John discussed some of the various things he does to customize the boxes he makes. John uses several types of inlay designs and banding to incorporate into his boxes. He likes to construct a cardboard mock-up of the box before starting the project in wood. This way design features and proportions can be worked out. some of the features he incorporates into some boxes are using beading to hide a tongue and groove joint. Also he uses a narrow strip of material along the edge of box bottoms to hold the bottom in place. He also uses special latches and buttons to release drawers.
For the three part finish, similiar to what Sam Maloof popularized, consists of 1/3 mineral spirits, 1/3 linseed oil, and 1/3 polyureathane (e.g. Mimiwax). All ingredients are placed in a mason jar and mixed. The finish is applied with a rag and wiped off thoroughly using three sets of rags to remove as much as the finish as possible. Each coat of finish is allowed to dry for 24 hours before the next coat is applied. He’ll use up to five coats of the finish and does not need to sand in between coats. He may use 600 grit paper to sand if the grain is raised on the first coat.