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Elm, walnut & sassafras butter dish

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Project by Dave Polaschek posted 05-11-2017 11:43 PM 797 views 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

While making my shop stool I cut off a couple corners. Those pieces had some real nice patterns to the spalting and grain, and I decided that one of them would make a nice butter dish.

I started by hollowing it out with a router plane. Then smoothed things out a little. I had some tear-out due to the punky wood, so I soaked it in food-grade linseed oil and set it aside to cure.

Meanwhile, I worked on the top. I had a piece of walnut and a piece of sassafras handy, so I glued them together, planed the resulting piece square, then went after it with the router plane to make a hollow. It looked too blocky, so I took a spokeshave to the top to round the corners off until the shape looked a little better.

I also used a beading tool to make a small bead where the walnut and sassafras joined to hide the imperfections in the seam. I think it worked pretty well.

To make the inside of the butter dish food-safe, I figured some food-grade epoxy would do the trick. But that won’t stick to oiled wood, so I started shellacking with a one-pound cut. The elm was pretty thirsty and I put on six or seven coats before it started to not soak up the shellac immediately. I put on a 1/16” thick coat of epoxy, and it soaked right into the wood. Let it cure for a couple days, then roughed it up with 120 grit and hit it again. The second coat made a nice glossy inside surface.

For the outside, I used violin varnish over the shellac, applied with a bit of t-shirt inside a piece of cheesecloth. One coat, sand with 800 grit. Second coat, sand with 1200 grit. Third coat and done.

-- Dave - Minneapolis





4 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

19787 posts in 2942 days


#1 posted 05-12-2017 12:01 AM

Real nice dish!!

jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Dave Polaschek's profile (online now)

Dave Polaschek

1193 posts in 419 days


#2 posted 05-12-2017 12:13 AM

Thanks, Jim! That slab of elm I got is some darned pretty wood. Worth the effort to work it.

-- Dave - Minneapolis

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

29158 posts in 2703 days


#3 posted 05-12-2017 03:20 PM

Wow! I love this dish. It’s very nice and has a lot of character.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Dave Polaschek's profile (online now)

Dave Polaschek

1193 posts in 419 days


#4 posted 05-12-2017 06:35 PM

Thanks, Charles!

-- Dave - Minneapolis

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