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AZWoody Tribute Jewelry Chest

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Project by splintergroup posted 06-08-2018 02:14 PM 846 views 13 times favorited 29 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The wood was generously supplied by LJ’er AZWoody of Sonora Woodworks and the box idea came from JayCee123. I made some subtle changes (of course) but a tip o’ the hat to these two fellows!

The box’s basic design came from the book “Award-Winning Wood Boxes” by Tony Lydgate which is really just a concept book as there are only rough overall dimensions.

I put the story about the wood at the end.

Dirty Details
Cottonwood and walnut, 13”w x 10”d x 5”h. BLO, shellac, lacquer finish.

This box uses 5/8” thick wood with a beveled edge top. The back panel is 1/4” thick, made from re-sawing leftovers.

Drawers use maple for the interiors with felt covered plywood bottoms.

The handles are scraps of walnut. I really like their design (from the book) and they are actually quite easy to mass produce. I’ll be making more of these in the future!

The box sits on a “floating” base. I’ve made bases with similar feet before and had some issues with chipping given the grain orientation. I solved this by placing thin caps of ipe over the bottoms. The feet are joined to the arched aprons with M/T joinery and these front/back sections are secured together and to the box with sliding dovetails.

I’m glad I bought the 52” extension table, I really need more space or try and keep things more organized as I work….8^)

C&C welcome!

The backstory

Last September, LJ member AZWoody was having a “guess the wood” contest and awarding the winner the wood in question.
I happened to be one of the first people to name something other than alder and also happened to nail it by guessing cottonwood. (Yes I was guessing)!

I’m always interested in seeing what the local trees have to offer, something that cannot be found at the hardwood dealer. It’s not that I’m expressing any creativeness or seeking zen with the local foilage, it’s just that I’m a cheap bastid 8^)

Locally growing woods that I think are great include Russian olive, salt cedar (tamarisk), and apricot. These are all local, but certainly not native.
Native species include, but are not limited to juniper, mesquite, and cottonwood.

Around here (New Mexico), Cottonwood is not what I’d consider a ‘useful forrest product’, It burns up in a flash as firewood (nearly impossible to axe-split a log), it has shallow, foundation destroying roots, is very prone to death by mistletoe, and really sucks up a lot of water. Nice shade however.
As a side benefit, the wind blown cotton (seeds) start flying in the breeze about 1 month after the swamp cooler has been fired up. This results in the water soaked cooler pads getting plugged up with this cotton and sprouting seedlings a few weeks later. Think of it as the results of the ultimate feather pillow fight.

Anyhoo, I never gave it a though as a wood for projects. Just bland and stringy. The local native Rio Grande cottonwoods which grow closer to the river show promise since they are large and seem to have more color, but the heartwood seem to always rot away as the trees grow making the wood generally pulpy and useless.

So it was with anticipation I awaited the wood from AZWoody! Arizona cottonwood could be no worse than the local stuff.

The wood arrived as two 6/4 slabs with some nice looking heartwood. Dry, no checks/splits, surfaced, I was impressed! Like the PBS commercial where the Navajo sculptor says she sits with a rock until it tells her what it wants to be, I waited for the cottonwood to speak to me…… This wood ain’t talking!

Executive decision, I decided it’s box time given my schedule and the woods dimensions.

This species of cottonwood has a faint pepper smell and machines fairly well. I re-sawed the slabs and the resulting parts only twisted slightly. No problems getting several 5/8” boards plus some 1/4” veneers. No real tables blade issues but given how soft it is, cutter marks show up a bit easier. AZWoody mentioned the smell is kind of nasty and after getting some burning on a crosscut I know what he meant 8^P It goes from “peppery” to “cat eats pepper then hurls behind your chair where it sits for a week” type smell.

A hearty THANKS! goes out to AZWoody for this cottonwood and all the other woods he gave away during his contests!





29 comments so far

View Rich's profile

Rich

2967 posts in 613 days


#1 posted 06-08-2018 02:22 PM

I see a Daily Top 3 in your future. Great work! BTW, I thought I was the only one who had to clean my extension table every time I make a wide rip. Love the old school HP calculator too.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

2072 posts in 1246 days


#2 posted 06-08-2018 02:28 PM



I see a Daily Top 3 in your future. Great work! BTW, I thought I was the only one who had to clean my extension table every time I make a wide rip. Love the old school HP calculator too.

- Rich

Thanks Rich!

The fence allows me to “swipe right” and clear the deck when I need a wide rip.

Good eye on the calculator! Loved the HP keys and RPN when all that stuff mattered in school 8^)

View Rich's profile

Rich

2967 posts in 613 days


#3 posted 06-08-2018 02:55 PM


The fence allows me to “swipe right” and clear the deck when I need a wide rip.

- splintergroup

LOL, yeah, I’m always trying to get that extra inch before something falls off the other end.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View JADobson's profile

JADobson

1063 posts in 2134 days


#4 posted 06-08-2018 03:14 PM

I really like the base – the little legs are perfect. Well done.

-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany — Instagram @grailwoodworks

View GR8HUNTER's profile (online now)

GR8HUNTER

4000 posts in 736 days


#5 posted 06-08-2018 03:17 PM

I LOVE THE PULLS … GREAT JOB :<))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20594 posts in 3129 days


#6 posted 06-08-2018 04:51 PM

Very nice chest. It has kind of an Oriental look to it!!

Cheers, Jim

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

View EarlS's profile

EarlS

1120 posts in 2371 days


#7 posted 06-08-2018 05:06 PM

Splinter – another great looking project. The drawer handles really caught my eye. I guess I’d better get going and actually finish something so I can start new projects and use all of these great ideas.

I also noticed the HP-15C (?) on your saw table.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

2072 posts in 1246 days


#8 posted 06-08-2018 05:14 PM

Thanks for the complements guys!

Earl, just a lowly 11-C, too poor to cough up for the 15-C at the time 8^)
I bought it to replace my then second TI-55, the models that have the power switch that locks up and the zero key that bounces after a year of use.

View Jerry's profile

Jerry

2654 posts in 1671 days


#9 posted 06-08-2018 06:14 PM

Absolutlely stunning! Congrats on your well deserved top 3.

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be. http://www.geraldlhunsucker.com/

View wrenchhead's profile

wrenchhead

182 posts in 3187 days


#10 posted 06-08-2018 06:42 PM

The cottonwood looks amazing!

-- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkRuFxW8HhRfyhbTP4SY5UA I could quit if I wanted

View Peteybadboy's profile

Peteybadboy

296 posts in 1973 days


#11 posted 06-08-2018 08:37 PM

Really nice looking box! Cracked me up with the extension table. Congrats on the top 3! Love the pulls, can you share how you made them? I’ll keep looking at them anyway.

-- Petey

View AandCstyle's profile

AandCstyle

3069 posts in 2280 days


#12 posted 06-08-2018 09:23 PM

Splint, how can you create such beauty in that chaos? It would drive me to distraction, not to even mention any potential safety issues. Excellent box, now take a half hour and clean your shop.

-- Art

View splintergroup's profile

splintergroup

2072 posts in 1246 days


#13 posted 06-08-2018 09:36 PM

Sorry Art, 1/2 hour would never cut it 8^)

Actually This mess happened while I was sanding/finishing several items (My TS is my finishing bench). Usually it is much cleaner (I swear!) but it is never empty as It always has the dial indicator, miter gauge, stack of wood being/been cut, and those confounded 6” rulers (must be at least 6 hiding in there).

I typically will grab the excess stuff on the TS and pile it on the router table when using the TS, then swap again when using the router table (I’m a master at efficiency 8^)

Petey,
I’ll eventually do a short blog on the pulls, I have a need for about a dozen more and want to make them before I forget how I did it….

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

653 posts in 597 days


#14 posted 06-08-2018 09:47 PM

Not only something to view in the whole, but looking at all the little things simply add up to that daily 3, this is some kinda box on steroids box.

Awesome, thanks for posting. Congrats on the 3.

-- Think safe, be safe

View michelletwo's profile

michelletwo

2744 posts in 3039 days


#15 posted 06-08-2018 11:19 PM

very nice box..many great details. I enjoyed seeing it.

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