|Project by Boxguy||posted 12-29-2015 07:12 AM||1803 views||2 times favorited||33 comments|
Thanks to everyone who took the time to look at this posting. I enjoy responding to comments so check back for feed back.
Pictured is a small jewelry box (10” L x 5 1/2” W x 4” H) The top is spalted maple, the sides and the tray are Black Cherry, the bottom is Black Walnut.
Story: The woods I used here have a story to tell about Southern Indiana, my area of the country.
The top is from an ancient spalted maple burl. This tree was a survivor. Looking at this small piece you can see the ravages of fire, fungus, rot, healing, and time. After 200 years this tree died and was cut down. Because it was mentioned in the survey describing the border between two large farms, this tree was left alone as a marker. When the last branch died a few years ago, and the current owner was sawing it up for firewood, I asked him for the “bump” on the side of the tree. He chain sawed it off and said, “It’s mighty poor firewood,” I agreed and threw it in the back of my pick-up. After letting it dry for a couple of years, I band sawed it into small boards. And this is what it looked like.
The cherry board for the sides came from a mansion built 100 years ago by a local man who made his fortune in the veneer business. Every room in his large two-story home was covered with 5/8” wooden planks. Some was cherry some was butternut, and not a knot to be seen. I salvaged a few boards before the trackhoe tore down the once grand mansion.
This Black Walnut bottom board was scrap from one of the last remaining veneer mills in New Albany, Indiana. It was a “backer board.” This is what is left of the log after the veneer has been sliced from it. It is usually from near the center of the tree and has to be let dry for several years before it can be used. (Hey, does this look like a waterfall or what?)
So in three boards used to make one small box you have an encapsulated story of forests of trees cut down for farms, hillsides of trees harvested for veneer mills, and now all the veneer mills are gone as well as all the trees they sliced into wood for cabinets, TV cases, and tables, sold around the world.
Technical Details: Those of you who have seen my other work will notice that this box does not have my signature corner splines. On this small box, I wanted to keep the look simple to accentuate the top. Any splines seemed to complicate this look on a 4” box. I also flipped my usual technique. I often attach the top board to the sides and inset the bottom. This time I attached the bottom to the sides and inset the top. The fragile spalted wood will be much stronger set into a dado that surrounds it.
The top board has been floating around the shop for a couple of years. It was just too pretty to throw away. Most of you know about such pieces of wood. The problem was that it had a big hole in one corner and a doty section in another corner. Making it fit into a hexagonal box solved both those problems.
This is another project where the wood dictated what was going to happen.
Well, I hope your new year goes well. Keep boxing and keep posting.
-- Big Al in IN