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Blog entry by Dave Rutan posted 05-31-2015 08:17 PM 1582 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’m pretty sure this wood is from the trunk of a small pear tree I took down a few years ago. ([EDIT] It’s elm burl!) I cut off another hunk of it this spring and re-sawed it into 3 mini slabs with my band saw. Then I ran them through my thickness planer to get them to a uniform approximate 3/8 inch. The length is about 17 inches, but I’ll need to remove about 2 inches from each end because of the planer snipe.

I want to make something from this wood. The question is what to make from it. Right now I’m considering some kind of small lidded box. I’m not sure I have enough thickness for a sliding lid box.

Any ideas?

[Edit] Here's what I made

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

5 comments so far

View robscastle's profile


6675 posts in 2813 days

#1 posted 05-31-2015 09:26 PM


Timber sure looks nice and would complement a box.

A word about snipe promped by the fact you are losing great timber from each end.

How you can reduce it:

1. Use a sacrificial piece, (doesnt have to be the same material but only similar) insert it at the end without a break so as the material passes through the snipe will not occur. (You will noe get it on the sacrificial piece)
2. Reduce the amount of material being removed each pass, this will also reduce the snipe.
3. Support the material at the outfeed, but due to the short length I dont think this is the cause this time.

Now back to what you asked about

Your material is 17” x 3/8” being 431.8mm x 9.5mm. Its gettin a bit on the thin side but is still useable for boxwork as is.

If you are concerned you could always frame it up and use the pear as a feature panel that would solve your drawer concern.

The lid could be layered up with bookmatched 2” or 50 mm offcuts made into feature pieces

Thats enough babble from me

-- Regards Rob

View CFrye's profile


10836 posts in 2449 days

#2 posted 05-31-2015 10:53 PM

Nice looking slabs, Dave.
I am in agreement with Rob on using these as feature panels in a box. In my mind’s eye I can see it contrasting against walnut or some other dark wood, maybe ebonized oak…
Thanks for the snipe tips, Rob.

-- God bless, Candy

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1786 posts in 2797 days

#3 posted 06-01-2015 05:03 PM

Have to see what I come up with. I have a few ideas. I’m still surprised at the grain.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View Grumpymike's profile


2439 posts in 2924 days

#4 posted 06-01-2015 08:12 PM

+1 with Robscastle … I have used that method to eliminate snipe, works great. Also build a keepsake box/ jewelry box.
I envision a Oak, Sapele, or Walnut case with your pear for the top and front framed with the carcass wood. inlayed or overlaid.
Worm holes and splits filled with epoxy or resin to enhance the character.
Just planting a seed ya know.

-- Grumpy old guy, and lookin' good Doin' it. ... Surprise Az.

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1786 posts in 2797 days

#5 posted 06-03-2015 12:17 AM

I’m making the wood into a small lidded box. Should have it done in a few days, providing I have small hinges hiding somewhere…

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

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