JBaymore wrote:And yes, I've also found that the wooden boxes can sometimes be a problem too. If you don't keep the paper on top and the ribbon tied they can get pretty funky. Usually it varies with the time of year and the humidity. Often they go back to shape as that changes. Obviously the cheaper, less well made boxes are more of an issue.
I am a professional potter and have boxes made for some of my work (deliberately using American native woods), and one "trick" that the woodworker and I have discovered is using hardwood (oak) for the rails inside the box lid to help prevent this problem with the softwood box. Adds a bit to the cost of the boxes though .
ITA. In my experience, warping of lids seems to be most pronounced on boxes that are missing their ribbon (or never had one to begin with - usu. the cheaper ones). Another reason why I am religious about tying the tomobako as snugly as possible... and obtaining new ribbons for older boxes that have lost theirs.
That's a wonderful suggestion re: the hardwood rails. I'm going to pass that solution along to a potter friend who is also looking into having tomobako made specially for her. Thank you very much for sharing the idea!