The Pagoda Experiment

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Project by CharlieM1958 posted 03-23-2013 04:39 PM 1639 views 2 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This box was inspired by fellow Lumberjock Greg and his recent experiments with sculpting laminated boxes. He specializes in graceful curves, and I’m more of a lines and angles guy, so I decided to see what would happen if I made a box from a board that consisted of two contrasting woods laminated together, and used assorted router bits to “sculpt” through the surface, exposing the other species. To further enhance the effect, I reversed which surface was on the outside on adjacent sides of the box.

The woods are bloodwood and yellowheart, and the finish is BLO, buffed and waxed. I’m far from satisfied with the end result…. it’s pretty schizophrenic-looking. But I do see some possibilities. I think the biggest problem is that the two woods were of the same thickness, meaning it took very severe cuts to expose the other species. On my next experiment, I’m going to laminate a much thinner top layer to a thicker substrate, allowing for more gentle, shallow cuts to expose both woods.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

24 comments so far

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#1 posted 03-23-2013 04:59 PM


-- Joel

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#2 posted 03-23-2013 05:02 PM

you did a great job with what you were trying, as you know greater works are born from projects from your past, and you learned, but i still like this, and the wood is very beautiful…keep experimenting…you will make that one box that will bring you much joy…im waiting for it…good job here charlie.

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

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#3 posted 03-23-2013 05:14 PM

this just looks like you had fun making this…very cool result…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

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#4 posted 03-23-2013 05:15 PM

Very nice Charlie

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware †

View Eric in Central Florida.'s profile

Eric in Central Florida.

3696 posts in 2422 days

#5 posted 03-23-2013 05:45 PM

Pretty darn cool Charlie !

-- Retirement suits me fine !

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#6 posted 03-23-2013 05:49 PM

This is very cool Charlie…...I’m guessing there are more to come!

-- Jeff - I have not failed. I've just found 10,002 ways that won't work.

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14003 posts in 2180 days

#7 posted 03-23-2013 07:33 PM

Looks very well made and interesting Charlie. Experimenting is fun and this was darn good start on a new design idea that is well worth developing further.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Greg..the Cajun Wood Artist's profile

Greg..the Cajun Wood Artist

5491 posts in 2154 days

#8 posted 03-23-2013 07:41 PM

Very nice Charlie….laminating contrasting woods certainly opens up an entirely new realm of possibilities for design experimentation. The bloodwood and yellowheart really work together and reversing the boards was a great idea.
I know exactly what you mean by having the first layer too thick…and we experiment and learn.
Where didja get the bloodwood? Was it at Riverside?

-- Each step of every Wood Art project I design and build is considered my masterpiece… because I want the finished product to reflect the quality and creativeness of my work

View CharlieM1958's profile


15913 posts in 3064 days

#9 posted 03-23-2013 08:12 PM

Thanks, everyone!

Greg, I get most of my wood on eBay. I’ve actually never been over to Riverside. I think part of me is afraid to open that particular can of worms for fear of breaking the bank. :-)

I take it you’ve been there? How are their prices and selection?

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View amagineer's profile


1393 posts in 1443 days

#10 posted 03-23-2013 08:57 PM

Nice box. It has that oriental feel. Kind of like a box that could contain a 2000 y.o scroll. It’s nice to try different techniques.

-- Flaws are only in the eye of the artisan!

View cajunpen's profile


14476 posts in 2912 days

#11 posted 03-23-2013 09:16 PM

Good looking box Charlie. I agree with you about experimenting – you never know until you try something. I suspect that you are on the right path laminating a thicker piece to a thinner piece, maybe using a round nose router bit to cut the slots might create interesting results.

Also, besides Riverside Lumber you have Gueydan Lumber @ Airline & Central. I have purchased wood from them and find that the prices are about the same as Ebay – BUT you save on the ridiculous shipping charges that some of the Ebay vendors charge.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

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Don W

16029 posts in 1414 days

#12 posted 03-23-2013 09:25 PM

I like it Charlie. It looks like a lot of work went into it.

-- Master hand plane hoarder. -

View Greg..the Cajun Wood Artist's profile

Greg..the Cajun Wood Artist

5491 posts in 2154 days

#13 posted 03-23-2013 10:53 PM

Charlie…Riverside has a good selection but not as good as pre-katrina…I like doing business with them and have bought there since the late 1960’s. However, I don’t get over there as much because we just sold our New Orleans house and the 70 mile drive from our Prairieville home is not as convenient.

-- Each step of every Wood Art project I design and build is considered my masterpiece… because I want the finished product to reflect the quality and creativeness of my work

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robert triplett

1528 posts in 1951 days

#14 posted 03-23-2013 10:54 PM

Charlie it caught my eye!! I hope you had fun with it. Once I retire I hope to have time to experiment. I look forward to future improvements.

-- Robert, so much inspiration here, and now time to work!!!

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5591 posts in 1444 days

#15 posted 03-23-2013 11:18 PM

Looks great. I like the uniqueness of it.

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