I have always been fascinated with the Shakers and their craftsmanship. Their commitment to quality, simplicity and function is inspiring. The first Shaker settlement in America was located here in New York State at Watervliet, NY, in what is now Colonie, NY and near the present day location of the Albany Airport (hence the name "Shaker Road"). Another settlement was started in New Lebanon, NY near the Massachusetts border. Shakers branched out from this settlement and started another settlement about a mile down the road and across the border into Massachusetts called Hancock Village. This settlement remains there today and is a popular tourist attraction. The Shakers became known for their woodworking. The work is characterized by simplicity and functionality with precise, visible joinery. These boxes are made to exact specifications used by the Shakers and are built using the same techniques. The Shakers used mostly maple for their boxes and then used quarter-sawn eastern white pine for the bottoms and often the tops. Quarter-sawn pine is a very stable wood and has limited expansion and contraction with humidity changes. Stability is important with the boxes as movement can cause the narrow bands (sides) to split and separate from the bottom. Here I have taken some liberties. I use cherry for these boxes as do most builders today. The Shakers built these boxes for function, I build them for their aesthetic beauty more than function; the cherry is more aesthetically pleasing. I also use cherry plywood for the base. Again, the cherry looks much nicer that the bleached white pine against the cherry sides and handle. Cherry plywood is extremely stable and far superior to even white pine. Had plywood been available to them in the mid-19th century, I'm sure they would have used it! Shakers did not shun technology or innovation. They had several REO Speed Wagons available for use at Hancock Village and used an innovative vertical shaft water turbine to power their shop. They also gave us the flat broom, a prototype washing machine, the circular saw, a metal chimney cap and an improved plow.