A Wood Story

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Project by smitty22 posted 02-24-2016 02:58 AM 998 views 1 time favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is mostly a story of a chunk of Missouri black walnut crotch cutoff, a gift from a friend who couldn’t use it and was going to throw it in the burn pile. I tripped over this many times in the garage for a year or so before finally deciding on a use for it as a memorial Urn Box. This was my first experience with a highly figured wood and it sure taught me a lot! It even helped me decide on a new bandsaw since my old Delta 10” BS wouldn’t touch the resaw needed.

After much deliberation, the walnut was re-sawn into 3/8” slabs. Using a core box of 1/2” BB ply for stability (the walnut loved to twist/cup/curve/check as it was being resawn), I was able to incorporate most of the figured pieces by laminating to the ply core. The most dramatic figure was used in the lid, but attempted to match the figure with the sides and the corner posts. Drama continued at a couple of the side panel corners where the piece wasn’t large enough for a full panel, but decided to just feature these points with a bit of matching trickery. And lastly, the interior cove cuts in the corners were really demanding, big time exercise in patience at the router table.

Finished with a 3-part blend of tung oil/Formsby’s tung oil finish/mineral spirits, slurry sanded, about 10 applications. This technique is good for highly figured finish, albeit takes a while to do and isn’t very tough since it really doesn’t produce any surface film.

Thanks for looking.

-- Smitty

9 comments so far

View Jerry's profile


3210 posts in 2068 days

#1 posted 02-24-2016 03:15 AM

Wow! That is STUNNING! Great work Dale. You sure endured a lot to come up with that. The finish is exquisite.

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be.

View woodchuckerNJ's profile


1327 posts in 2054 days

#2 posted 02-24-2016 03:40 AM

beautiful wood.

yes working figure is a challenge.
you did well grasshopper.

-- Jeff NJ

View Jorge Velez's profile

Jorge Velez

356 posts in 3006 days

#3 posted 02-24-2016 03:03 PM

awesome work and wood!

-- Jorge Velez, Guadalajara, Mexico.

View Porchfish's profile


851 posts in 2952 days

#4 posted 02-24-2016 03:46 PM

Good thinking, good work = your superior quality project as usual…. Very Nicely Done !

don s.

-- The pig caught under the fence is always the one doing all the squealing !

View Boxguy's profile


2827 posts in 2688 days

#5 posted 02-24-2016 05:27 PM

Dale, the grain and finish on this piece are superb. I like the idea of a substrate to help keep things straight. The trimmed corners are also a great choice since they provide a beak between panels and help to frame them. This build must have been very time consuming and demanding. You did a wonderful job of letting the wood speak for itself. Congratulations on a job well done. Keep boxing and keep posting.

-- Big Al in IN

View Roger's profile


21006 posts in 3224 days

#6 posted 02-24-2016 07:19 PM

Spectacular Smitty. WowZa times 100!

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View smitty22's profile


714 posts in 3367 days

#7 posted 02-24-2016 11:18 PM

Thanks everyone, it was certainly my most challenging project!

Had a question about the core box I mentioned, I’ll try to post a couple of pics later that show more interior detail.

-- Smitty

View smitty22's profile


714 posts in 3367 days

#8 posted 02-26-2016 04:35 AM

The core box:

Panels and posts added:

-- Smitty

View JoeinGa's profile


7741 posts in 2427 days

#9 posted 02-26-2016 04:01 PM

Beautiful box. Nice job

-- Perform A Random Act Of Kindness Today ... Pay It Forward

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