The Relic

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Project by Andy posted 07-01-2017 06:46 PM 3497 views 10 times favorited 28 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This box started with this great piece of Myrtlewood, but the pictures don’t accurately convey the shimmer within.

Here is a little more info about this tree:
It grows all around me here in Douglas County Oregon and most of it is pretty plain looking to me and I just keep digging until I find something special. Oregon has many very, very large trees, one of the largest is near Bandon on the coast. It is 4ft 7inches in diameter and 88 ft tall.
It will not float when freshly cut, its too heavy. The nuts are edible and the leaves can be used for cooking, much like its cousin the Bay leaf. Its an evergreen tree with leaves that live about 3 years, so they fall randomly, leaving the tree green year round. It is a great tonewood and is used for musical instruments. This specific variety of Laurel only grows along the coast of Oregon and California, not the Holy Land as many claim.
Myrtlewood at times resembles the grain and chatoyance of Koa, like the Tiger Eye gem stone, but mostly just has this crazy wild grain and many color variations. The variety of colors of this wood are said to be the most varied of any species, which makes it almost impossible to get a table top to match in every direction. Here is a small sample.

There are shops along the coast that only make and sell products made from Myrtlewood, bowls, platters, furniture, boxes, etc… It is a nice wood to work with, about like maple, it burns much easier though, similar to cherry. It requires careful sanding to get all the scratches out. As I have said before, it smells like you just peed on the wood stove when you’re cutting it.
_For more info go here

Back to the box:
Body is Wenge, vertical grain, easier to work with, less slivers. That said, you can get slivers from this wood just looking at it, or writing about it…OUCH! I love/hate this wood.

Top is Myrtlewood with Wenge borders which are edge grain for a nice zebra effect.

Handle is Ebony, and I sandwiched in Black Palm for a subtle accent. Very tedious btw.

Corner splines are Paduak with the some laminated ones in the back made up of maple, paduak, and wenge.

The oval tubes were made by taking aluminum tubing and inserting plugs I made from Bloodwood. I made a jig to hold the box at a 45 degree angle with a small piece set on with glue at a right angle to prevent the bit from skating off. This allowed me to drill straight through the corner. After testing size, placement, etc., I punched 2 holes and inserted the tubes after scuffing them a little and swabbing the holes with CA.
Cutting them off flush gives this oval effect.

Tray..divider…or whatever you want to call it is a piece of spalted Oregon Maple (aka Western Maple, Big Leaf Maple) which also just happens to grow all around me.
I made up this free form piece and bored the center and inserted a slice of Banksia Pod. I added some metal elements and aged it to look like some found object. I didn’t want it to really resemble anything real, just make a person wonder what it is, where it came from, what was its purpose? I can’t even figure out what it is.

Texturing was done with a small ball burr on my Dremel, overlapping in a random pattern. This was done after I carved out the shallow recesses.

Finish is semi-gloss lacquer

Thanks for looking!

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

28 comments so far

View sras's profile


5456 posts in 3901 days

#1 posted 07-01-2017 07:05 PM

Andy – beautiful as always :)

Thanks for the short tutorial on Myrtlewood

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View ralbuck's profile


6541 posts in 3038 days

#2 posted 07-01-2017 07:35 PM

The usual just GORGEOUS!

You are one of the people who always make me feel like an absolute amateur compared to your fantastic work.

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View MyHogany's profile


88 posts in 2209 days

#3 posted 07-01-2017 08:11 PM

spectacular work! Myrtlewood is one of my favorites, as I used to live in Oregon and even spent a summer in Bandon. I always admired the craftmanship of local artists and thought it to be the most beautiful wood of them all. I became a woodworker years later.. so much to my regret, getting Myrtlewood now is crazy expensive. I’ll have to speak to my niece that lives in Portland about that. I am a fan of yours. You always speak so loudly with your work, especially when you make subtle and quiet statements, such as this box. I am in awe.

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

7513 posts in 4124 days

#4 posted 07-01-2017 08:49 PM

Love your work Andy. This is so beautiful and thanks for the detailed write up.

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

View Ken90712's profile


17867 posts in 3960 days

#5 posted 07-01-2017 09:15 PM

Another great one, your killing me. Lol

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View DocSavage45's profile


8956 posts in 3614 days

#6 posted 07-01-2017 09:43 PM


You are blessed in many ways!!!!!! Environment and inspiration , oh yeah talent! I’m speechless. LOL!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View dclark1943's profile


270 posts in 2959 days

#7 posted 07-01-2017 10:39 PM

Andy, I really REALLY like that box Have you sold it yet?

-- Dave, Kansas City

View gbear's profile


531 posts in 4871 days

#8 posted 07-01-2017 11:11 PM


-- gbear, Carmichael, CA

View bushmaster's profile


3939 posts in 3054 days

#9 posted 07-01-2017 11:51 PM

Enjoyed reading about myrtle wood and seeing your box. beautiful construction.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View tomd's profile


2218 posts in 4542 days

#10 posted 07-02-2017 01:31 AM

Nice work that is truly out of the box designing.

-- Tom D

View Andy's profile


1713 posts in 4680 days

#11 posted 07-02-2017 04:31 AM

Thank you all, glad you like it, it was a fun but challenging project.
@Dave, not yet

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

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10923 posts in 4824 days

#12 posted 07-02-2017 04:54 AM

Andy, another Super Box!!

Your finishing techniques are advancing more & MORE!

I love the texturing in front!!

Thank you again for sharing your wonderful works!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View oldnovice's profile


7558 posts in 4139 days

#13 posted 07-02-2017 07:13 AM

Another work of art …. I mean Andy!
I have only seen a few small pieces of myrtle wood (given to me by a ”O” graduate many years ago) and you are correct about trying to photograph a phantom, it’s nearly impossible!
You really made something special!

-- "It's fine in practise but it will never work in theory"

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 3284 days

#14 posted 07-02-2017 10:46 AM

It really caught my eye, what a great piece Andy.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

24791 posts in 3877 days

#15 posted 07-02-2017 11:31 AM

Beautiful piece and thanks for the education on the Myrtlewood. I was told it only grew in the Holy Land and Oregon!! I have a serving tray made from it that I bought at a resale shop in Oregon. It was made by Stateline in Brookings, Oregon and in the store it cost 25 x what I paid for it. I just looked at it and it has the chatoyance and color of tiger eye gem stone!

Thanks for sharing all the info with us…..........cheers, Jim

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

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