Box-Making Master


With over 40 years’ woodworking experience under his belt, former cabinetmaker turned box maker Steve Altman’s passion for what he does is abundantly clear.

Fine box-making is often regarded as one of the pinnacles of high-end furniture making, and here in the UK we are graced with many great masters of the craft, including the wonderful work of Robert Ingham, Andrew Crawford, David Barron and Peter Lloyd, to name but a few. The United States is home to many more fine exponents of the craft, one of which is Steve Altman, who, if you’re not already familiar with his work, can certainly be regarded as a box-making master. Although Steve uses the word ‘simple’ to describe his work, a cursory look at one of his creations reveal he is a modest man, as they are really anything but.



Talking to Steve about his background, he tells me that he started his woodworking journey in the cabinetmaking industry in New York, where he worked for about 20 years, on what are referred to in the business as “high-end residential interiors” for very, very wealthy clients. “I worked as a benchman in high-end residential custom ’shops and as a foreman in high-volume commercial ’shops. I had my own ’shop (twice), was a project manager and supervisor in architectural woodwork offices, had a space in a woodworking guild, and even did antique restoration for a while,” he says. “I’ve known people trying to make it (and sometimes succeeding) in the crafts world.”

Read the full article in Good Woodworking July 2017

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