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Project by Triumph1 posted 01-30-2010 04:12 PM 7038 views 86 times favorited 56 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Collinear started off as a dead maple tree standing in my parents back yard. My dad and I talked about cutting it down and having it cut into lumber, which would be a first for us. I grabbed the chain saw and dropped it and my dad called a local, portable mill. Looking at the large sections laying on the ground I noticed that the broken branches (well, 14” diameter branches) had some beautiful spalt lines….jack pot! I cut these pieces into a manageable size, took them home with me, cut them into slabs and began the boring two-year drying process:-) Well, the wait was worth it to me. After taking a piece and book-matching it I fell in love…and Collinear was birthed shortly after that.

The main body of the box was made by gluing up panels of Claro Walnut, an 1/8” strip of Ebony and then Curly Maple. I loved the contrast between the walnut and the curly maple and wanted to emphasize it even more with the ebony.

I wanted the support to be very “airy” as to not take away from the three boxes. Remembering my years of playing with Lincoln Logs I loved the notched joints…On Collinear I just made them fit a little better. I reinforced all notched joints with contrasting dowels.

Drawer construction is standard dovetail. The drawers use wooden runners, built into the box bodies, to slide on. I didn’t want to take away from the book-matched fronts with an ugly pull so I designed the ebony pulls that I believe actually accentuate the book-matching. The cutoffs from the drawer fronts became the body of Fault Line

This time the name of the box preceded the design. Collinear is 26.5” long. It is finished with Tried & True Varnish Oil. After that it received two good buffings of Briwax.

Main bodies: Claro Walnut, Curly Maple, Birdseye Maple and Gaboon Ebony
Support for Bodies: Curly Maple, Birdseye Maple, Wenge, Bolivian Rosewood and Paduak/Maple dowels
Drawers: Book-matched Spalted Maple fronts, Gaboon Ebony, Maple main construction and Baltic birch bottoms

-- Jeff , Illinois Please...can I stay in the basement a little longer, please!

56 comments so far

View Sawdust2's profile


1467 posts in 3124 days

#1 posted 01-30-2010 04:17 PM

I am just awed! Speechless comes close.


-- No piece is cut too short. It was meant for a smaller project.

View SPalm's profile


5174 posts in 2919 days

#2 posted 01-30-2010 04:20 PM

Sweet !!!


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Puupaja's profile


310 posts in 2137 days

#3 posted 01-30-2010 04:24 PM

View CharlieM1958's profile


16093 posts in 3255 days

#4 posted 01-30-2010 04:25 PM

Tat is not only very artistic from a design standpoint, but the construction is impeccable. Fantastic project!

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

View Troy's profile


186 posts in 2100 days

#5 posted 01-30-2010 04:27 PM

Superb design and execution. Great background story too.

-- Troy Bouffard || Master Sergeant, US Army (Retired) ||

View mmh's profile


3645 posts in 2759 days

#6 posted 01-30-2010 04:28 PM

Beautifully designed and executed! I love the modern elegance this piece has. The details, well thought design and craftsmanship are quite superb! A top quality piece! Can I make room for it on my dresser?

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View geppetto's profile


31 posts in 2108 days

#7 posted 01-30-2010 04:30 PM

Very nice. Taking what the wood gives you and improving on that.


View Andy's profile


1603 posts in 2945 days

#8 posted 01-30-2010 04:41 PM

This is truly one of a kind Jeff. I like your story about the process from tree to box, that adds a special touch to this unique piece.
The spalting is fantastic and works so well with the claro walnut.
The base really does lift this up and lighten its look, good idea.
Your joinery is top notch too, and the finish is perfect.

Two thumbs up on this!


-- If I can do it, so can you.

View blackcherry's profile


3230 posts in 2860 days

#9 posted 01-30-2010 04:55 PM

Bravo!... A gem of design and beauty and the best part is the story behind it, priceless. Thanks for posting this wonderful piece….Blkcherry

View closetguy's profile


744 posts in 2929 days

#10 posted 01-30-2010 04:59 PM

That is probably the best box design that I have ever seen. Very well done! I would like to see a picture of the underside. It looks like there is a lot of joinery detail on the bottom that would be interesting to all of us.

-- I don't make mistakes, only design

View buckeyedudes's profile


148 posts in 2165 days

#11 posted 01-30-2010 05:02 PM

Wow – nice wood selection and craftsmanship.
Thanks for the eye candy.

-- Before you louse it up, THIMK!

View blockhead's profile


1472 posts in 2345 days

#12 posted 01-30-2010 05:04 PM

Wow! That is a very gorgeous build. The woods are absolutely amazing and I love the design. The execution is flawless. I agree, the ebony vertical pulls really accentuate the spalted maple. Very well done!

-- Brad, Oregon- The things that come to those who wait, may be the things left by those who got there first.

View TurnTurnTurn's profile


604 posts in 2146 days

#13 posted 01-30-2010 05:09 PM

Hey Neighbor, that is a truely terrific piece!!!!!

-- TurnTurnTurn

View spanky46's profile


989 posts in 2427 days

#14 posted 01-30-2010 05:35 PM

Very special making something out of a tree you grew-up around! Nice work!

-- spanky46 -- Never enough clamps...Never enough tools...Never enough time.

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8800 posts in 3136 days

#15 posted 01-30-2010 05:41 PM

This is a great design. It is simple and therefore it is all about the interpretation of the materials, which you did well.

Well executed. I love it!

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

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