the Oaks

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Project by Monte Pittman posted 06-07-2012 02:01 AM 1443 views 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My self inflicted dilemma, I choose to use only woods that are grown in this state. It may be a gimmick, but it’s my gimmick. Anyway I don’t have access to a lot of the fancier woods to cut and I have to try to make what I have interesting and appealing. For those of you that find some of my projects boring, I want to hear from you. Give me finishing suggestions. I know I need to improve my techniques on making and finishing my projects.

All three of these are solid Oak except the lid on the middle one. It is my wonder wood (still wondering what it is). My small “Palm” boxes have Danish oil Black Walnut stain. Many coats of polyurethane. The wonder wood sucks up poly like a sponge.

All comments are appreciated.

Thanks for looking

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

8 comments so far

View JoeyG's profile


1275 posts in 2826 days

#1 posted 06-07-2012 02:17 AM

These are great Monte. I love the grain of your wonder wood as you call it.

I will give you the advice that I follow on everyone of my boxes. It’s simple. I try to make every box a little better than the one before. I don’t always accomplish that, but I strive for it and that is the important part.

-- JoeyG ~~~

View MedicineMan's profile


108 posts in 2668 days

#2 posted 06-07-2012 02:20 AM

Hi…Great looking boxes. Oak looks great. I like to stain some oak with redish stains, can also accent parts, like the ends of palm boxes by ebonizing the ends, and staining the entire middle, and top. Combinations give a striking effect….sometimes. I like to ebonize oak with flat black paint the coat with poly. It’s quick and looks very good, also, holds up well. Great boxes, keep em coming!

View KarenW's profile


131 posts in 2388 days

#3 posted 06-07-2012 02:40 AM

Love the wonder wood!
I don’t find your projects boring at all but do have a comment on finishing. Of course, this is my taste only but I like subtle finishes best. Gloss has its place on certain pieces but in the case of the wonder wood I’d rather see a satin or rubbed semi-gloss finish and let the grain of the wood speak for itself.
And wouldn’t I love to have a bin of your wonder wood!

-- Happiness does not come from doing easy work but from the afterglow of satisfaction that comes after the achievement of a difficult task that demanded our best. --Theodore I. Rubin

#4 posted 06-07-2012 03:08 AM

Monte you kicked it out and they look great. Fantastic job. I really like the top on the middle one.

-- (L an D Woodworks)

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 2608 days

#5 posted 06-07-2012 10:16 AM

Nice boxes. All of them. My tip would be one I have taken from another LJ. To paraphrase his “tagline” under his name, he basically says to treat each step of your project as if it is the most inportant step. That way, when you are finished it will be the best that you were capable of going at that time!

Sometimes I get it right and sometimes I dont. It’s all in the trying though!

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View Roger's profile


20952 posts in 3004 days

#6 posted 06-07-2012 02:50 PM

Some super lookin grains on all of em

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2890 days

#7 posted 06-08-2012 01:34 AM

I like all of these Monte. Of course the wonder wood/SD Balsa is my favorite. How is the top hinged on this one? I started out finishing all my boxes with Spar and experimented (a lot) and found that shellac works well for me. I really like MinWax Gunstock stain on red oak and Doug Fir.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Boxguy's profile


2761 posts in 2468 days

#8 posted 06-08-2012 04:44 AM


Buy David Freedman’s book: Box-Making Basics (about $10 on Amazon). Buy the book 400 Wood Boxes by Lark Press (for inspiration and ideas).

You might experiment with some of these ideas. Thin your wood to 5/8, 45 your corners, add splines, sand your wood down to 800 grit, try wipe on poly- applied with a foam brush and 0000 steel wool between coats – add interior dividers or trays.

-- Big Al in IN

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