Saturday, February 1, 2014

Handmade DE Storage Boxes

Since I started wet shaving, I've had a strong desire to start producing useful things for the community. I tried some experimentation with some pre-shave oils and some aftershaves, but none of them popped out as something that would be useful to the community.

Then RAD hit me. I started ordering razors left and right, and pretty soon, I needed a place to keep them all. Most of the den pictures here on B&B were the test-tube racks, but Mrs. chamm wouldn't have 20 razors sitting on our already over-crowded bathroom sink, so I had to get creative. After a couple rough-drafts, I created the prototype below. It is a re-purposed wine gift box to which I added a custom foam insert and made some holes to fit 14 razors. It passed Mrs. chamm's strict appearance standard and was allowed into the bedroom.

The only downside was that I got a few razors that were too long for the box. It fit vintage Gillettes just fine, but longer razors stuck up and made the lid difficult to close.

So I decided I would make something. I went through a couple more rough drafts and came up with a final design. It was not too big to put on a nightstand, but could safely and comfortably store up to 20 DE razors or handles. It fits my largest razors (Long handled Black Beauty and Weber PH with classic handle) and still closes easily. And now that I've got the process down, I'd like to make them available to my B&B brethren who are looking for a place to store their collection.

The internal dimensions are 10.5"W x 6"D x 5.5"H. (The bottom portion is 4.5" and the lid is 1") Aside from the brass hardware, the boxes are 100% hand made in the USA from solid 3/8" cherry hardwood. They are finished with a black cherry oil stain and hand-rubbed with several coats of oil based semi-gloss polyurethane for long lasting protection.

As I am making these, the guiding principle I follow is simple: I am making each one as I would make it for myself, or a family member. I use the finest materials I can, and take no shortcuts. I've also made every effort to ensure that the parts for these boxes are sourced from family-owned businesses and that the parts are made in the USA. They are made from solid hardwood, not plywood laminates that you see used in most mass-produced products. They are painstakingly finished by hand. I've opted to use slower curing oil based finishes rather than fast drying lacquers or water based acrylics; they are trickier to apply, but they protect the wood better, show the natural beauty of the wood and they last longer. In short, I've done everything I know so that these boxes will last at least as long as your collection.

The insert is made from charcoal grey custom fitted closed cell polyethylene foam. It is stiffer and holds up against occasional moisture better than the polyurethane upholstery foam commonly found at craft stores. It's also highly resistant to rot, bacteria, mold and mildew. It has very high shock absorption, and is non-abrasive. Although the foam and finish are resistant to the occasional splash of water, this box was designed to live in the bedroom, where you can rotate through your regular collection, keeping your sink top organized and clutter-free.

Finally, the insert is lined with luxurious high quality black velvet. I used the highest grade of velvet available, so it is very fine, and very soft. The wood underneath the insert is lined with soft felt, so if any of your razors are long enough to touch the bottom, they will not damage the wood of the box.

If you're interested in a different wood, or a different finish, I'm happy to quote prices for 3/8" Poplar, Red Oak or Maple hardwoods. They should be pretty similar in price to the cherry. I'm also more than happy to entertain orders for different sizes, however, keep in mind that the amount of cutting, gluing, sanding and finishing is not that much different, so I won't be able to reduce the price much for a smaller size. If you're looking for a different finish, or different hardware (Antique brass, nickel, etc) I can accommodate for a small additional fee. As I said above, I don't take shortcuts. With construction time, drying and sanding between coats, etc, they take at least 4 weeks from start to finish, so please take that into consideration if you'd like a custom order. I don't currently feel the need to ask for a deposit for custom or future orders, just a gentlemanly agreement to purchase when the product is completed.

Recently, I've partnered with a gentleman who is offering custom laser engraving. He has provided me with some samples of his work, however, I have not yet personally seen it on a finished box.

There is an additional $20 charge for custom engraving, and there are currently 4 different font options. I can provide samples of the additional fonts if you're interested. I will require a full deposit for any custom engraving.

Finally, as someone who is very conscientious about everything I do in life, I want to make sure each and every person who buys one of these is completely satisfied with their purchase. I have sold one of these to a B&B member, and he was very happy with his purchase. Buy with confidence that I will do what is necessary to ensure you feel you got a good value for your money.

Thank you for taking the time to read my listing, and please PM me with any questions, comments, compliments, criticisms or concerns. I am very eager to get some feedback on my work, and I would love to hear from you, even if you aren't making a purchase.



  1. Craig what would be the price for one that holds 30 razors in red oak?
    Thank you for your time.

  2. I've sent mrdo1 a reply in a private message, but for anyone considering, custom orders that aren't in multiples of 20 razors will be difficult. (I may end up editing the entry above.) The box isn't a problem in any size, but the foam is made on a CNC production line. As such, there is a $60 setup fee for each custom production run. In the case of the box I have listed, I've already purchased them in quantity, so the per-item charge is low. However, for a single insert, the price increase would be quite high. I am designing a double box that uses two of the existing 20 razor blocks. If it turns out to be something that would look good and be reasonably priced, I will surely list it here.