It has been quite an interesting experience for me to have discovered the Lumberjocks site. The diversity of skills and fascinating people around the world have intrigued me greatly. I’ve mentioned the subject of “heritage” wood a few times. “New” wood is one thing.. It’s already old when it’s cut when you consider the age of the tree, but it has different characteristics from aged wood that was milled long ago, The mellowness of the wood and the patina is quite different from new wood. Perhaps it was made into something, and now again reworked. I am drawn to the now fashionable “green” – earth friendly notion that this “old growth” deserves to be used in a meaningful way to honor it’s heritage and glory as a once living tree. This is some of what George Nakashima speaks to in his book, “The Soul of a Tree”.
I was given a piece of wood that was the end cut of a log that was recovered from the Suwanee River in Levy County Florida where I live. Probably cut down in the 1920s or 30s and brought to the river to float downstream to a sawmill. The piece was pretty checked but it was dry and had such a rich brown red color. I’m told it Sweet Gum, (Liquidambar Styraciflua), by some of my local woodworking friends. I studied the piece for a long time to consider how to cut it up to use in the best way I could.
Div’s greasebox came from a piece left from cutting out a couple of bowl blanks. I saved every little piece. They kept glaring at me on the cut-off cart for a long time and then I began to see a couple of little greaseboxes in one of them.
So I tried to work out the most I could get out of that chunk of wood as far as a box and create a way to place it in a chuck so I could turn the bowl on the lathe.
I planned it so I would machine the dovetail slot before resawing the piece to create two twin boxes. Just had to keep track of which lid went to which box to keep it perfect.
I failed to take photos of the boxes in the chuck but you might notice in the following photo that I trimmed the excess material in a way to keep the bowl in the center in the chuck. Being a bit of a turner I liked this touch, the round bottom would seem to make it easier to dip out the wax.
I then machined and fitted a piece of very hard Ohio walnut for the dovetail latch that came from my great-grandfather’s farm. Anothger heritage aspect to the piece. A couple of brass screws, some tung oil, wood burning the names and there you have it.
-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.