|Project by OutPutter||posted 02-03-2010 08:33 AM||2107 views||0 times favorited||12 comments|
Here is a simple bible box I made for a friend from work. He was a consultant from Brazil. We spent a lot of time working together during the project we worked on and we exchanged a lot of information about our respective countries. I asked him about wood since his country is one huge rain forest full of the finest woods on earth. He shared that he had heard one of the native woods of Brazil was the hardest wood in the world. I had never heard of the wood he mentioned, Pau Santo, so I did a little research. I was able to find a distributor with some of the wood in stock and it was beautiful. I decided to purchase three boards.
The three boards arrived a little later and I couldn’t believe what I had. This wood is about as dense as steel. I knew I wanted to make a bible box out of it and decided that a good person for this project was my consultant. The board was almost 1” thick so I knew I would have to resaw it to make it into a usable thickness. I made one crosscut with my sled and didn’t have any trouble except, I had to go at a snail’s pace. My little Craftsman table saw was really put to the test. Being a relative newby to hard woods and table saws, I decided to use the table saw for resawing the top and bottom you see in the picture. I made the sides out of a reclaimed pallet wood with spalting.
I set up the tall fence for my saw and took all the other safety precautions I could think of. Unfortunately, this didn’t include parking the car in the street. I guess I was lucky to have the table saw aimed out of the garage and not at a wall because the ricochet could have killed someone. Let’s face it, if anyone had been in the line of fire, they could have been killed. Well, to make a long story short, the first pass went slow but ok. The second pass was more difficult and when the wood finally gave into the internal stresses and grabbed the saw blade, the result was instantaneous. One second I was holding the wood and the next it was bouncing off the windshield of my wife’s car. No damage to the wood at all though. I picked it up and couldn’t even find a scratch on it. I used my hand saw to finish the cut.
So, I was able to finish the box and present it to my friend (minus the story). He very much appreciated the gift because of the unique materials involved. If anyone has more information about this unique wood, please feel free to share it here.