Use unconventional techniques to create a traditional tea caddy.
by Glen D. Huey
From the June 2011 issue #190
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England began to import tea about the middle of the 17th century. When first introduced, tea was expensive, so it was a drink affordable only to the wealthy. That, of course, was an invitation to smugglers who, during the next 100 years, drove down the cost to make tea available to the masses.
As the demand for tea increased, the need to store and protect the tea leaves also grew. By the mid-1800s, woodworkers were making wooden tea caddies of single-, double- or triple-compartmentalized boxes.
Traditionally, caddies are a study in veneer. The boxes are built in pine, oak or mahogany, then veneered with figured hardwoods and inlaid with intricate designs. While my caddy has figured hardwood and striking inlay, there is no veneer. This is how to accomplish similar results using methods that are much more simple.
Video: Watch as a fan is sliced, marked and trimmed for the tea caddy.
Video: Watch Rob Millard create a traditional fan inlay using veneer.
Web site: Get more information on inlay bandings, including shop-made designs.
In our store: Pick up a great book on creating beautiful inlaid boxes.
Free SketchUp Model: Click here for the free SketchUp model of this project