Shaker Boxmaker

Thoughts of a Craftsman and Woodworker




Of course I begin my life as a tree, that much is no surprise. What most

people don’t know are the processes that give me an ovaltine shape and

understated (forgive me if I brag a bit!) beauty. My sides are sliced, or

sawed, into thin strips from wood, creating a veneer that allows me to flex

somewhat. My maker thinks I’m not presentable as I am so he takes some

medium 180 grit sandpaper and rakes me over carefully following my grain

pattern. Next, the 220 grit sandpaper smooths me a little more. The fingers

come next, with an Exacto knife they are cut and beveled and drilled to

ease entry of the copper tacks that will clinch and hold me fast.

My real bending ability comes from being boiled in water and steamed for

20 minutes of so. Kind of like a sauna for wood. My lignan, which are

of like muscles, are then pliable enough to be bent to the distinctive

elliptical shape that give me charming character.

My human maker, who doesn’t wear often, will sometimes utter an

expletive deleted when I have a deformity in my grain and split so I can’t

be used. A little compassion would be nice!

Once out of the hot water I am bent around a form and tacked into place. A

little rest and relaxation for a couple of days to dry out and I am ready for

my top and bottom. Stay tuned for I, Shaker Box, Part 2 as I describe my

final assembly on the journey to becoming a Shaker Box. You can purchase

my finished self or others like me at the Shaker Box Shop here:


I am the owner of a vacuum, the power of which is still not fathomed by scientists. It has a 3000 horsepower motor and sits in my shop like Jabba the Hut. It is 25 feet tall and rotund. When you turn it on it sounds like I imagine an F-5 tornado might. It was […]

Hoff the Harmonica Case Man

The Worlds First Shaker Box Necklace

It was near the end of the craft show. Working his way around the room was a

guy who appeared to me to be selling something. He was stopping by some of

the craft booths and was showing them items from the large hand bag he

carried. I was certainly curious and when he finally got to me he began to

show me various carrying cases, for harmonicas of all things.

His name is Bob Hoffman, aka Hoff the Harmonica Man. He asked me if I could

modify some of my small Shaker Boxes to snugly hold a small bluesband

harmonica. Sure I said. Why not. Hoff then handed me a page of guidelines and

instructions for the case. I was amused at first, then I felt honored to

have been selected to add to Hoff’s huge and growing harmonica case

collection. You see Hoff  goes around to various craft shows and commissions

artists and craftspeople to design necklaces that he can wear to hold his

beloved harmonicas.

An American original idea, and person!

Shaker Box Harmonica Holder and Necklace

Hoff has a collection of hundreds of these cases. Each is a unique creation from

a different artist or craftsman. As far as I know, these may be the only Shaker

Box Harmonica Necklaces in the world! You can view a great interview with

Hoff on Vermont television here:

Shaker boxes can be used to hold any thing you can think of. They make
unique gifts that will become “instant” heirlooms. So, think outside the box!
You can view and purcahse my wide selection of Shaker boxes
here:…That’s a wrap! Take Care. Doug..
Old Dominion Shaker Boxes



My new website is now finished and ready for the public. Here is the link Many changes will occur over the next few weeks and months as I tweak this or that to make my site as user friendly as can be. I hope you will consider an Old Dominion Shaker Box as a gift possibility, or an addition to your home decor. Many more varieties of boxes will be added in the future so please check back often.  The next time you can’t think of the perfect gift for someone, and want to give something unique that will be a make lasting impression,  please consider a hand-crafted Shaker box.

I have belt-sanded my fingertips, gotten poison ivy(more on that later), and met many interesting people along the way, and I look forward to sharing tidbits of my trials and stories on this blog. I hope you will also take the time to friend me on facebook at …..Thanks to all!…Doug Bell, Old Dominion Shaker Boxes

This Is Just the Blogining

Well, here goes….. This is my first foray into blogging. “They” say it is a must for anyone in business, however, I am as at ease with technology as I am with a dentist’s drill. I will forge ahead anyway!

This blog intends to give my customers and friends a few insights and thoughts, about the making, and attempted sales, of Old Dominion Shaker Boxes.

It’s not as dull as it might sound.

I will fully understand if nobody is interested in my blog, but I hope you will check in now and then to see what I’m up to. I will try to be brief, to the point, with a side order of attempted humor.

So I will just end this by saying a heartfelt THANKS! to all of you who have purchased one of my boxes, or have been a facebook friend who supports my efforts. Anyone interested in  purchasing a box is encouraged to check out my facebook page, Old Dominion Shaker Boxes. Website coming soon! If you see something you like, it may still be in stock, or I can have it made in a couple of weeks….Thanks Again, Douglas Bell…. 703 470 7921