Rocky Mountain Red Juniper Spice Rack

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Project by TZH posted 07-27-2010 10:06 PM 2284 views 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My sister in North Dakota asked me if I could make something “different” and “unique” for her to give to someone for a wedding present and this is what I came up with. It is made out of Rocky Mountain Red Juniper, stands about 12 inches high and is about 1 1/2 inches thick. The upright slab was flattened on both sides using my “mini-me” router planer ( The holes were drilled using a 1 7/8 inch forstner bit (I’ll be using a 1 7/8 inch hole saw from now on because going at the grain like I did with the forstner bit caused a lot of burning and smoke – I’ve since done one with a hole saw and found it works much better). The holes were drilled this diameter to accommodate Spice Island spice jars. I finished this piece with one coat of Minwax hand rubbed gloss polyurethane followed by one coat of water based gloss poly followed by four more coats of the Minwax gloss poly. This process was more of an experiment than anything. I was looking for something to seal the open grain in the piece, and, rather than using glue size (which I haven’t had very good results with), I decided to try the water based poly which seemed to work really well. I’m not sure about the long term results of applying a water based poly over an oil based poly followed by oil based over water based, though. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see. The piece is intended to be more to look at than it is functional as it will only hold four spice jars. The finishing process I used really made the red pop which is what I wanted. I think I’m going to use this same process on future projects like this, as well.

-- Where The Spirit In Wood Lives On

4 comments so far

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 4042 days

#1 posted 07-27-2010 11:47 PM

Very nice and interesting piece.

I’m surprised to read that you prefer a hole saw to a forstner bit. I suspect your forstner bit needs sharpening. It’s relatively easy to sharpen a forstner bit but few woodworkers take the time to do it.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View TZH's profile


597 posts in 4108 days

#2 posted 07-27-2010 11:53 PM

Hey, Rich. Thanks for the positive feedback. It’s not that I prefer a hole saw, but this particular type of cut, for some reason, didn’t work so well with the forstner bit (and, yes, I did check it for sharpness – it’s only been used a couple of times previously, so was very sharp. Plus, it is a Freud bit so is very good quality). I don’t know, maybe I’m not doing something right (like setting the right speed on the drill press maybe). Anyway, I originally thought I’d be able to go all the way through with a forstner bit instead of having to drill a pilot hole, drill halfway through, and then turn the piece over to go through from the other side. Any suggestions?


-- Where The Spirit In Wood Lives On

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 5214 days

#3 posted 07-28-2010 12:23 AM

Very beautiful. Love the wood. It would look great on a counter.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View TreeBones's profile


1828 posts in 4991 days

#4 posted 07-29-2010 05:38 PM

You succeeded with the goal of this project. Very cool.

-- Ron, Twain Harte, Ca. Portable on site Sawmill Service

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