spalted local and recycled woods box + sumac bandsaw box

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Project by Sodabowski posted 01-08-2011 02:19 AM 4678 views 3 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a box I had started a few months ago, originally to make a music box for my sweetheart. But having found a better alternative in a crafts shop, I had left this one on the workbench for future use. I brought it back home this time, and covered it with a locally found spalted wood (will have to check the species next spring!).
The sides are laminated with a board from a found fruits crate (Paris wood FTW) with nice coloring in it. The inset button I made out of one of the many pieces I cut out of the stump of the sumac tree I fell last summer in my parents’ garden. Finish is BLO at this point. I may add lacquer later to this one.

Pic #4: I ended up with quite a bunch of nice, small pieces very suitable for buttons and drawer knobs of various sizes. Mind you, I still have half of the stump to cut up, plus two nice sections from the trunk. That wood is incredibly nice.

Pics #5 and #6: I also made a small bandsaw box for mom with a chunk of the branches. The lid button is a freakin’ bloodwood scrap from one of my guitar fingerboards.

Sorry for the crappy quality of the last three pictures, I was too lazy to grab my camera and shot them with my mobile phone =p

I’ll take better pictures of the sumac stock next spring, plus some of the spalted burnt boxwood stumps I dug up this winter. Oh and as a bonus, here is the biggest green-spalt wood block I came across to date. This one will yield quite a bunch of green-fungus-infested veneer! =D

The actual color of the spalting (very stable once dry, fades away with heating above 200°C) is a very rich deep emerald color, as those from Colombia. Unbelievably sweet for a rotting wood!

Edit 31/01/2011

I finally searched the web a few days ago and found out exactly what fungus stains the wood green: Chlorociboria Aeruginascens. It appears that such stained wood has been used in centuries, back to the 14th the italian masters used it for inlay and intarsia! And most incredibly, another science-geek woodworker somewhere on this planet studies that very fungus for the same purpose! Hell yeah, I love the intarwebs :)

-- Thomas - Pondering the inclusion of woodworking into physics and chemistry classes...

12 comments so far

View Denappy's profile


116 posts in 3676 days

#1 posted 01-08-2011 02:37 AM

Beautiful wood, thanks for sharing! Always nice to be able to find something like that!

-- -=Den

View mafe's profile


11725 posts in 3083 days

#2 posted 01-08-2011 02:50 AM

Great little box, well done and full of charm with the little konb.
So nice my friend, recycle and full of fungis, just my way to go. And a new use for those fruit boxes in the street.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View tdv's profile


1188 posts in 3064 days

#3 posted 01-08-2011 04:27 AM

You created a thing of beauty from something someone else would have put on the bonfire….Be proud young man great job

-- God created wood that we may create. Trevor East Yorkshire UK

View Schwieb's profile


1857 posts in 3455 days

#4 posted 01-08-2011 04:56 AM

Ah, my heavy metal guitar playing, physics studying, woodworking, young friend. I like what you are doing here. Creative work. I love the thought of knowing the final object was made from something most people would throw away. It takes a special sort of mind to see that possibility. It gives me hope for humanity when people know how to make things; much less be good stewards of the materials the earth provides us with. Just to curious to see the possibilities is something I really like. I’m seeing some chest knobs, perhaps turned in that pile. Looking forward to seeing what you do with it.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View Houtje's profile


311 posts in 2966 days

#5 posted 01-08-2011 06:18 AM

they are very nice and good lookin
Ilike it….

View Chip's profile


1904 posts in 4086 days

#6 posted 01-08-2011 07:18 AM

Beautiful little gem Thomas. Great job.

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View Sodabowski's profile


2374 posts in 2827 days

#7 posted 01-08-2011 03:43 PM

Thanks for the kind words guys.

@Mads: you can say that again! wood from fruit crates is so underrated.
@Trevor: or that would have rotten in the woods anyway (the top spalted veneer :)
@Ken: electric guitar knobs too! Hmm, I’ll need your street address one of these days I think.

BTW the green spalt needs to be stabilized, and I use it for inlay as 2-3 mm veneer. I have a fretboard on work which will use such green-fungus-infested wood. More to come on that matter once I get the time to actually cut out and inlay the leaves!

-- Thomas - Pondering the inclusion of woodworking into physics and chemistry classes...

View Diggerjacks's profile


2245 posts in 3133 days

#8 posted 01-08-2011 05:10 PM

Salut Thomas

Très bon travail que tu as fait là
J’adore la première boite et je crois qu’elle aurait aussi pu faire une heureuse

Pour la seconde avec quoi as tu réalisé l’axe ?

Merci pour le partage

-- Diggerjack-France ---The only limit is the limit of the mind and the mind has no limit

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 2850 days

#9 posted 01-08-2011 09:35 PM

Thomas, very nice.

I favour pic 5 & 6. Now that is a very clever design. It also is a nice way to use what would normally be firewood (horrible word).
I’m thinking of some Pink Ivory logs that I have with bad splits. The alternative was pen blanks.


-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Sodabowski's profile


2374 posts in 2827 days

#10 posted 01-17-2011 09:55 AM

@ Diggerjacks (asking for what I used as a hinge for the BSB):

j’ai mis une petite charnière en laiton :) (I used a small brass hinge)

-- Thomas - Pondering the inclusion of woodworking into physics and chemistry classes...

View vipond33's profile


1405 posts in 2491 days

#11 posted 01-06-2012 02:40 PM

A softly beautiful box you have there. I like the colour, the square shape, the inset top and the cute as a button pull. It all comes together with the bonus of found material. I’ll be scanning the sidewalks in front of those stores on garbage day from now on.

-- gene@toronto.ontario.canada : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

View Sodabowski's profile


2374 posts in 2827 days

#12 posted 01-06-2012 02:42 PM

Thanks :) I use that box for guitar picks.

-- Thomas - Pondering the inclusion of woodworking into physics and chemistry classes...

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