My First Kauri Box

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Project by kaurikid posted 12-26-2013 07:06 AM 4690 views 9 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Most of my earlier days were spent designing, building and flying model aircraft and about 6 months ago I finally ditched the planes and turned, what I call, “my skills” to real woodwork. This decision was brought on by a holiday to New Zealand and visiting the Kauri Museum. Although since then I have discovered there are many other beautiful woods out there kauri was and remains so far my first love.

Having many tools from my previous hobby there weren’t too many things I needed to start cutting and sanding small things for the home. So far it’s not only been fun but educational and has been a real well needed brain refresher. To see all the wonderful things you guys and girls are producing made me think I’d also have a go. It sure is a different ball and money game whittling something other than balsa but at least you don’t have to get it to fly afterwards. Well there have been a few woody lumps that have flown across my workroom.

Working with swamp kauri is also not that easy as there are many hidden faults that only appear after the saw has done its job. It seems you’re working with many different densities of woods in one piece, it can be brittle one minute and then very soft and glue ridden the next. Pieces seem to break off just where you don’t want them to and the band saw blade and guides need cleaning every 5 minutes. I’m hoping there are other kauri users that can shed light on my brittle problem because that can be so frustrating and costly having to recut pieces. I read somewhere the use of superglue helps but you can’t always see all of the cracks before you start cutting.

Anyway here is my first attempt at a small box I saw on the internet and copied in solid kauri with ebony and rosewood draw pulls. The middle section was a solid piece cut similar to most band saw boxes. The curved sides I cut by hand on the BS and then sanded them. I was going to make a jig for the curves but the outcome was better than I thought it would turn out, beginners luck! The draw pulls were made from a sandwich of ebony and rosewood then cut and sanded. All in all I’m quite pleased with the outcome as it was my first self-made Christmas present I’ve ever given my wife. She really liked it and the praise has given me a boost to press on with other things so I’m already working on my next project. I hope you like it although the colour in the picture doesn’t give the kauri justice. No I won’t be taking up photography!


-- I started out with nothing and I still have a lot left!

9 comments so far

View aussiedave's profile


3114 posts in 2090 days

#1 posted 12-26-2013 07:44 AM

Very nice first box, nic design and that wood is amazing…great job and look forward to seeing more.

-- Dave.......If at first you don’t succeed redefine success....

View deon's profile


2522 posts in 3292 days

#2 posted 12-26-2013 08:16 AM

The simplicity of the design makes a nice contrast with that spectacular wood

-- Dreaming patterns

View stefang's profile


16366 posts in 3600 days

#3 posted 12-26-2013 10:32 AM

Very nicely designed and built box which shows off the beautiful Kauri very well.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30208 posts in 2604 days

#4 posted 12-26-2013 10:32 AM

Awesome wood. Great design.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View clarkey's profile


468 posts in 3322 days

#5 posted 12-26-2013 11:27 AM

Great story and one beautiful box

View waho6o9's profile (online now)


8560 posts in 2843 days

#6 posted 12-26-2013 12:58 PM

Gorgeous grain on a well made box, very good!

View doubleDD's profile


8130 posts in 2309 days

#7 posted 12-26-2013 02:47 PM

That is an amazing looking wood. Great build.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View WoodMarkCreations's profile


67 posts in 3054 days

#8 posted 12-27-2013 12:57 AM

I love it! Great looking box

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2558 days

#9 posted 12-27-2013 02:17 AM

Very nice design with beautiful wood.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

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