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two small Koa boxes

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Project by vicrider posted 1466 days ago 1951 views 1 time favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here are two small Koa boxes I have just finished. They are approximately 8” x 3” x 3”. Due to the increasing rarity and difficulty of obtaining Koa, and my belief that it is one of the most beautiful of all woods, I am experimenting with small boxes done in 1/4” stock. The grain pattern is curly (or fiddleback) on all sides and show’s the typical lustrous waves common to highly figured Koa (here’s a word I discovered while researching Koa – chatoyance – basically the shimmering change of luster as the piece is moved).

The joinery is straight forward, either mitered or a rabbeted butt joint at the corners with the bottom set into a 1/8” dado (not flush). I used small felt pads on the corner bottoms to soften the ‘seat’. This size stock doesn’t lend itself to splines or box joints or fasteners, so I am using 3/32” brass rod for hinges and epoxy to glue the joints. These boxes are admittedly delicate and even with epoxied joints they may not hold up over time. One can hope they do.

Most of the time expended went into the finish. Lots of do-overs. They are hand rubbed high gloss polyurethane for shine and durability. Koa is open grained and must be filled prior to finishing to obtain a mirror like surface. There is also a week wait time while the finish cures prior to rubbing out the surface. No matter how much I clean my shop there are always tiny flecks and dust in the finish. Very visible in gloss. When they’re done though, the grain looks superb and they feel really great in your hand. Soft as a baby’s ….. ;-)

As you can tell I am also experimenting with my new Nikon camera.

Looking forward to comments.

-- vicrider





18 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

111999 posts in 2163 days


#1 posted 1466 days ago

Wonderful and beautiful box plus amazing wood.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Greg The Cajun Box Sculptor's profile

Greg The Cajun Box Sculptor

4905 posts in 1894 days


#2 posted 1466 days ago

Very nice boxes. The grain is fantastic. I have never used koa before but your boxes make me want to order some.

-- Every step of each project is considered my masterpiece because I want the finished product to reflect the quality of my work.

View wseand's profile

wseand

2114 posts in 1627 days


#3 posted 1466 days ago

You do some fantastic work Vicrider.

-- Bill - "Freedom flies in your heart like an Eagle" Audie Murphy

View Ken90712's profile

Ken90712

14821 posts in 1774 days


#4 posted 1466 days ago

Great lookng box’s and amazing wood. Very well done! Congrats.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View littlecope's profile

littlecope

2863 posts in 2087 days


#5 posted 1466 days ago

Fine Work, my Friend!! The Koa is spectacular, and your finish really does it justice…

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

View stefang's profile

stefang

12416 posts in 1920 days


#6 posted 1466 days ago

Beautiful boxes and superb finish. The Koa wood really stands out.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Wheathills's profile

Wheathills

70 posts in 1807 days


#7 posted 1466 days ago

Beautifully grained timber, you’ve certainly made the most of that excellent wood

-- Wheathills, Derbyshire, UK, http://www.wheathills.com

View Kathy's profile

Kathy

210 posts in 1507 days


#8 posted 1466 days ago

These are breath taking. I love the way the grain all seems to continue and match perfectly.

-- curious woodworker

View PKP's profile

PKP

94 posts in 2032 days


#9 posted 1466 days ago

nery nicely done!

View Bott's profile

Bott

22 posts in 1473 days


#10 posted 1466 days ago

These are stunning You should be very happy how they turned out.

View Cozmo35's profile

Cozmo35

2198 posts in 1621 days


#11 posted 1466 days ago

Great choice of wood and I really like the way you attached the lids!

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

View Jim Crockett (USN Retired)'s profile

Jim Crockett (USN Retired)

852 posts in 2319 days


#12 posted 1466 days ago

Beautiful box, love the curly Koa. Have never worked with Koa before so have no experience with how easy or hard it is to work and finish but it looks like you have mastered it. Great job – keep up the good work.

Jim

-- A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including his/her life".

View SRWoodworker's profile

SRWoodworker

32 posts in 2637 days


#13 posted 1466 days ago

A local hardwood supplier here in San Diego, about two months ago, had a pallet full of 4/4 Koa including some shorts. $48/bd was expensive. Wish I had more storage as I would have bought some for a future project.

-- Jerry

View vicrider's profile

vicrider

178 posts in 1484 days


#14 posted 1466 days ago

Currently, any purchase of Koa is a great deal. They are only allowing the logging of naturally downed timber at this time. No living tree can be cut. I was very fortunate to be able to purchase 100 bd ft back in 1997 directly from a sawyer in Hilo. I still have most of it left. The highly figured stuff can run to $90-$100 bd ft. It is really pretty tho, isn’t it? But that’s why I am really picky about what I use it for. Pretty much nothing over 1/4” thick.

-- vicrider

View vicrider's profile

vicrider

178 posts in 1484 days


#15 posted 1466 days ago

Oh yeah, it’s pretty easy to work with. You have to be careful with planing due to the curl; there is a slight tendency to chip. I have a Grizzly thickness sander so I only have to get close with the planer, then sand to final size. Zebra wood is lots harder to work, the grain is interlocked and you virtually have to sand it into submission. And I did a lignum vitae box some years back that dulled several tools, but it was a really great green color that I liked.

-- vicrider

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