around their walnut corner splines in their walnut recipe boxes. Tyler replies, "Well, it requires an intense amount of accuracy and patience. First, we cut the eight corner slots in the assembled serving tray at .250". Then we prepare the spline stock. We start with milling 2' long sticks to create "sandwiches" of .125" maple/.185" walnut/.125" maple, then glue .125" maple onto one edge of the sandwich. We then saw and sand the glued-up spline material to .250" thick and prepare the maple edge to .030" thick. We then glue the splines into the slots and sand them flush with the sides. It's a lot of work, but we feel that it's beauty is worth the effort."
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