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Project by cathyb posted 10-10-2015 07:44 PM 1442 views 1 time favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a display case that is 48 by 14 deep and 21 inches on the widest shelf.

It is composed of curly sapele and koa. I tormented myself until I came up with this solution of how to use the one curly piece of sapele that I had in the shop. I had purchased that board with some other sapele for a commission a few years ago. I knew that the board was amazing, but it was only 8 inches wide and about 53 inches long. I had two other smaller pieces of sapele, but they didn’t have the curl. To stretch the wood, I added koa, which also had the red tones. To enhance that marriage, I added a koa band throughout the piece to pull it all together.

This is how it all came down. I resawed all the sapele to 3/8 thick. Then I used a super cool piece of curly koa and resawed that board to 3/8” thick. I laminated them together with my koa band on both sides of the laminate. The exterior of the box is one board of koa. The interior of my boxes were the extra sapele. The shelves are my curly sapele. The base is solid koa. To make sure that I had the flow, I put a darker, but plain koa trim on all edges.

It was little tricky to put this baby together. I had done this before with a jewelry box and liked that look. It takes a lot of patience, but I like the result. Clearly, I was able to highlight that amazing piece of sapele. The koa is an added bonus, but to me the sapele steals the show. I wanted to let people in Hawaii understand that koa is pretty, but there are plenty of beautiful woods out there. :)

Thank you for looking. The take away is to let the wood guide your hands to create what it was meant to be…..

-- cathyb, Hawaii,

13 comments so far

View Hawaiilad's profile


3294 posts in 3223 days

#1 posted 10-10-2015 08:36 PM

Looks very nice Cathy. Both woods just jump out at you

-- Larry in Hawaii,

View hoss12992's profile


4092 posts in 2096 days

#2 posted 10-10-2015 08:48 PM

That is absolutely beautiful Great job

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View whitebeast88's profile


4128 posts in 2393 days

#3 posted 10-11-2015 12:27 AM

Beautiful the wood choice.

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View TravistheNewb's profile


64 posts in 1303 days

#4 posted 10-11-2015 01:21 AM

I like it! The shelf design compels me to consider how I would use a piece like it in a home. Very interesting

View shipwright's profile


8166 posts in 3001 days

#5 posted 10-11-2015 01:29 AM

A marriage made in Hawiian heaven Cathy.
Such beautiful wood is fortunate to come to your shop. It was a lot of work to assemble the combination but all that really matters in the end is ….. IT WORKS!
Very nice piece!

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View majuvla's profile


13376 posts in 3070 days

#6 posted 10-11-2015 04:07 AM

I like your projects list, very beautiful design solutions. I understand very well your addiction.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View drewpy's profile


821 posts in 1560 days

#7 posted 10-11-2015 02:14 PM

Great display case with beautiful wood. Great job. Thanks for sharing.

-- Drew -- "The greatest wealth is health".

View a1Jim's profile (online now)


117336 posts in 3780 days

#8 posted 10-11-2015 02:51 PM

cool design and wood.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1876 posts in 2172 days

#9 posted 10-11-2015 04:46 PM

Wow! I could stare at that for hours. The grains tell a great story to this piece. Amazing job

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View JackinNac's profile


78 posts in 1177 days

#10 posted 10-12-2015 04:34 AM


-- When they discover the center of the universe, a lot of people will be disapointed they are not it.

View cathyb's profile


837 posts in 3447 days

#11 posted 10-12-2015 07:12 AM

Thanks guys for your comments. I wanted to inspire other woodworkers to not settle when you don’t have much wood. With lamination, you can stretch what you have to show off the beauty of the grain and make an interesting piece.

I think twenty years ago, I would have probably made a box or something small. These days I know that furniture with multiple species all come together to create a story. That makes it a little more interesting….


-- cathyb, Hawaii,

View Roger's profile


20952 posts in 3007 days

#12 posted 10-28-2015 01:52 AM

This is an awesome idea Cathy. Super nice build

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

View cathyb's profile


837 posts in 3447 days

#13 posted 10-31-2015 11:33 PM

Thanks Roger. I am trying to juggle my time and get into the shop more. This has been challenging.
I do love the utility of this piece. It will be sad to let it go…

-- cathyb, Hawaii,

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