"Hogging" a whetstone case out of a chunk of Oak did occur to me. However, I
have not one but two _other_ old monolithic stone boxes with an end grain piece
split out and MIA. I surmise the absorption of oil greatly reduces the
resistance to splitting along the grain.
You've helped me to discard the piano hinge concept. It will either be a lift-
off lid or have a hinge on one end. Alternately, perhaps a pair of those
"pintle and gudgeon" hinges to allow the lid to be easily detached.
Will definitely get the beading plane into the act!
The circles with the small center dots look like they were made with a Forstner
Somewhere, I have a set of NOS Forstner bits with bitstock heads to fit a
carpenter's brace. They were made in Connecticut.
When was the Forstner bit developed? That might give you a data point for the
earliest possible date for that box.
The stone, of course, was made in the year "1" by Almighty God & Co.
Ducking and Running!
P.S. Let's just say that the art of the drive-by gloat is still very much alive
in Albion, NY.