more boxes #6: I can't stop making EZ Mitre boxes

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Blog entry by Chris Cook posted 05-13-2012 04:08 PM 3312 reads 6 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: I have been experimenting with Martyn's EZMitre technizue Part 6 of more boxes series Part 7: the EZ Mitre boxes continue »

My wife is wondering what my ultimate plan is with all these boxes. If you’re on my Christmas list, guess what? You’re getting a box! I’ve got stacks of them and now I’ve discovered this really cool technique and the stack is getting larger! Later, I’ll build a giant box to hold my boxes!

I have to thank (or blame) Martyn for getting me on the EZ Mitre box schtick I am on. I’ve looked at his website and, while I’ll never match that array of complex and wonderful designs, I may match the number of boxes. The addicting factor that’s unique is the great grain matching and flow of the final piece.

I have about a thousand ideas I want to try, but I’m sure I’ll stop short of that (maybe 998)!

Here’s what I am doing now. I took two pieces of padauk that have an outrageous amount of swirling grain and a piece of red cumala (which is actually yellow)

SIDE NOTE: I am kind of a padauk addict as well. My shop looks like a paprika processing plant explosion. If you ever want to see where all the dust goes in your shop, work with something like padauk for a while and it will show you all the little places dust goes.

I joined these three

and ran them through the drum sander (best tool in the world)

take a closer look at the grain on this padauk

I marked up the piece and taped both sides as suggested

after running through the router table and then the table saw. Nice design in itself.

and the finished box! Well, not exactly. But it came together nice

I’ll post the finished product when it’s complete.

-- Chris, "all we are is sawdust in the dust collector""

16 comments so far

View Chris Cook's profile

Chris Cook

323 posts in 2303 days

#1 posted 05-13-2012 04:11 PM

I’m going to reply to my own post with a question: If you look at the closeup picture I posted, you’ll see that the light colored wood is showing padauk’s red dust in the grain. I’ve wiped this with alcohol and tack cloth quite well and cannot get the red out. Any ideas?

thank you

-- Chris, "all we are is sawdust in the dust collector""

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3356 days

#2 posted 05-13-2012 04:32 PM

Hi Chris. Nice job on the box so far. I understand that it is about impossible to get out that red stain. The best tactic is prevention, which means sealing it with tape beforehand. My knowledge on this is just based on reading over the years so maybe you will get a more helpful answer later.

There is an old art form here in Norway similar to scrimshaw work. Decorative lines are cut into the wood and a mixture of oil and a darker color fine sawdust is rubbed across the cuts. The result looks a lot like wood burning and that sawdust is never coming out of those cuts!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View patron's profile


13606 posts in 3363 days

#3 posted 05-13-2012 04:45 PM

you are definitely on a roll
and a route too

good work chris

keep going
you are doing great

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 2507 days

#4 posted 05-13-2012 04:57 PM

My guess is to put all the pieces through the drum sander separately to avoid dust contamination. Glue up, then finish with a card scraper instead of sandpaper to finish. Less dust that way.

-- Brian Timmons -

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3325 days

#5 posted 05-13-2012 05:02 PM

hey there chris, this is going to be a live and learn buddy, you wont get it out, unless maybe to can sand it out, just don’t sand any more of the red wood…be very careful , so what do i need to do to get on your Christmas… enjoying seeing you have fun with your new found way of making boxes, your wife might wonder why your all boxed up, she might be tempted to call you a boxer… the sense that your a prize fighting boxer, and you should get yourself a dog, guess what kind……yes…you can go to the very extreme of this..but i need not say more……....

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View SPalm's profile


5320 posts in 3904 days

#6 posted 05-13-2012 06:23 PM

Agreed, I believe the stain is there to stay. Just like all that paprika in your shop. Padauk is so so pretty, but I really watch out how I use it.

Good job on the box. It is so sweet.

And I agree, drum sanders rock the world.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View robert triplett's profile

robert triplett

1566 posts in 3126 days

#7 posted 05-13-2012 07:48 PM

I have had some success getting Padauk dust out of maple by using a really strong stream of air. But applying a finish often pulls more dust into the lighter area. I am still looking at how this is done. Glad you are having fun.

-- Robert, so much inspiration here, and now time to work!!!

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3058 days

#8 posted 05-13-2012 08:57 PM

Chris, to get rid of the Padauk bleed try mineral spirit (also called white spirit in the UK) and ordinary white paper tissue. Four or five cycles may be necessary. Brian’s idea of final scraping, rather than sanding, also sounds good as it gets around the problem entirely.

Be good to know how the glue squeeze out on the interior went, with tape installed. Usually works for me. I tend to use a paper based masking tape (white or yellowish) and am interested to see what your results with the blue stuff are like.

You seem to be having a lot of fun. Its good to see someone else, apart from myself, getting something out of this technique. For me the fun part is that it all comes together in the last ten minutes (glue setting time excluded). I’m sure there are loads of variations I’ve not come across. The more people trying it the merrier I say.

ps. I agree this is addictive but nothing like as bad as cutting boards.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2712 days

#9 posted 05-14-2012 01:35 AM

Chris, I too am a box addict and I don’t think there is any cure. The thing is , you can’t have too many NICE boxes and yours are NICE! I looked into routing the miters with my table router but I don’t have a big enough bit to route a 45 on a 5/8” piece of stock. Plus I’m kinda scared if those large diameter router bits.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

4230 posts in 2583 days

#10 posted 05-14-2012 01:42 AM

I have used Padauk quite abit. I first blow off the dust from all of the object made and tape off the off color and them wipe down with minerial spirits.

Very nice box by the way.


-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 4107 days

#11 posted 05-14-2012 01:45 AM

Very slick. You’ll figure out something to do with them!


View Chris Cook's profile

Chris Cook

323 posts in 2303 days

#12 posted 05-14-2012 02:03 AM

I appreciate all the input on how to get the padauk sawdust from the red cumala grain. However, I have tried all of the suggestions that I can do at this point.

I’ve decided to work it in as a feature instead. So, we’ll use this line:

“I thought it would be neat if I worked the red padauk color into the grain of the red cumala (that is actually yellow) so that it would compliment the padauk. This has worked out really well”

The glue-up went really well.

The next step is to cut off the lid. The box looks so good that I really don’t want to cut it at this point.

Martyn, I’ll eventually cut the lid off and see how the glue cleans up inside with the blue tape in there. Should be good. I am conflicted on where I am going to cut it. I like the way you did the Neoplastic C style boxes where the box is just about all lid.

By the way, you managed to do a good job keeping the purpleheart and padauk dust off the light wood on the Neoplastic C box. What was the technique there?

thanks again to all.


-- Chris, "all we are is sawdust in the dust collector""

View ruddy's profile


543 posts in 2961 days

#13 posted 05-14-2012 04:02 AM

Chris , that padauk is wonderful. I think I must try Martyns technique soon I love the possibilities with this method.

-- And my head I'd be a scratchin'

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3058 days

#14 posted 05-14-2012 12:06 PM

Chris, that looks beautiful.

As for the dust problem. I used the technique I described above. The only thing I forgot to mention is to use a fresh piece of towel every time you clean it.

My sanding technique may vary from yours though. I drum sand to 240 grit (dust automatically removed) and hand sand to 400 grit, vacuuming off the dust at each grit. That’s all the saending, then I clean with mineral spirit for as many passes as it takes (max’ I’ve done is five).

For boxes that are ‘all lid’ you need to check out my Shell Box blog

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View Chris Cook's profile

Chris Cook

323 posts in 2303 days

#15 posted 05-14-2012 11:52 PM


Will do. I think the fact that this red cumala has BIG grain makes it troublesome. I looked at some other work of mine where I mixed padauk with light woods (cherry for instance) where the grain is much tighter.

I did look at your shell box blog. Very helpful. Thanks.

-- Chris, "all we are is sawdust in the dust collector""

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