|Project by drobertson||posted 05-24-2015 02:30 AM||894 views||0 times favorited||5 comments|
I seem to be exploring boxes lately. Each time I finish one I start digging through my pile of wood. I am lucky to have a wide variety of extremely interesting wood to work with but sometimes it is hard to figure out the best way to express what the wood wants to say. I know that may sound strange, but that is what the process feels like to me. It can actually get very frustrated if I don’t find the box form that fits my piece of wood. (Yes, I have the appointment scheduled with the shrink and should get some meds to take care of the issue.)
This wood was a piece of mystery wood donated from a friend’s storage shed. Regrettably the pictures don’t do it justice at all. To me it looks like a piece of Oak that aged for about 100 years in the dark of a barn. It has a strong, open grain with a golden oak look that jumped out as soon as I put the Tung Oil on it. The interesting thing about this wood was it’s deep aged look, like the look of an old desk after 100 years of resting your elbows on it. I was surprised that it went fairly deep into the wood and wasn’t just a surface effect. The wood just has an strong, wizened presence that I didn’t want to lose.
My goal was to have the grain of this wood be as natural and unbroken as possible. It should look like one big block of wood. I took a very wide section of the board and cut it into three pieces with the blade at 45 deg. The tip of the blade just barely scored the top of the wood as it went underneath. I flipped the boards around and finished off the other side of the miter cuts. By having the blade height set just right I was able to make the front, top and back of the box while barely creating any kerf on the surface as I cut the board.
Since there was no way I could have the grain of the ends also fit perfectly I did those with some Sapele that I had around. It is also a very nice wood, but it is plain enough that it didn’t distract from the focus of the piece. The bottom of the box was some thin Sapele that I use for almost all my boxes.
Once it was glued together I needed to cut off the top. If I used my table saw the kerf would have ruined the flow of the grain. Instead I used my little Zona saw which has a tiny kerf. It was a complete pain cutting the top off with that little saw, but I liked the results.
I added the hinges (which I am not happy with) and finished it with a few coats of pure Tung Oil. It is somewhere between a Matte and Satin finish that suits the wood well. There were some mistakes, but I like the way it came out. It has a very old feel to it, like something you would find in grandpa’s barn.
Note – the main project picture is from after I cut the top off with the Zona saw. If you look close you can just barely make out the line from the kerf of the blade.
I am still working to develop my skills and would love to hear any thoughts or criticisms you have.
Thanks for taking a look.