Old Flame Box

  • Advertise with us
Project by cobbler posted 2199 days ago 2960 views 13 times favorited 41 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The wood that I used to make this box came from an old crosstie that had lined my drive
for about 16 years. Since getting into woodworking about 2 years ago, I keep my lookout for unique wood. Whenever I walked from the house to my shop, I would notice that one end of that crosstie was different from the others. One day, when my wife out of town, I got out the chainsaw and sliced off about 3’.
I carried it to the shop and began to slice off 5/8” boards. As I suspected, the wood was really beautiful but the smell was horrible. That end must have been in the crotch of the tree….Lucky me!The flames are just breathtaking but I have no idea the type of wood. If anyone knows please let me know. It is finished with Wipe on poly.


-- ''Carry on my wayward son''

41 comments so far

View Jimthecarver's profile


1121 posts in 2418 days

#1 posted 2199 days ago

Beautiful box….Wow how nature blesses us with such fine materials….Great Job!

-- Can't never could do anything, to try is to advance.

View puzzled's profile


72 posts in 2425 days

#2 posted 2199 days ago

The pictures just can’t do it justice. It is a beautiful box!! Great Job.

-- -- Remember, a chip on the shoulder is a sure sign of a woodturner.

View stanley_clifton's profile


187 posts in 2336 days

#3 posted 2199 days ago

That’s a really splendid piece of work. The grain pattern is just beautiful and it looks like you’ve achieved a smashing finish.

-- Stanley generally struggling

View TedM's profile


2002 posts in 2365 days

#4 posted 2199 days ago

Wow! What beauty brought forth!

-- I'm a wood magician... I can turn fine lumber into firewood before your very eyes! - Please visit and sign up for my project updates!

View Bigbuck's profile


1347 posts in 2296 days

#5 posted 2199 days ago

Very nice, that is some beautiful wood. Nice job.

-- Glenn, New Mexico

View savannah505's profile


1696 posts in 2219 days

#6 posted 2199 days ago

Beautiful wood, I have no clue yet as to what wood it is.

-- Dan Wiggins

View jm82435's profile


1260 posts in 2375 days

#7 posted 2199 days ago

Wow that is very nice.

-- A thing of beauty is a joy forever...

View CharlieM1958's profile


15689 posts in 2851 days

#8 posted 2199 days ago

Amazing wood and a fantastic finish! What did you use on it?

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

View Callum Kendall's profile

Callum Kendall

1918 posts in 2336 days

#9 posted 2199 days ago

Great job!

Thanks for the post


-- For wood working podcasts with a twist check out

View OutPutter's profile


1194 posts in 2623 days

#10 posted 2199 days ago

What an awesome box! Good work.

If that’s an old railroad crosstie, it’s probably pine or something. My guess is that the preservative is what gave it the dark streaks and caused the smell. Was the wood hard? Can you compare the hardness to some other type of wood? Was it difficult to work? Did you go back and get the rest of the crosstie out of the yard and see what it looked like inside?

I’m going to go cut up a railroad tie and see what’s inside…

-- Jim

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2419 posts in 2225 days

#11 posted 2199 days ago

Sweet!!! Beautiful wood.

-- Dennis Zongker

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

3963 posts in 2697 days

#12 posted 2199 days ago

Good eye for grain. That’s some story and an even finer box. I wonder if the smell wasn’t creosote.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 2793 days

#13 posted 2199 days ago

gorgeous wood and box.
I love how something calls to us, sometimes for a long time, before we listen and do something about it!

Well done

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

12926 posts in 2616 days

#14 posted 2199 days ago

In my youth I worked for Chicago Northwestern Railroad (CNW), for the bridges and building department (The B&B).

Most midwestern railroad ties are white oak and weight 220 lbs each.

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View SteveKorz's profile


2131 posts in 2347 days

#15 posted 2199 days ago

Wow Wow Wow… what a gorgeous box… and great story!

If you look at the top, it does look like white oak… Doug was probably right about the smell, it was more than likely the creosote. That’s probably what caused the darkening in it.

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

showing 1 through 15 of 41 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics :: gardening showcase