Burl Box

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Project by Timmy2Hands posted 02-02-2017 10:39 PM 2317 views 15 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Back in November a friend sent me a couple of pieces of walnut burl veneer.
I’ve finally gotten around to using it in a project.

This is a relatively small box, the overall dimensions are 4 3/4” x 2 3/8” x 2 3/8”.

The sides are 3/8” thick walnut, the lid is 3/8” thick tiger maple, and the bottom is 1/4” birch plywood.

I cut a 1/4” groove for the bottom panel and a rebate for the lid. The basic construction is simple mitered corners. I used Tightbond hide glue for the veneer work and the box construction.

After Christmas gifts were done I had a bunch of small scraps left over and I decided to use some of them to make a box and the size of the box would be determined by the scraps I had.

I had gotten to this point in the construction when I realized that the walnut side pieces were a little too boring for the nice tiger maple piece I had for the top. I looked around and found the burl veneer that Sean had sent me back in November.

This is my solution for a veneer press. I covered the faces of two 3/8” plywood panels with packing tape to use as the platens. I cut the veneer a little oversize, wet them front and back with plain water, and sandwiched them in the platens between some paper towels for about 36 hours to flatten the veneer.

I then applied an even layer of hide glue to the veneer and the walnut side panels placed them back in the press for 24 hours for the glue to dry.

I placed the walnut side panels in such a way that the veneer would book-match around two of the four corners. The top right piece and the bottom left are one book-match and the same for the top left and bottom right.

Now that the pieces are out of the press I cut them apart and used my shooting board to trim the veneer to exact size.

You can see the book-matching in this photo.

At this point I’ve got all the joinery cut, I applied Timber Mate pore filler to the burl only, and I’ve sanded the pieces with 220 and 320.

Now I’m ready for glue-up.

After the box is out of the clamps I clean up any glue squeeze out and hand sand to 400 grit. I also make final adjustments to the lid for size and fit.

This is the first coat of my favorite finish, Watco Danish Oil in natural.

I had to get some light on the situation to really show off that grain.

Pictures still don’t do it justice.

Thanks for looking, I hope you liked it.

If you have any questions put them in the comments below.

-- Tim McCoy - @Timmy2Hands on Instagram

19 comments so far

View theoldfart's profile


11632 posts in 3225 days

#1 posted 02-02-2017 10:47 PM

Excellent work, I like the grain contrast between the top and sides. Glad to see you back posting, its been a while.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View BobWemm's profile


2867 posts in 2700 days

#2 posted 02-02-2017 10:51 PM

Wonderful box. You really made it JUMP.
Thanks for sharing.


-- Bob, Western Australia, The Sun came up this morning, what a great start to the day. Now it's up to me to make it even better. I've cut this piece of wood 4 times and it's still too damn short.

View AJ1104's profile


1091 posts in 2433 days

#3 posted 02-02-2017 11:33 PM

Gorgeous box. It came out great!

-- AJ

View Mean_Dean's profile


7041 posts in 3921 days

#4 posted 02-02-2017 11:34 PM

That’s a great looking box! I like the maple lid—and that burl is just beautiful!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View PaulDoug's profile


2387 posts in 2478 days

#5 posted 02-02-2017 11:42 PM

Yep, I like it. I really like it! Beautiful.

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

View Woodbridge's profile


3718 posts in 3192 days

#6 posted 02-03-2017 12:00 AM

Super looking box

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

7525 posts in 4127 days

#7 posted 02-03-2017 12:15 AM

It’s easy to like this little beauty! The wood grain is so nice! What a gem!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View dannmarks's profile


1017 posts in 1356 days

#8 posted 02-03-2017 01:27 AM

I love the wood, and your work. In addition the way you break down the flow with pictures is very professional indeed, You are a craftsman and an artist.

View Ottacat's profile


517 posts in 2626 days

#9 posted 02-03-2017 01:52 AM

Simple and elegant, you just let the wood do the talking!

View bushmaster's profile


3939 posts in 3057 days

#10 posted 02-03-2017 03:04 AM

The color of the wood and the patterns are fantastic. Nice boxes.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View Cathie Zimmerman's profile

Cathie Zimmerman

103 posts in 1587 days

#11 posted 02-03-2017 03:46 AM

Absolutely stunning!!!

View TheTurtleCarpenter's profile


1053 posts in 1840 days

#12 posted 02-03-2017 03:46 AM

I Agree ! with everyone above’s comment ^^^ Very Nice Tim !

-- "Tying shoelaces was way harder than learning to Whistle"

View CFrye's profile


11005 posts in 2614 days

#13 posted 02-03-2017 09:17 AM

Beautifully and masterfully done, Tim! The burl really compliments the curl! Thank you for sharing.

-- God bless, Candy

View turnkey47's profile


315 posts in 3466 days

#14 posted 02-03-2017 11:24 AM

nice the figure in the tiger maple!!

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3641 days

#15 posted 02-03-2017 12:25 PM

This box is outstanding and the wood is quite striking. The other boxes are nice and I love to see those beautiful tools as well.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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