Bandsawn Box #1 #1: Getting the wood ready

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Blog entry by Karson posted 01-03-2008 05:55 AM 2231 reads 6 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Bandsawn Box #1 series Part 2: My First Bandsawn Box »

Well I went to the attic, actually surface area of the wood rack in the workshop and picked up a Bigleaf Maple Burl piece that I bought about 5 years ago on eBay. It came from the Pacific Northwest of the USA.

The piece had been water blasted to remove all of the bark off the outer edge of the burl and that leaves the spikes that are seen here. The block had been dipped in wax to minimize the drying of it.

I then went to the jointer (spiral Carbide blades) and cleaned up the edges.

I identified the same side on the pieces to be cut next.

The block has a slope on the bottom. That was the way it came to me and so I’m keeping the same slope. I’ll make the bottom flat, but it will have an angle to the two sides. The front and back will be at a 90 deg.

I now cut off the top and bottom to get the center block.

The angle is visible in this shot.

I now marked the cut line for the core of the box.

And that is where I stopped tonight. I need to dig out the small Sears Craftsman 12” bandsaw that I’ve owned for 35 years. I keep finer cut blades in it than I do in the big saw. I used a carbide tipped resaw blade to make the saw cuts shown for the top and bottom cutoff. No sanding is required on these cuts.

The reason that one side is wider than the other is so that I don’t cut through on the angle. BUT, that is also a design issue. Don’t make everything the same size because this is a small box and differences like this make it unique.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

22 comments so far

View mot's profile


4928 posts in 5281 days

#1 posted 01-03-2008 06:05 AM

I’m glad you’re doing this, Karson. Thanks for the explanation. It should serve as a good read!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View DrSawdust's profile


323 posts in 5343 days

#2 posted 01-03-2008 06:20 AM

This is going to make a great gift.

-- Making sawdust is what I do best

View Jamie's profile


161 posts in 5059 days

#3 posted 01-03-2008 06:25 AM

Thanks for the step by step Karson.. That box is going to be beautiful, you can already see the depth of the figuring where you marked the core cut line. Great piece of wood.

-- Jamie, Kentucky

View David's profile


1969 posts in 5384 days

#4 posted 01-03-2008 06:48 AM

Karson -

This is going to be a beautiful box. I always enjoy these step-by-step blogs!


View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 5311 days

#5 posted 01-03-2008 06:49 AM

Karson the first thing that amazes me is that you could put your hands on a piece of wood that you purchased 5 years ago. I say this because I’ve read and have seen pictures of your vast and very impressive wood stock and shop. I can set a piece of wood down and 10 minutes later I can’t find it :-)).

I am anxious to follow your blog on this box – it looks like you are off to a great start.

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

View Karson's profile


35278 posts in 5645 days

#6 posted 01-03-2008 07:22 AM


These pieces are / were so small that I put them up on top of the wood rack. When I built the rack I put a 3/4” plywood top on it. Partly to keep the wood rack from twisting because of any uneven wood stacking or other pressures.

I probably need to post a project on the wood rack. Too bad I didn’t take pictures when building.

So a bunch of wood chunks of big leaf maple that I’ll probably use for wall clocks and a small set of bandsawn boxes that I was going to make for the ladies in my life. My wife, daughters and daughter-in-law. These pieces were stored on top with the veneers etc.

I might have to search out some more of these wood chunks, when I finally get around to making them all.

I also have a slice of a burl that is over a 3’ circle and about 1 – 1 1/2” thick would make a great table top but I know my wife would not like it with all of the spikes sticking out straight just waiting to grab anyone that walks by. You would end up with punctures all over your body. The table might last 15 minutes. Then I’d have to figure what else to do with it.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View dalec's profile


612 posts in 5133 days

#7 posted 01-03-2008 09:41 AM

Karson, Thanks for taking us along with you as your start your project. I am excited to see the project from start to finish.


View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 5119 days

#8 posted 01-03-2008 11:38 AM

Karson, we all appreciate the level detail that you put into your posts. Thanks so much.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5406 days

#9 posted 01-03-2008 11:55 AM

this blog series will be fun to watch – and educational and inspirational

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 5067 days

#10 posted 01-03-2008 01:05 PM

Karson I want to thank you for the blog. Never would I have imagined seeing a box inside of the burl piece. To me it just appeared to be a chunk of wood best destined for the fireplace. This work is truly educational. I just received my Powermatic band saw yesterday and this definitely gives me ideas with which to put it to use (once it is assembled of course). Thanks for the inspiration. Keep us posted on your progress.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5406 days

#11 posted 01-03-2008 01:29 PM

a burl in the fireplace… that would be like painting walnut, wouldn’t it?

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Jeff's profile


1010 posts in 5339 days

#12 posted 01-03-2008 01:56 PM

Looking forward to it, Karson. I read about these. I hear about these. But now I get the benefit of your in-depth explanations. Thanks!

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

View Jiri Parkman's profile

Jiri Parkman

953 posts in 5058 days

#13 posted 01-03-2008 03:48 PM

Thanks for that. I’m looking looking forward for other patr of this series.

-- Jiri

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 5127 days

#14 posted 01-03-2008 04:31 PM

Thanks Karson.

What a pretty piece-o-wood.

(Another subtle plug for spiral jointers and carbide BS blades.)

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Karson's profile


35278 posts in 5645 days

#15 posted 01-03-2008 06:12 PM

If it makes the job easier and more foolproof I’m for it. I’ve lived with the chipout and rough sawn edges. And I now marvel at the new features in tools that can make our hobby/jobs easier.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

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