Just for Fun... #80: A Beach Find, Some Box-work, and More...

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Blog entry by littlecope posted 10-23-2013 03:13 PM 2107 reads 1 time favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 79: Milling around... Part 80 of Just for Fun... series Part 81: Woodworking on the Back Burner... »

There won’t be many more opportunities before the snow flies, so Debbie and I took another trip up the coast Sunday… It was a Glorious Day, a little windy perhaps, but Sunny and Warm…

During our Beach walk, we came upon a White Birch Log half buried in the sand… I thought and re-thought about whether to bring the thing home… I don’t even know if wood is any good after floating around in the Ocean, but the Log moved me somehow, so I moved it, up and into the ‘Yota… Here it is, after tossing it out of the car…

As you can see, the Log isn’t Driftwood exactly, it’s more appropriately Wood that was adrift… Someone cut down a tree somewhere and a piece of it landed in the drink, floated up to Maine, and was discarded by the Tide…
I spent a few minutes barking the thing with a Drawknife and removed a couple strips of the Cambrian layer off too…

The piece isn’t huge, 7” in diameter on one end, 8” on the other and it’s a tad over 3’ long… I’m torn about whether to split it in half to help it dry faster… Any thoughts?


On the Shop Front, I started another box on Monday, beginning to use some of the Bubinga I cut and planed a couple of weeks ago…

I made an awful video of the Scroll Saw cutting of the box joints if anyone is interested… Because I was trying to keep the video short, I was attempting to work fast… Which, of course, made it take a little longer… The video is just over seven minutes long, where it usually only takes five or six minutes…

Anyway, I managed to use some of the too thin “mistake” Bubinga for the top and bottom panels… That was slick! They didn’t need anything but a quick cutting to size to fit into the 1/4” Dadoes…

Lastly, since I learned how-to on these very pages, I’ve made all my boxes with wrap-around grain… It’s a funny thing, but I saw a wrap-around box here on LJ’s a couple of months ago and in the Comments section I was surprised to hear a few accomplished LJ Box makers who have not yet figured it out… It occurred to me that some things should be re-explained once in a while… Thousands upon thousands of woodworkers have joined since the discussion I read on the subject four years ago and not everybody can read everything here either…
So, quickly, re-sawing wood is tailor-made for wrap-around… Everyone has seen beautiful book-matched re-sawn Wood…

The idea here is, that the “book” can also be opened the long way, “hinging” on the ends, rather than the sides…

The “inside,re-sawn cut”, becomes the outside of the box… and the pieces can be leapfrogged all day and the ends will always match…

I hope that helps…
Man, time flies! Tomorrow will be my Fifth Year Anniversary on Lumberjocks! It has been (and remains!) a Real Hoot!! :)
23 October 2013

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

14 comments so far

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3358 days

#1 posted 10-23-2013 03:41 PM

That piece of birch will dry in a year or so, but it will probably crack inside due to it’s shortness. I would cut it into boards thicker about 1/4” thicker than you might want when dried, sticker it and wait a year or so before you use it. It’s pretty short so the boards should dry faster than the 1 year per inch rule. Alternatively you could try drying it in your microwave oven if the pieces will fit.

Good start on the bubinga box Mike, and a good tip on the wrap around grain.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View lew's profile


12102 posts in 3779 days

#2 posted 10-23-2013 03:43 PM

That’s going to be a beautiful box, Mike! Love the book-matching!!

I’ve made some stock pot spoons from paper birch. Green wood is fairly easy to carve/shape.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View patron's profile


13606 posts in 3365 days

#3 posted 10-23-2013 03:46 PM

on all counts

the box looks great

that log will dry faster if it is cut into planks
just seal the ends
and be sure to sticker it
rough cut it thicker
incase it twist or warps
so you can still flatten to a usable size

worst case scenario
you can always throw it back in the ocean
and maybe mads will find it
and do something with it
over in denmark

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

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2316 days

#4 posted 10-23-2013 04:18 PM

Looks like a great day at the beach; and, a great box in the works—beautiful wood grain and grain match!

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View doubleDD's profile


7435 posts in 2067 days

#5 posted 10-23-2013 05:03 PM

I once found a oak log floating, rolling, at the lake shore. I stood it on end for 2 days to let some water drain out, then sealed the ends and used it about 9 months later. It worked out fine although it could of dried a little more. I used it for turning and it had a few different highlighted colors. Good find and good luck with yours Mike.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3060 days

#6 posted 10-23-2013 06:45 PM

Happy anniversary, Mike.

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

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20594 posts in 3129 days

#7 posted 10-23-2013 07:50 PM

Nice box you have going, Mike! I love book matched panels!!..............Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View mafe's profile


11730 posts in 3113 days

#8 posted 10-23-2013 09:10 PM

Laugh David.
Yes, I can do the same here.
Do not forget to put a name tag.
Looking like a fine box is on its way there.
Are the little plexi glass pieces for marking?
Best thoughts my friend,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2828 days

#9 posted 10-23-2013 10:54 PM

That’s gonna be a beauty. Congrats on your 5th. Time is really flying by so quickly. Enjoy every minute.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2714 days

#10 posted 10-24-2013 12:28 AM

I can’t help scrounging wood either so you’re not alone! Slab,stack, and sticker that log with some weight on it and put it in the basement til it’s dry. Still amazed by your scrollsaw box joints! Carry on.

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

View littlecope's profile


3071 posts in 3526 days

#11 posted 10-24-2013 12:44 AM

Thanks Guys…
Stefang: I have a small piece of a limb my Dad and I took down sometime during the “80’s… It’s nothing more than a bit of firewood really…

It’s dry as dust now (and weighs next to nothing) but I found, without doing anything to it, nothing happened!
I have the new log in a safe spot in the basement, and am thinking of just waiting until next spring… Then I’ll see what I’ll see…
Lew: I had forgotten how white Paper/White Birch Wood is!
Patron: Like I said to Mike, I’ll leave it alone for now… Next Spring I’ll either saw it into a few boards, or find out it was a failed experiment… I am curious what effect the salt water might have had on it, but in any event it won’t have cost me a nickel to see!
HillbillyShooter: It was a Splendid Day! The two horse-girls showed up as we were headed back from our walk… The horses were dropped off by trailer by what appeared to be the Girl’s Grandfather… Show horses they were, and good looking ones too, and the young ladies were putting them through their paces…
I never owned a horse, but I do love them!
DoubleDD: With Oak, I’m surprised that you didn’t have some splitting or checking Dave… But I’ve also heard stories about how the old-timers used to Season Oak in a stream, weighed down by stones… It has always fascinated me, how much people learned back in the day, by merely experimenting and observing the results!
Britboxmaker: Thank You Martyn, I am genuinely surprised that it has already been so long… I have enjoyed almost every minute of it! :)
Jim Jakosh: Thanks Jim! This box is going to be Bubinga through-out, including the hinges and finger lift… I have to use up all the mistakes I made trying to cut up the first half of the slab!
Plus, I can’t remember ever having made a single-wood box… It’s about time that I do!
Mafe: I wish it were possible, but I think the Ocean Currents would drop it off in Greenland, and go no further!
Yes, the small set of plexi blocks I stack and use to mark the box joints… The 3/4” wood is to mark for the mitered corners, and there is even a thin scrap to space for the blade kerf when I saw it later…
Roger: Thanks my Friend! Enjoy I do… :)
gfadvm: Andy, it’s too waterlogged to do anything with yet (it must weigh 50-60 lbs!) and I don’t have a Woodmizer… So for now, I’m just going to let it dry out a little…

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18286 posts in 3700 days

#12 posted 10-24-2013 06:03 AM

Happy anniversary and keep the wood chip a flyin’ ;-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View mafe's profile


11730 posts in 3113 days

#13 posted 10-24-2013 12:43 PM


-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View littlecope's profile


3071 posts in 3526 days

#14 posted 10-26-2013 12:05 AM

Thanks Bob, the box is all glued up and I got a good start on the hinges today…
You’re Welcome Mads!

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

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