|Project by Boxguy||posted 04-25-2012 06:38 AM||2321 views||6 times favorited||23 comments|
Story: On a farm nearby a friend was cutting down the remains of a 200 year old maple tree that had reached the end of its days. Time and decay had done in its last remaining live branch. I noticed a large burl on the side of the tree and asked my friend if I could have it. With a roar, he chainsawed it off and as I was loading it in my pickup he scolded, “That’s mighty poor fire wood.” I agreed.
Wood: The spalted maple top of this box is made from that 200-year-old piece of bad firewood. You can clearly see the work of fungus, rot, and time etched in this wood. The sides are made of Boiled Swiss Pear. Swiss Pear is a very fine grained wood much sought after for the finest of furniture. Boiling the log brings out this pink color. It came my way as scrap from a company that builds interiors for executive jets. It is a joy to work, turn, and sand pear wood. The corner splines are ebony salvaged from some old furniture. The tray is walnut with maple splines.
Technique: After two or three years of air drying time, I finally sliced the burl in 3/4 inch slabs and then sanded it flat with my drum sander and worked down the grits to get it really smooth. None of the burl pieces were very large. The top is two book matched sequential slabs glued together to give it a look like a Rorschach Test pattern.
Critique: I don’t often make square boxes, but that is what this wood wanted to be. The client wears a lot of attractive, but clunky jewelry so I needed to have larger than normal sections for jewelry storage. The pink of the pear wood and the black of the ebony do a nice job of bringing out those color tones in the burl top.
As always thanks for looking and a special thanks for commenting.
-- Big Al in IN