Acorn Love box

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Project by Ellen posted 09-22-2006 05:23 AM 7171 views 31 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have always loved the shape of acorns. This utilizes a set of real acorns found in the neighborhood. I really was happy with the shape and grain of the wood the way it worked out when I started grinding on this block of Cherry. The legs are made of Bubinga and one lid is made of Bubinga as well. One lid is made of maple. I used the lathe to shape a piece that allows the maple lid to slide open, while the acorns are the handle for the cherry lid. There are 2 compartments on this one.

This is sized at about 9”x11”x7.

Hope you like it.

-- Ellen --

25 comments so far

View TonyWard's profile


748 posts in 5206 days

#1 posted 09-22-2006 09:09 AM


One of the reasons for my membership/joining this Forum is your work – it is inspirational.

Again you’ve raised the bar!

View Nortwes's profile


2 posts in 5146 days

#2 posted 09-22-2006 06:04 PM

WOW ! Nortwes

View Donna Menke's profile

Donna Menke

617 posts in 5144 days

#3 posted 09-22-2006 07:00 PM

OK- I don’t even know what to say- unnatural for me.
That is one of the best band saw boxes I have ever laid my eyes on, and I have seen most of them.
Ellen- how long have you been doing this kind of work?
Where/how did you learn how to do it?
What other things do you make?

-- "So much wood. . .so little time!"

View Donna Menke's profile

Donna Menke

617 posts in 5144 days

#4 posted 09-22-2006 07:07 PM

Well, duh- I went to your web site and saw the rest of your current work- and the answers to most of my questions.
I’m interested in how you and your husband divide the workload. Who designs? Who creates? Who finishes? Hubby and I have a tough time hanging a picture together, so I work alone unless a log needs to be hacked up- then he helps with the chain-sawing.

-- "So much wood. . .so little time!"

View Ellen's profile


136 posts in 5323 days

#5 posted 09-22-2006 09:20 PM

Thanks so much for the feedback! I don’t really consider this a band saw box, as the inside is carved and ground out. The rough cut exterior was rough cut with a band saw, but from there it is totally created with an angle grinder. I love to make shapes this way. I sketch it out and start grinding.

As far as how we divide up the labor of love, I am the designer. On boxes or small projects, it is all me. On furniture or larger projects like the banister, I draw, design, measure and together we cut, glue up and generally work as a team on our projects. Our biggest disagreement is what type of finish to put on the project. I ALWAYS want to use tung oil and he always wants to use a wipe-on poly. Slowly but surely, he is coming around ; ).

I have been woodworking for about 30 years in one way or the other. This latest form of sculpted curves and using the angle grinder began about 4 years ago. I was inspired by a craftsman in Dallas with what he was doing with a grinder and the same day I went and bought one. My background is graphic design, so this is the best way to do some work that only has to satisfy myself and if you like it, that is even better!

We make everything from king size beds, toys, boxes, shelves, cool book ends with people’s initials, sofa tables and entertainment centers built for TVs.

-- Ellen --

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dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 5192 days

#6 posted 09-23-2006 03:29 PM

I’m digging out my grinder Ellen thanks for the inspiration!

View Donna Menke's profile

Donna Menke

617 posts in 5144 days

#7 posted 09-23-2006 08:28 PM

Thanks for the info, Ellen. It must be great to work together like that. My hubby likes to work with greazy/oily engines and metals, so we even have separate workshops. One time I put a nice piece of exotic hard wood on the drill press table to make some holes- and it got all nasty- so from then on I got my own drill press and he got the old one. Seems fair to me- LOL.

-- "So much wood. . .so little time!"

View Mark A. DeCou's profile

Mark A. DeCou

2009 posts in 5283 days

#8 posted 10-10-2006 06:41 PM

Ellen: beautiful sculpture. I am curious if you could explain your views on tung oil vs. wipe on poly? I’m wanting to learn what you know about both finishes, as I have very little actual working experience with either one. Also, on your angle grinder, what type of cutting surface do you use?

Hoping to learn from you, thanks,
Mark DeCou

-- Mark DeCou - American Contemporary Craft Artisan -

View Ellen's profile


136 posts in 5323 days

#9 posted 10-10-2006 07:34 PM

Wow Mark! I hope to learn from you! Tung oil is simple. And the finish is awesome. You just can’t eat on that finish. So I polish my woodwork to 1,200 grit, then apply a very wet coat of tung oil on the wood and let it sit for 15 minutes. Then I have a “box of rags” paper towels and wipe all of it off that I can. Then I wait an hour and add another coat and apply the tung oil with 2000 grit sanding pad, wait 15 minutes and wipe off. Then I wait a day and apply another coat with a 4000 grit sanding pad and wipe that off after 15 minutes. From then on, I just add another coat and wipe it off right after I have applied it. Usually 4 or 5 coats works best. Then for an even nicer final finish, I apply a coat of paste wax and buff that off.

I just have not had that kind of luck and finish with wipe on poly. EVENTUALLY, I do, but for example, we made a kitchen table and it probably has 15 coats of wipe on poly until it finally went on smoothly. Maybe someone out there can give me some tips on an even coat technique. I had some dull spots in the finish for no reason and no matter what, I couldn’t get them out. Then finally after about the 12th coat, rubbing it with pumise, then 2000, and 4000 grit, I finally got it smooth and an even shine.

Now the angle grinder… it is the meanest knarliest thing you have seen. The angle grinder is by Porter Cable. The cutting tool is mean! It is sort of half dome shape and has spikes on it. I think they call it 5 or 10 grit. It is a dark red color. It will flat go through some purple heart or any really tough woods. From there I use smaller air grinders to get it so that I can begin to either scrape it or go through the grits to 1000 grit. Then you know my tung oil secret for the balance.

Hope this helps. Thanks for asking, I am honored.

-- Ellen --

View WayneC's profile


14359 posts in 4975 days

#10 posted 04-15-2007 01:36 AM

Wow. What a wonderful item. I’m glad I found it.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View Don's profile


2603 posts in 5055 days

#11 posted 07-01-2007 12:27 AM

Ellen, over the past six months, I have viewed this project perhaps a dozen times. I’m lost for words, but “awesome” comes to mind.

I just love small wooden boxes and your work is amongst the very best I’ve viewed.


-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5038 days

#12 posted 07-05-2007 02:24 AM

Don.. question for you: do you love small wooden boxes??

I agree re: this acorn love box. Awe-some

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

View Don's profile


2603 posts in 5055 days

#13 posted 07-05-2007 03:22 AM

I’ll have to think about that, Debbie, LOL

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

View odie's profile


1692 posts in 4718 days

#14 posted 12-25-2007 04:40 PM

I was just looking around and came across another one of your boxes. My opinion hasn’t changed…you do some of the most original and beautiful work I have ever seen. Thanks for sharing !!!

-- Odie, Confucius say, "He who laughs at one's self is BUTT of joke". (my funny blog)

View Andy's profile


1713 posts in 4786 days

#15 posted 01-10-2008 01:21 AM

Ellen, this is really a nice piece.From concept to completion…very well done!

-- If I can do it, so can you.

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