Box Elder Burl and Russian Olive Box

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Project by John Olsen posted 215 days ago 968 views 2 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Box Elder Burl and Russian Olive Box
Box Elder Burl and Russian Olive Box No picture No picture No picture No picture No picture
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First post, but not anywhere near first project. I do lots of small boxes and turnings, and the occasional bigger project. The lid lifts off, with no hinges. This was my first try at using a slab that I cut off a large burl my brother-in-law gave to me. You can see where I filled some voids. I backed the burl with 1/8” walnut since the back of the slab had hatchet marks, and I used a matching piece of walnut for the bottom. Sorry, no inside pictures.

One thing I did on this project for the first time was that the lid is pillowed rather than flat. The center is about a quarter inch higher than the edges.

11 comments so far

View deon's profile


2171 posts in 1649 days

#1 posted 215 days ago

Nice box. Welcome among us

-- Dreaming patterns

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

13716 posts in 962 days

#2 posted 214 days ago

Nice box.

Russian olive is beautiful, just smells really bad when cutting it

Welcome to Lumberjocks

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View RogerBean's profile


1119 posts in 1577 days

#3 posted 214 days ago

Attractive box.

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

View Woodwrecker's profile


3580 posts in 2199 days

#4 posted 214 days ago

Very nicely done John.
The color and grain pattern make it look very stately.
And the burl really sets it off.

And welcome to Lumberjocks !

-- Having fun...Eric

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4352 posts in 1660 days

#5 posted 214 days ago

Nice first post, welcome to Lumberjocks.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View BubingaBill's profile


247 posts in 308 days

#6 posted 214 days ago

Nice box! How did you do the pillowing of the burl? It’s hard to see in the picture but I’m sure it looks great! What are the side made of?

-- Measure twice and try not to cut your thumbs off!

View John Olsen's profile

John Olsen

15 posts in 215 days

#7 posted 214 days ago

For the pillow effect I first trimmed the edges with a table saw at about 5 or 10 degrees, then took it to a belt sander to smooth it all out. The burl slab was around 3/8 inch thick when I started, so I had plenty to work with.

Bill – The sides are the russian olive I mentioned. You can’t see the walnut I used for the bottom, and as a base under the burl.

View helluvawreck's profile


15582 posts in 1490 days

#8 posted 214 days ago

That’s a great looking box, John. Welcome to Lumberjocks.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View bugz's profile


773 posts in 1288 days

#9 posted 214 days ago

Great looking box, and welcome to LJ.

-- Bob, Lewistown, Montana. Kindness is the Language the blind can see and deaf can hear. - Mark Twain

View Boxguy's profile


1439 posts in 891 days

#10 posted 214 days ago

John, great start and welcome to Lumberland. That is some beautiful burl you have there. If you are looking for some box-making tips you might try the index at the end of this post. Click here.

You might edit your post to add dimensions of your work. It is really difficult to tell scale from just a picture or two. For all of us, it takes a while learn what you can do when posting on this site, but you are way ahead of my first efforts in making boxes and in posting your projects. Nice work on both. Keep boxing and keep posting.

-- Big Al in IN

View MichaelA's profile


771 posts in 1512 days

#11 posted 214 days ago

Beautiful contrasting grains, from a burl with allot of motion encompassed by subtle grain. Nicely done!!!

-- The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart. "Helen Keller"

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