Poplar Mosaic Box

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Project by James posted 1872 days ago 1538 views 12 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here is a poplar mosaic box I just finished making. The light color is sapwood, the dark colors are heartwoods from different boards.

This one is a first for me on a few things:

First, this time I paid attention to grain orientation when constructing the sides, trying to align the grains up around the corners. What a difference that made to the appearance of the poplar grain.

Second, this is a first time attempt at mosaic work for me. It was pretty tedious with all the little pieces but for a first try i think it turned out ok.

Third, I used splines in the corners this time and I really like them. They add a little touch of detail without much work. Thanks to you LJs for your jig hints and tips on this one.

Overall I am quite pleased, althought I dont know if I will do the mosaic thing again. Pretty time consuming. I haven’t put a finish on this one yet, was wondering what you guys think. Everytime I finish a softwood I get results that look blotchy and uneven. Perhaps no stain at all since there is so much color variation already?

Please feel free to post good/bad comments. I like to hear what others think as I learn!

-- James, Bluffton, IN

5 comments so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


15639 posts in 2814 days

#1 posted 1872 days ago

Neat concept! I would definitely stick with a clear finish of some sort.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View RobH's profile


465 posts in 2645 days

#2 posted 1872 days ago

Great looking box. You are 100% correct about lining up the grain and the keys in the corners. Now, is this a three or four corner grain match. I am not sure I can tell from looking at the pictures. If it is only a three corner, go for a four corner next time. I have done a few of them, and when people ask me how it is done, I tell them it is a closely guarded secret. Of course, it is not.

Thanks for sharing,

-- -- Rob Hix, King George, VA

View a1Jim's profile


111999 posts in 2173 days

#3 posted 1872 days ago

super box well done

-- Custom furniture

View Splinterman's profile


23058 posts in 1957 days

#4 posted 1871 days ago

A lot of time, thought and effort with a very good result…..well done.

View James's profile


162 posts in 1877 days

#5 posted 1871 days ago

thanks all


its about a 3.5 corner match, the 4th corner matches real close, and if your secret is to saw the board so that you get that 4th corner then i figured it out on my own. Or maybe i just got lucky with a straight enough heart/sap line to have it work?

-- James, Bluffton, IN

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