Hurricane Ike limb cutoff band saw box...

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Project by dbhost posted 12-08-2010 05:02 AM 3469 views 1 time favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This quick and simple project turned out not so simple, or quick…

The limb cutoff you see there is from a tree that was blown down by hurricane Ike back in 2008. I snagged a couple of chunks of this stuff, and have been keeping them in the shop since. The tree was in front of the office building LOML worked at when we first met, so there is a little nostalgia here. She stuck her head in to the shop and nosed around while I was making it, so I sort of fibbed and told her it was for my mom… Hope she doesn’t get mad at me…

The hinge pin is a 3/8” oak dowel. I believe the tree was Camphor because it smells like Vicks when I machine it. I left the chainsawn texture on the top for the rustic effect, and coated the entire thing in Minwax brush on Lacquer. I was less than brilliant and applied the lacquer in the shop, closed up… I wasn’t able to go back in for 2 days!

The interior of the box is lined with the Suede Tex stuff in Wine. The instructions say that I can mask it, but I did get a little bit of bleed through the masking tape on the top. However it bled on to some heartwood, and I think I was able to disguise it enough that it won’t be noticeable…

I sure hope she likes it…

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13 comments so far

View wseand's profile


2796 posts in 4010 days

#1 posted 12-08-2010 05:14 AM

Do they really ever turn out simple or quick. If worse comes to worse you can use it as a hide a key, well not now that I gave your secret place away.

View learnin2do's profile


891 posts in 3820 days

#2 posted 12-08-2010 06:06 AM

I just love it. It is one of the loveliest natural boxes i’ve ever seen! The texture is beautiful! What a unique wood! (at least from my perspective) I’ve never even heard of it! -have to ask my treeman, but i doubt it is indigenous around the mid-south!

-- ~christine @ used2btrees

View dbhost's profile


5777 posts in 4201 days

#3 posted 12-08-2010 07:07 AM

An expert arborist might be able to help out on this one. I am not sure what the wood type is. It is hard as sin and smells a bit like Vicks when machined. Any one want to guess?

This thing is WAY too big for a hide a key. It’s probably 6” in diameter. The hole / pocket whatever you want to call it is 4” deep. I cut the hole as best I could with the biggest forstner bit I have, and spent a LOT of quality time with my chisels…

Did I mention this stuff is brutally hard? I tried turning a piece of it. This is the stuff that fractures and tosses tenons off really easily, thereby chucking bowl blanks at my skull… It is NOT my favorite wood to work with for sure!

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View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4275 posts in 4133 days

#4 posted 12-08-2010 05:03 PM

I am not much into rustic, but I do like the box. Things like that would be found in some of the nice cabins on the zillions of lakes in Minnesota, like Dick Cain’s.

The wood sounds very interesting…......would its properties be amenable to fashioning a toilet seat…..........?

First post of day, and look where my tired old mind has gone…...............(-:


-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View dbhost's profile


5777 posts in 4201 days

#5 posted 12-08-2010 05:38 PM

I wouldn’t even consider a toilet seat out of this stuff. I have so much epoxy in this thing to keep it from exploding in the heart wood it isn’t funny… It’s very hard, but it’s very brittle and breaks apart somewhat easily. it does NOT machine easily. And this is coming from a guy that works with Mesquite and Pecan…

FWIW, our home decor is sort of a Tex / Mex rustic. We have lots of wrought iron, stars, knotty pine furniture etc… Not to mention a treasure trove of Mexican blankets, and misc trinkets we have picked up in our travels through the American Southwest as well as Mexico. Think of it this way, we are blending Texas Ranch styles, with Mexican Hacienda, and western U.S. lodge, with a touch of the nautical to reflect our coastal location… Yeah we are a little eclectic… But that’s what makes life fun!

Back on the subject of the box… I think what I am happiest with is… This is my first project using spray flocking… It worked exceedingly well…

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View wayned's profile


30 posts in 4178 days

#6 posted 12-08-2010 06:35 PM

I got a huge oak tree trunk and some enormous limbs from the 100 or so year old trees they took down in Galveston after Ike and have been thinking of things to make with the wood. Thanks for the ideas! Your box is great!

-- WayneD

View dbhost's profile


5777 posts in 4201 days

#7 posted 12-08-2010 07:54 PM

If you have a limb or 2 to spare, I’d be willing to take Donations. I need to take LOML out for our anniversary here very soon anyway, and we have only been to the island once since the storm…

I am wanting to make a couple more of these boxes using oak, maybe a pecan and a Mesquite, but those can come off the smoker pile…

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View Maxx's profile


136 posts in 4275 days

#8 posted 12-09-2010 07:23 PM

Wow – I never would have thought to use forstner bits and chisels for something this size. I’ve done that with much smaller pieces – but for this size, I normally use the band saw. Maybe I’ll give this a try.

-- Where did all this sawdust come from?

View dbhost's profile


5777 posts in 4201 days

#9 posted 12-09-2010 09:25 PM

I wanted to hollow out the center, and not have too many seams in the outer surface, I wanted to try to keep the bark as intact as possible…

It was a LOT of work hogging the middle out… I eventually used the drill press, and drilled through the center piece (the bottom was sliced off on the band saw), around the outside, and then the connections between the drill holes was chiseled away to take the remainder of the center out. Then the whole inside was smoothed off using my oscillating spindle sander with the 1.5” spindle. THAT procedure is a dust collection nightmare as the sides of the box cover the holes that dust usually get sucked into, and the oscillating action throws the dust up in the air. I ended up positioning a dust hose just above the top of the workpiece clamped literally to a stick, that was clamped to my bench. Hokey yes, but it worked…

I am going to do a couple of smaller ones. One for my Mom and one for my niece. The one for Mom will be out of Mesquite, and the one for my niece out of Pecan…

I really need to start making these things in maybe June. Since LOML and I got married, and she is one of 9 kids, well you can see that there are a LOT of nieces and nephews to make Christmas gifts for! I need to get chummy with somebody with a Pecan orchard…

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View wrtnaz's profile


39 posts in 3912 days

#10 posted 12-12-2010 07:24 AM

I have a nice piece of walnut that I wanted to do this with. Can you tell me, if I use the bandsaw to cut the center out, what is the best way to hide the entry cut?

-- wrtnaz

View dbhost's profile


5777 posts in 4201 days

#11 posted 12-12-2010 07:55 AM

If you look carefully you will see that there are seams that are on the top (lid) and on the bottom (base), I drilled out the middle initially with my largest forstner bit, but that wasn’t big enough. So I went to work with the drill, and a drill bit, and drilled a series of holes just at the edge of the heartwood, and more or less connected the dots with a chisel. It was rough and ugly, but I took that outer piece to the oscillating sander, and cleaned it all up. I then reglued the base, through drilled for the dowel, and glued it in place as carefully as I could so that the line is minimized, then I tack clothed it, and coated it with a painfully generous amount of Lacquer. Lastly I applied the spray flocking to the interior…

Not sure how to hide the entry cut. I minimized, but didn’t hide…

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View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 5268 days

#12 posted 10-22-2012 03:54 PM

Very nice, & a great way to use waste wood.

I sugest the way to cut this on with a band saw it to start a cut on angle,

and follow your cut pattern all of way to the entrance, then shut down the saw and back out of the cut,

then glue it & clamp it. the joint will barely show.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View dbhost's profile


5777 posts in 4201 days

#13 posted 10-23-2012 01:59 AM

Yeah, Steveinmarin did one that way…

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