Osage Orange Box

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Project by WWilson posted 06-17-2010 04:36 AM 2718 views 2 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This box was a present for my Mother for Christmas. Construction details as follows:

Box Material: White Ash
Top Material: Osage Orange
Splines: Osage Orange

Bottom: 1/4” ply
Finish: Danish Oil

Box Dimensions:
Length: 8 3/4”
Width: 8 3/4”
Height: 5 3/8”

Lid: 1 1/2” thick.
Sides: 1/2” thick.

Special feature: Book matched top.

This was my first time using White Ash. I love the stuff. It machines great and hand planes even better. I went to my local hardwood dealer and got some offcuts of different species to see how they worked and if I liked them. I will definitely use White Ash again.

The Osage is a different story. That came special from Chicago – my friend and I found a woodlot where a tree cutting company dumped logs for firewood. We found some nice logs and decided to take a chance. I resawed them and let them dry for 2 years. I needed something for the top of this box and thought I would break out some of the Osage. This also was my first attempt at book matching anything. I need to tune up my band saw because I had to plane these down more than I cared to to get the resaw marks out. I think the grain came out really nice however.

I tried to get the grain to “wrap” the sides of the box and that came out pretty good too.

What I Learned / Things to Consider
1.) Make sure you include some kind of lift. I didn’t because I ran out of time and I really regret skipping this step.

2.) Take the time to figure out how to make the lid stop and not flop all the way open. Again I was in a rush and skipped this step. You could use a simple chain stop or even use better hinges with a built-in stop (I think Brusso makes some really nice ones for ~ $20 or $25 / pair.

3.) Use hand planes as much as you can. I used my new Lie-Nielsen low angle block plane to chamfer the top and bottom edges and what a joy!!! There is something so fulfilling about using hand tools. Practice, practice, practice!

Thanks for looking.

11 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


112943 posts in 2332 days

#1 posted 06-17-2010 04:38 AM

Well done a clean light look

-- Custom furniture

View Cozmo35's profile


2199 posts in 1791 days

#2 posted 06-17-2010 05:03 AM

Very nice selection of wood!

-- If you don't work, you don't eat!.....Garland, TX

View littlecope's profile


2972 posts in 2257 days

#3 posted 06-17-2010 05:10 AM

Great Job, Mr. Wilson!!

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 2840 days

#4 posted 06-17-2010 05:21 AM

Beautiful use of the woods. The white ash is a nice complement to the osage. Nice!


View BertFlores58's profile


1646 posts in 1677 days

#5 posted 06-17-2010 05:46 AM

Engr. WWilson.
Nice job and a very imformative words. It looks how the engineer same like me do the writing in detailed technical way. I learned a lot about the ash and Osage orange wood but its not available in the Philippines. Your TTC (things to consider) is a really a must in doing work, specially if you are limited with the materials and tools..

-- Bert

View kosta's profile


946 posts in 2109 days

#6 posted 06-17-2010 01:14 PM

looks good

-- kosta Virginia Beach, VA

View Maveric777's profile


2691 posts in 1831 days

#7 posted 06-17-2010 02:10 PM

Really like the top… Good stuff

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View Monty Queen's profile

Monty Queen

1585 posts in 2007 days

#8 posted 06-17-2010 04:33 PM

Awesome looking box, Superb work.

-- Monty Q, Columbia, South Carolina.

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 1819 days

#9 posted 06-17-2010 04:52 PM

Very nice box, looks great..

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View 4woodturning's profile


187 posts in 1736 days

#10 posted 06-18-2010 07:31 PM

One awesome looking box, I like how you used the Osage in the lid. What a great gift.

-- Jeff, Missouri ,"Just because your not bleeding, dont mean your turning safely!"..............

View KevinH's profile


89 posts in 2562 days

#11 posted 06-06-2014 08:27 PM

Hi WWilson,

It has been a while since your original post of this beautiful box. I was wondering how the color of the Osage Orange was holding up. I have acquired a bit of this wood to use in a project.



-- Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance. --Kevin in Happy Valley

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