tea box #1: cutting the lid off

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Blog entry by harum posted 08-09-2014 05:07 PM 1548 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of tea box series Part 2: hinges are next »

Ok, ready for cutting the top off this box. Fingers crossed…

The maple sides have some figure in them, so I have been looking for a finish to maximize the shift in luster depending on the angle of view, a.k.a. 3D effect, a.k.a. chatoyancy. Just wanted to share my findings from the internet here…

It turned out that maximizing chatoyancy and making the figure more visible are two different things achieved by different means. I guess, the former is sometimes also called glow or grain depth; the latter is also known as “popping the grain”. But they are not the same things, for maple at least.

To “pop the grain”, or to increase the contrast of the grain, the wood has to be dyed. For better penetration of the dye, the wood cannot be sanded beyond grit 150 or 220.

To maximize the chatoyancy, or the 3D effect, the wood has to be sanded to very high grits, 400 and over, and then treated with oil.

This is why BLO is very often used to achieve both goals: it brings out the depth, because it is an oil, and somewhat increases the contrast, because it is quite colored.

I want to keep uniform color and maximize the chatoyancy—therefore will be sanding to high grits and finishing with leftover Waterlox, which is a mixture of oils, varnish and solvents. The tung and linseed oils in this mixture will do the job.

-- "If you're not counting the ripples when throwing pebbles in the water, you're wasting your time."

3 comments so far

View NormG's profile


6283 posts in 3207 days

#1 posted 08-09-2014 05:55 PM

Very nice looking box with all the accents

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View harum's profile


317 posts in 1846 days

#2 posted 08-09-2014 07:17 PM

Thanks, Norman! Let’s see how this box survives the lid separation procedure :) and I’m also curious how the inside turns out. Still need to decide on the hinges and dividers.

-- "If you're not counting the ripples when throwing pebbles in the water, you're wasting your time."

View CoolDavion's profile


437 posts in 4027 days

#3 posted 08-10-2014 01:28 AM

I made a box a couple months ago and for me the nerve wracking part was cutting the lid off.

-- Do or do not, there is no try!

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