Osage Orange Box

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Project by WWilson posted 06-17-2010 04:36 AM 5319 views 2 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This box was a present for my Mother for Christmas. Construction details as follows:

Box Material: White Ash
Top Material: Osage Orange
Splines: Osage Orange

Bottom: 1/4” ply
Finish: Danish Oil

Box Dimensions:
Length: 8 3/4”
Width: 8 3/4”
Height: 5 3/8”

Lid: 1 1/2” thick.
Sides: 1/2” thick.

Special feature: Book matched top.

This was my first time using White Ash. I love the stuff. It machines great and hand planes even better. I went to my local hardwood dealer and got some offcuts of different species to see how they worked and if I liked them. I will definitely use White Ash again.

The Osage is a different story. That came special from Chicago – my friend and I found a woodlot where a tree cutting company dumped logs for firewood. We found some nice logs and decided to take a chance. I resawed them and let them dry for 2 years. I needed something for the top of this box and thought I would break out some of the Osage. This also was my first attempt at book matching anything. I need to tune up my band saw because I had to plane these down more than I cared to to get the resaw marks out. I think the grain came out really nice however.

I tried to get the grain to “wrap” the sides of the box and that came out pretty good too.

What I Learned / Things to Consider
1.) Make sure you include some kind of lift. I didn’t because I ran out of time and I really regret skipping this step.

2.) Take the time to figure out how to make the lid stop and not flop all the way open. Again I was in a rush and skipped this step. You could use a simple chain stop or even use better hinges with a built-in stop (I think Brusso makes some really nice ones for ~ $20 or $25 / pair.

3.) Use hand planes as much as you can. I used my new Lie-Nielsen low angle block plane to chamfer the top and bottom edges and what a joy!!! There is something so fulfilling about using hand tools. Practice, practice, practice!

Thanks for looking.

14 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118309 posts in 4912 days

#1 posted 06-17-2010 04:38 AM

Well done a clean light look


View Cozmo35's profile


2200 posts in 4371 days

#2 posted 06-17-2010 05:03 AM

Very nice selection of wood!

-- If you don't work, you don't eat!.....Garland, TX

View littlecope's profile


3136 posts in 4837 days

#3 posted 06-17-2010 05:10 AM

Great Job, Mr. Wilson!!

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 5421 days

#4 posted 06-17-2010 05:21 AM

Beautiful use of the woods. The white ash is a nice complement to the osage. Nice!


View BertFlores58's profile


1698 posts in 4257 days

#5 posted 06-17-2010 05:46 AM

Engr. WWilson.
Nice job and a very imformative words. It looks how the engineer same like me do the writing in detailed technical way. I learned a lot about the ash and Osage orange wood but its not available in the Philippines. Your TTC (things to consider) is a really a must in doing work, specially if you are limited with the materials and tools..

-- Bert

View kosta's profile


946 posts in 4690 days

#6 posted 06-17-2010 01:14 PM

looks good

View Maveric777's profile


2694 posts in 4412 days

#7 posted 06-17-2010 02:10 PM

Really like the top… Good stuff

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View Monty Queen's profile

Monty Queen

1600 posts in 4587 days

#8 posted 06-17-2010 04:33 PM

Awesome looking box, Superb work.

-- Monty Q, Columbia, South Carolina.

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 4400 days

#9 posted 06-17-2010 04:52 PM

Very nice box, looks great..

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View 4woodturning's profile


187 posts in 4316 days

#10 posted 06-18-2010 07:31 PM

One awesome looking box, I like how you used the Osage in the lid. What a great gift.

-- Jeff, Missouri ,"Just because your not bleeding, dont mean your turning safely!"..............

View KevinH's profile


132 posts in 5142 days

#11 posted 06-06-2014 08:27 PM

Hi WWilson,

It has been a while since your original post of this beautiful box. I was wondering how the color of the Osage Orange was holding up. I have acquired a bit of this wood to use in a project.



-- Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance. --Kevin in Happy Valley

View WWilson's profile


106 posts in 4398 days

#12 posted 01-27-2015 02:10 AM

Hi Kevin,

Sorry for the delay. I gave the box away as a gift and had to find time to track it down and take a pic. The lid did get a bit darker – most of those brilliant yellows mellowed out a bit.

Here is a pic of the top (exposed to normal light) and the inside of the top (no light exposure). It was not stored in direct sunlight – I would expect that would have darkened the wood significantly.

Top of box:

Inside of the lid:



View KevinH's profile


132 posts in 5142 days

#13 posted 01-27-2015 03:31 PM

Hey Will,

Thanks for going to the trouble to track it down. Looks like it did darken a bit, but it’s still a beautiful box.

Best regards,


-- Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance. --Kevin in Happy Valley

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4202 days

#14 posted 01-27-2015 04:25 PM

This is nicely done. Congratulations.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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