When Mike and I started discussing the potential of M&T Boxed Sets, we joked about making a pile of boxes completely by hand with traditional joinery. We laughed to ourselves and began looking into other options. Cardboard sleeves? Machine-made custom boxes? Hmmm. None of it seemed like something that would reflect the M&T vision. As we approached the production of Issue Ten, we knew we had exhausted every other option and our time to find an alternative was running out. After we closed off every other path, we knew these boxes needed to be handmade.
We decided that since we were going to be doing this ourselves, we might as well design them to be the embodiment of the M&T ethos: fore-planed white pine, dovetails on top, rabbets and cut nails on bottom, with a beveled back slid into a groove. I made a prototype, and then we each built a box with the steps I had laid out. After a few minor tweaks to the process, we had our design.
Really and truly, this is a crazy idea. We’re not really the types who are into batch-production, and this is going to be a ton of it. But we believe this is the only way to do justice to this important milestone. And besides, this amount of batch work promises to teach us a few valuable lessons we wouldn’t otherwise learn. It’ll be a step outside of our comfort zones.
So now you know why we are not divulging the exact number of boxed sets we may be producing – we might just need an escape plan after box #49.
p.s. Ordering details coming next week.