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Spalted Elm and Walnut Box

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Project by Dave Rutan posted 10-13-2015 07:21 PM 1245 views 2 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

[Legebla ankaĆ­ en Esperanto]

I’m still using my slowly shrinking stock of spalted elm. This time I made a box for my daughter for Christmas It’s about 5 inches square and 2-1/2 inches tall. The top and bottom were jointed to get the width I needed and the corners of the box are actually mitered. Then for some reason I covered them with walnut. I also added walnut splines to the corners, but they are hard to see. The hinge is two brass escutcheon pins (which this time I got right the first time!)

I finished this with water base polyurethane which I applied with a foam brush and then wiped off the excess with a cloth. It gives it a smoother finish without the glassiness of spray lacquer. I tend to get away from sprays as the weather cools.

I feel I could have executed the lid better, but that’s how I learn—by doing and rethinking.

Below is the box which this one replaces.

And here’s my box with her paraphernalia in it.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!





15 comments so far

View CFrye's profile

CFrye

8758 posts in 1306 days


#1 posted 10-13-2015 09:42 PM

You have beautifully showcased the spalted wood, Dave. I probably need to copy your ‘doing and rethinking’ learning model instead of my ‘think, rethink, rethink some more and not do method’. Thanks for sharing.

-- God bless, Candy

View Jim Sellers's profile

Jim Sellers

397 posts in 1801 days


#2 posted 10-13-2015 10:38 PM

nice box Dave. Nice looking wood and nothing wrong with camo’ing the splines. ( I don’t know how to spell camouflage)

-- J.C.Sellers, Norcross, Ga. Just cut it right the first time. The best carpenters make the fewest chips.

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1431 posts in 1655 days


#3 posted 10-13-2015 10:38 PM



You have beautifully showcased the spalted wood, Dave. I probably need to copy your doing and rethinking learning model instead of my think, rethink, rethink some more and not do method . Thanks for sharing.

- CFrye

Well, if i had though a little more, I would have done the hinge area differently, so that it didn’t look like a garage add-on.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1431 posts in 1655 days


#4 posted 10-13-2015 10:57 PM



nice box Dave. Nice looking wood and nothing wrong with camo ing the splines. ( I don t know how to spell camouflage)

- Jim Sellers

I always mispell ‘mispelled’ <== see!

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

14940 posts in 2157 days


#5 posted 10-13-2015 11:54 PM

Very nice work Dave. I have cut a lot of elm but never any that looked as wild as yours. Was is solid? Starting to get soft? May be a totally different elm than we have (American and Red elm here).

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

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1431 posts in 1655 days


#6 posted 10-14-2015 12:26 AM



Very nice work Dave. I have cut a lot of elm but never any that looked as wild as yours. Was is solid? Starting to get soft? May be a totally different elm than we have (American and Red elm here).

- gfadvm

I’m sure it’s elm, but I don’t know the exact species. It’s here in NJ. This particular wood laid on our leaf-covered bank on the side of the house for a good few years. The wood itself is in good shape. A few soft spots were too rotten to use, but this part was good. Probably the biggest complaint might be that it absorbs finish unevenly. Use a matt or satin finish and it’s good. Anything shiny will show spots that look like they aren’t even finished.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

14940 posts in 2157 days


#7 posted 10-14-2015 12:57 AM

The bugs would eat a log here before it could lay for “a good few years”. My best spalted wood comes from standing dead hackberry and silver maple.

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

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1431 posts in 1655 days


#8 posted 10-14-2015 01:10 AM

You’ve given me hope about finding spalt in standing dead wood. Recently a maple tree was taken down that had a dead top. It stood for a few good years out in the weather. It got broken in half the year we had a big heavy snow BEFORE Halloween. That was before Sandy if I recall. Anyway I grabbed the top part of that tree because they just left the lengths on the ground across from my house. I haven’t looked at it yet to see it there’s any treasure in it.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View majuvla's profile

majuvla

9168 posts in 2334 days


#9 posted 10-14-2015 06:12 AM

On your photos, at first, I didn’t noticed those walnut inserts on corners. I saw that on photo bellow on your work table. This spalted elm makes the box incredibly nice and rustic.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1431 posts in 1655 days


#10 posted 10-14-2015 09:51 AM

Rustic Charm is my middle name.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View Mean_Dean's profile

Mean_Dean

5061 posts in 2614 days


#11 posted 10-15-2015 12:07 AM

Well, it turned out very well, Dave! I love the spalting in that elm, and the walnut goes well with it!

-- Dean

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1431 posts in 1655 days


#12 posted 10-15-2015 12:59 AM



Well, it turned out very well, Dave! I love the spalting in that elm, and the walnut goes well with it!

- Mean_Dean

Thanks. I’m going to be really unhappy the day I run out of that walnut. My supply came from a dresser along the road. I didn’t know what I had until I put the drawer fronts through the planer.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1431 posts in 1655 days


#13 posted 12-31-2015 09:11 PM

Since the secret’s out, I’ve updated the description of this project and added a few more pictures. This was for my daughter for Christmas, but since she occasionally checks out my projects on Lumberjocks, I withheld a few details when I posted it. She obviously likes the box. Usually we leave the presents under the tree until epiphany, but within a day or two she had whisked it away and threw out the cardboard box! The purpose of the box is to keep a few Euphonium related items, such as the cleaning coil and the special grease for the slides.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View CFrye's profile

CFrye

8758 posts in 1306 days


#14 posted 12-31-2015 09:42 PM

I had to look up Euphonium. I don’t think I’d of waited a day or two, myself. Way better than cardboard, Dave. Thanks for the extra details and pics!

-- God bless, Candy

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1431 posts in 1655 days


#15 posted 12-31-2015 10:02 PM



I had to look up Euphonium. I don t think I d of waited a day or two, myself. Way better than cardboard, Dave. Thanks for the extra details and pics!

- CFrye

She’s pretty used to that reaction.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

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