Dovetailed box from a piece of split firewood

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Project by lumberjoe posted 03-30-2015 09:24 PM 2563 views 1 time favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

As a part of a contest on another forum, I made a box out of a piece of firewood. The rules stated the wood could not have been milled previously. I made a little sled for my bandsaw and sliced up a split oak log. I was able to quarter saw it to keep it stable. I noticed it had some spalting on the bottom, so I kept it. I wanted to include that in the lid as well so I glued up a panel so the spalting was centered. The finish is super blonde shellac followed by Varathane triple thick (3x) waterborne satin poly. I really like the way it came out and would recommend trying that product. Hot hide glue was used throughout

Aside from the bandsaw, this was all hand tool work



Cross cutting



This was a fun project and turned out better than expected. I’m going to mill up some more logs.


11 comments so far

View bruc101's profile


1554 posts in 4874 days

#1 posted 03-30-2015 11:25 PM

Unique and pretty box. Love the spalting.

-- Bruce Free Plans & Calculators

View nonickswood's profile


570 posts in 3719 days

#2 posted 03-30-2015 11:45 PM

Very Nice!

-- Nick, Virginia,

View Sodabowski's profile


2401 posts in 4165 days

#3 posted 03-31-2015 12:22 AM

Neat! Lovely saw BTW.

-- Thomas - there are no problems, there are only solutions.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

27237 posts in 4437 days

#4 posted 03-31-2015 01:00 AM

Beautiful job on that box. I love the spalting in firewood!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Boxguy's profile


2905 posts in 3599 days

#5 posted 03-31-2015 11:01 AM

Joe, beautiful box and lovely tools. I appreciate the skill you have shown in the hand tool work here. Dovetales like these are an art in themselves. On a box with such lovely grain, I would have 45ed the corners and added splines so I could show the spalted pattern wrapping around the whole box. Rounded corners also add to that look. However, I have been accused of making all my projects look like a used bar of soap, so take my thinking with a grain of salt. This is a beautifully made piece. Keep boxing and keep posting.

-- Big Al in IN

View lumberjoe's profile


2902 posts in 3580 days

#6 posted 03-31-2015 01:07 PM

Thanks Boxguy! I would have really liked to have done splined miters, but I wanted to stick to hand tools on this box. I am TERRIBLE at cutting miters by hand because I haven’t invested the time to make a proper shooting board. I did take inspiration from your boxes for the finger recess.


View Marty 529's profile

Marty 529

344 posts in 3051 days

#7 posted 03-31-2015 01:31 PM

Beautiful box. Love the spalting.

-- Marty, Ohio

View crossfacecraddle's profile


131 posts in 2943 days

#8 posted 03-31-2015 02:35 PM

starting with a log and following through to a finished project is very satisfying, nice job.

-- i love the smell of sawdust in the morning, it smells like victory. John

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 3817 days

#9 posted 03-31-2015 06:18 PM

Trash to treasure, man. You keep knocking out all this great stuff.

-- Brian Timmons -

View lumberjoe's profile


2902 posts in 3580 days

#10 posted 03-31-2015 06:59 PM

Thanks Brian. Kasie’s project is even nicer!


View Joe Weaver's profile

Joe Weaver

549 posts in 5018 days

#11 posted 04-01-2015 06:29 PM

beautiful box, well done

-- Joe, Ga

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