Aloha Desk Boxes

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Project by TestDepth posted 06-06-2012 05:36 AM 2041 views 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ll be honest and say I can’t take complete credit for these boxes (this was a group project) but I did probably 95% of the work. These were commissioned as going away presents for guys transferring off island. We started out with an order for two, but as more people wandered in it grew to four and then two more after these were completed. The laser engraving was done in house and two of the boxes were made with commemorative coins inlaid in the fronts. Overall dimensions are about 5” tall by 11” long by 7” wide. The tops are book matched koa, the boxes are koa as well, grain matched as well, and the edging is East Indian Rosewood. The bottoms are made from teak slats cut from boards that were used as decking in submarine battery wells. As such they are soaked in boiling paraffin wax for two days. Finishing for the teak is simply using a torch to melt the saw marks out of the surface. The rest of the boxes are simply sanded down to 2000 grit and finished with wax and polished.

I wasn’t a big fan of Koa before I started this project, but afterwards I went out and bought some for my own use. I was fortunate and we picked up a board in the discounted shorts bin that was nicely figured and had great color. Even halfway through the sanding, the koa had started to take on an amazing sheen. Finishing it with the feed n wax was just icing on the cake.

P.S. Painful mistake to share: Koa doesn’t like to be planed! At least the curly stuff.

-- "We don't make mistakes here, we only have happy little accidents." - Bob Ross

5 comments so far

View Hawaiilad's profile


3294 posts in 3220 days

#1 posted 06-06-2012 05:49 AM

Aloha from the Big Island. Very nice boxes you have made. I work with Koa nearly every day and have learned to love it…you are correct about Koa not liking the planer….always have to finish sand the chunk of wood just out of the planer.

-- Larry in Hawaii,

View TomTinkerSum's profile


226 posts in 4034 days

#2 posted 06-06-2012 06:21 AM

Beautiful Koa boxes!! Aloha and welcome to LumberJocks. :)


-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic.... :)

View Ken90712's profile


17594 posts in 3388 days

#3 posted 06-06-2012 07:44 AM

Great work, loikr the wood alot. Welcome to Lj’s as well.

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

View jbschutz's profile


548 posts in 2891 days

#4 posted 06-06-2012 10:43 AM

Great boxes, and I know what you mean about koa and planers. I have done a number of koa boxes and even hauled a suitcase full of koa back to the mainland. It is an amazing wood…..especially when you find one with great cross grain. I have experimented with running it through the planer at a 45 degree angle….limited success, but a large feed drum sander is the safest way to go.

-- jbschutz

View helluvawreck's profile


32087 posts in 3066 days

#5 posted 06-06-2012 11:02 AM

These are beautiful and nicely done.


-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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