My take on a Tsunami Box

  • Advertise with us
Project by ellen35 posted 05-03-2010 01:05 PM 2345 views 0 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my take on a Tsunami Box. To me it resembles the ocean floor more than a wave. The box is made using purpleheart, maple and something call peruvian walnut – more on this in a minute. The drawers are flocked in black. The box itself is 8 inches x 5 inches x 4 1/2 inches tall. Now to the peruvian walnut. I picked this stuff up locally and liked it because it seemed lighter than the dense american walnut I am used to (it was also cheaper – you get what you pay for!). You will notice that there is a “decoration” in the form of a starfish on one end. I have included a picture without the starfish so you can see my problem… there was a void in the wood that didn’t show up until after the box was cut out. I am debating using the starfish as it fits with the box and looks good but would be interested in what my fellow LJers think. I am getting mixed reviews from those who saw the box – some feel that it is part of the wood and should be seen – I am mixed. The peruvian walnut was also a bear to finish. It looks pretty shiny in the pictures but I think it is the lighting. It was finished in 3 coats of a semi gloss wipe on poly after using danish oil but isn’t nearly as shiny as it appears. My other problem with peruvian walnut was that it did not take finish well. It had really open grain and I’m not happy with it at all.
I worked on this box off and on for about 3 months finally finishing it last night. I think it is OK for a first try at something of this nature. For me, it was a learning experience. I learned – get good wood to start with!
Thanks for looking – any and all constructive criticism welcome.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

23 comments so far

View Carolynne's profile


33 posts in 4548 days

#1 posted 05-03-2010 01:20 PM

Well – I like the starfish…

View degoose's profile


7284 posts in 4598 days

#2 posted 05-03-2010 01:22 PM

This will not be your last…
And as a first a mighty fine job…

-- Be safe.

View Cher's profile


965 posts in 4337 days

#3 posted 05-03-2010 01:28 PM

Hi Ellen, Glad to see the Tsunami Box finally finished. It is beautiful, the colours are lovely, personally I would leave the starfish. The box is beautiful just the way it is.

-- When you know better you do better.

View CreekWoodworker's profile


409 posts in 4542 days

#4 posted 05-03-2010 01:47 PM

Nice box, too bad about the void. I ran into a void in one of my pieces, luckily most of the void was in the cut off. I was able to sand out the remaining portion of the void. Your void looks a little deeper. As long as the void doesn’t go through to the drawer, I might have tried using a #50 rasp and round out that portion of the box. Create sort of a wave within the wave. Have it go about 1/3 of the way toward the back. I’m just thinking out loud, it’s still a very nice looking box.

-- Mike ...Success is often the result of taking a misstep in the right direction

View ratchet's profile


1391 posts in 5030 days

#5 posted 05-03-2010 01:52 PM

Very nice BSB! I like the starfish.

View Bill Akins's profile

Bill Akins

425 posts in 4942 days

#6 posted 05-03-2010 02:08 PM

Greatr lookong box, I have been wanting to try one of those.

-- Bill from Lithia Springs, GA I love the smell of sawdust in the morning.

View patron's profile


13722 posts in 4585 days

#7 posted 05-03-2010 02:57 PM

i like the box ,
and ,
i like the starfish .

practical and interesting fix .

well done .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Woodwrecker's profile


4240 posts in 4819 days

#8 posted 05-03-2010 02:58 PM

I’ve been meaning to try a Band Saw Box and only hope it comes out half as nice as yours.
The Starfish is a nice little detail that sets it off.
You always have excellent choices in wood selections.
I bet a batch of those would fly off the table at your next sale.

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4547 days

#9 posted 05-03-2010 03:40 PM

ita a beautiful box ellen..personally if you like the fish to cover the blemish i say go for it, in fact i can tell that you dont like the walnut and if you leave the blemish…you will always look at it and curs the walnut…lol… know it to…… i say leave it…besides that…great job…we all learned from you on the Peruvian walnut and we also see that your abilities with the craft are getting better and better……what is next…more of a challenge now…........grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View woodsmithshop's profile


1425 posts in 4789 days

#10 posted 05-03-2010 03:54 PM

good looking box Ellen, I like the purpleheart against the walnut, the void is part of the wood and gives it some character.

-- Smitty!!!

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3882 posts in 4681 days

#11 posted 05-03-2010 03:57 PM

I think it’s great.
You know, some people will be purists and say leave the wood as it is, and others will look at the starfish and think it’s a nice thematic touch.
Here’s another few of options you might ponder.
Square off the slot and add a plug to the bottom of the starfish. The defect is now a desired effect you made to hold the starfish on.
Square off the slot and put a plug on the bottom of the starfish.. then have the plug go down to the first drawer and indicate that it’s a latch for the drawer.. kinda dumb but things like that pop into my head.
The wood and finish are dark. Carve a plug the same shape as the hole, mix a little of the wood dust with glue and glue in a plug. After finishing it will hardly show.
Years ago when I was at Luthiery school. A guitar that I was making was hung in the shop. Another student bent over, unhooked it and it fell on the head at the end of the neck damaging the design at the end of the head. I looked at it and then proceeded to carve a unique shape into the head that worked around and used the nature of the damage as part of the design. The instructor liked it. He said, “The sign of a true craftsman is one that can successfully learn how to hide mistakes.”. I never forgot that.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View sras's profile


6346 posts in 4373 days

#12 posted 05-03-2010 04:02 PM

Nicely done Ellen! As for the starfish – sorry no help from me – I think it looks good either way ;) Peruvian walnut is used often in strip kayak & canoe building. The lighter weight is a big plus in those applications. Here is an example.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View a1Jim's profile


118258 posts in 4821 days

#13 posted 05-03-2010 04:12 PM

Great job Ellen I like the wood combinations you used well done.


View Mary Anne's profile

Mary Anne

1058 posts in 4452 days

#14 posted 05-03-2010 05:14 PM

It is a nice looking box, and the starfish works supporting the theme. I think what you decide to do with it depends on your feelings. When I have mixed feelings about something it usually means there is another solution that would make me happier. Filling voids or carved out spaces with CA glue mixed with inlace, metal shavings, or “colorful” sawdust is often used on turnings.

View Kate's profile


403 posts in 5118 days

#15 posted 05-03-2010 06:13 PM

Looks good Ellen. What about filling the void with a scrap of walnut? You can cut a wedge shaped piece to fit and tap it into the void. Or drill hole and cut matching plug.

Kind of like the starfish though.

-- Kate,

showing 1 through 15 of 23 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics