After completing two folk school classes, jim purchased a supply of box making materials from John Wilson in Michigan. He is the only known source of copper tacks and John also sells wood band materials in a variety of widths and thicknesses. However, the fingers or tails must be cut using a very sharp utility knife. The wood is steamed in boiling water in order to make it bendable. The bands are formed around a mold and allowed to dry and harden on oval shapers.
The bands are either maple or cherry, but Jim has a problem with splitting when trying to bend cherry wood for smaller boxes. Tops and bottoms can be made using just about any material the maker desires, and each is hand cut and sanded into a cone-shape and pressed into the top or bottom. The tops and bottoms are held in place by toothpick ends driven into small holes. No glue is used in box construction--unless a split forms which which can sometimes be mended using CA glue.
Jim heats his water tray over a General Electric double burner electric hotplate with solid die-cast heating plates purchased at Wal-Mart.