So Long, Scott

Rob Johnstone staff photo

If you have owned any of the “classic” woodworking machine brands in the last 25 years, there is a good chance that Scott Box had a hand in its development somewhere. He was a cornerstone of the power tool industry for decades. Scott died in a motorcycle accident recently, and I have to say there will never be another like him.

Scott was a big man with an even bigger personality. Some knew him as a down-home country boy, but I have seen him work a room talking to millionaires and industry bigwigs without missing a beat. He was brilliant and very accomplished.

With all that said, what I especially liked about Scott was his willingness to push any boundary and ruffle feathers, most often for fun. One time he talked me into accompanying him to an American Woodworker (the Journal’s archrival publication at the time) shindig that they threw for industry ad buyers like Scott. Me being in that room was a bit like John Kennedy walking into the Kremlin unannounced. He told me it would be fun and that he would be there to bail me out. Except shortly before the event, he got a call that one of his staff actually did need to be bailed out of jail, so he left me in the lion’s den all alone. When I confronted him the next day, he just laughed his big belly laugh.

Another time, he met me in the Kentucky Lakes region to go bass fishing. Our guide was named Captain Kirk (some things you just can’t make up), and we had some success with crappies and bass. The weather turned stormy, and I asked Scott if he wanted to head in. He said it was up to me. We kept fishing until, in the middle of a cast, my boron rod started to vibrate with electricity. We just nodded to Captain Kirk and headed in like there were Klingons chasing our boat.

I had not talked to Scott recently, but learning of his passing brought a good deal of sadness. He will be missed.

Rob Johnstone, Woodworker’s Journal

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