Box with Kolrosing

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Project by stefang posted 10-23-2019 05:35 PM 876 views 1 time favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Box with Kolrosing
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My second box with kolrosing. I am making a series of 6 or 7 boxes as small Christmas gifts for family members to give them some personal mementos.

This box has an Escher (or Escher like) pattern. That is, only one shape that interlocks into a pattern. This was maybe a bit ambitious for my current skill level, but I learned a couple of things that will benefit the next ones I do. these are:

  1. I thought of doing a small flexible template to trace the pattern onto the box. I rejected the idea thinking that freehand drawing would lack uniformity and therefore have more of a handcrafted appearance. I kind of regret that now as my ‘freehand eyeballing is not particularly good. There goes my dreams of becoming a world famous artist!
  2. After cutting the pattern I thought that while the pattern wasn’t very well drawn, that the cutting really went well. WRONG AGAIN! The cutting might just barely pass considering the mesmerizing pattern and if the lights are turned low. That said, the whole pattern was curves (many, many, many curves) so that was a challenge, but not as difficult as I thought beforehand. I used a short bladed Mora knife which worked quite well in my inexperienced hand.

As you can see, this one and all the boxes to follow will have lids that double as tops. This way, if they don’t like the box at least they can play with the top. Too bad none of them is under the age of 20.

Anyway, I hope you like the idea of kolrosing. I landed on this technique because I don’t have access to to figured woods and I thought this would be a way to make a ho hum box a little more interesting. I hope you agree and I also hope that the quality of the work will improve as I go along. Thanks for reading!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

19 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118153 posts in 4551 days

#1 posted 10-23-2019 05:59 PM

Looks Great Mike, I like how you try different projects you havent done before and make them look like you have made hundreds of that particular project. You’re a very talented guy.


View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile


2412 posts in 521 days

#2 posted 10-23-2019 06:42 PM

You must have the patience of a sequoia, Stefang! And strong fingers also. The turning details alone are outstanding.

Is there a finish on this one? It appears a bit raw compared to your other work. Maybe just the light?

-- Wildwood by Brian Johns: The Big Bang: Nothing - exploded into Everything. Thanks to Nothing.

View Phil32's profile


1244 posts in 877 days

#3 posted 10-23-2019 06:52 PM

Mike – Very nice! I can see the similarities to chip carving. Did you apply any stain (such as gel stain) to the incised pattern? I assume you turned the box on a lathe to start.


-- Phil Allin - There are mountain climbers and people who talk about climbing mountains. The climbers have "selfies" at the summit!

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10958 posts in 5026 days

#4 posted 10-23-2019 07:10 PM

Very COOL!

What is a Mora knife?

COOL idea of making the Top/lid as a real spinning Top! :)

You’re doing a great job on those boxes!

Thank you!

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

View justoneofme's profile


845 posts in 3454 days

#5 posted 10-23-2019 07:21 PM

I totally agree that you’ve turned “ho-hum” into beautiful creations Mike! Although I wouldn’t call your turned boxes ho-hum at all!! But the Kolrosing really adds a very interesting feature. Who’s too old to enjoy spinning tops, eh??! A very creative way to put your own ‘spin’ on the lids Mike :) Well done … and I can’t wait to view the rest of your xmas gifts! I’ll have to check out Mora knives … ?

-- Elaine in Duncan

View robscastle's profile


7661 posts in 3178 days

#6 posted 10-23-2019 08:02 PM

Oh so Santa actually lives in Kleppe? I didn’t know that! and I imagine all the recipients will be treasuring your Kolrosing boxes like StefanG Gold! teee hee.

On a more serious not its interesting to see once we get older and our bodies don’t function like immortal teenagers any more, that regardless, with an attitude and skill change we can still continue with an activity we love.

Don’t be too concerned regarding the age group, I am tipping if they are curious enough to pick up the box I am betting they will give the top a spin a few times just for the hell of it, ....even if they do check to see if anybody is watching!

-- Regards Rob

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4308 days

#7 posted 10-23-2019 08:03 PM

Thanks for the Nice comments everyone.

Brian The finish is better than it appears on the photos, but I still have to wax the top which I forgot to do today while in the shop. I have arthritis and doing this kind of work hurts a lot, but I’m willing to put up with that. The main problem is with my index finger which gets the most abuse. I hold the blade like a pencil and apply pressure to the the top of the blade to make the cuts. You might think that the sharp blade would cut you the way it’s being held, but it doesn’t. I learned this from a Youtube vide.

Phil Yes, the box is done on the lathe. I used 2 coats of Danish oil and 4 coats of beeswax/carnuba mix. This is a lot easier that chip carving, but not so easy that I can brag about it yet.

Joe A Mora knife is made by the Mora company in Sweden. I searched for photo of one on the net, but couldn’t the one I have. It has a rather short pointed blade which makes it easy to cut curves (in theory anyway).

Elaine I will post a photo of my Mora knife tomorrow. I hope I don’t run out of ideas for the shapes and kolrosing patterns on the boxes. Maybe I will declare a contest to see who can keep their top spinning the longest at my family’s Christmas get together.

Rob I think they will at least give it a spin or two. Meanwhile I will be practicing with the tops so I can win the contest!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View crowie's profile


4229 posts in 2925 days

#8 posted 10-23-2019 09:05 PM

When I see beautiful pieces of turned wood art like this Mike, I’m almost wishing I’d had room to get a wood lathe and learn how to use it.
Very fortunate recipients, the ones who receive those gifts!

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

View Woodbridge's profile


3741 posts in 3392 days

#9 posted 10-23-2019 09:29 PM

Super looking little box. I like the hand done pattern.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

7821 posts in 4327 days

#10 posted 10-23-2019 10:46 PM

Another great looking little box Mike I like the pattern you chose. Good idea for some nice Christmas gifts.

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

View Ken90712's profile


17919 posts in 4162 days

#11 posted 10-23-2019 11:51 PM

Beautiful work as always, well done.

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

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

25737 posts in 4079 days

#12 posted 10-24-2019 12:00 AM

Very nice and detailed, Mike. They will be treasured.


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

View Dark_Lightning's profile


4320 posts in 4083 days

#13 posted 10-24-2019 02:19 AM

Nice work! The recipients will enjoy them, I think. I bought a DVD that shows how to do kolrosing, with some patterns. I’ll get to it one day…

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3597 posts in 4686 days

#14 posted 10-24-2019 03:36 AM


You certainly put a lot of work into that box! What a nice job on the turning and the detailed pattern. Your boxes will make really special gifts for all your family members. If I were making 6 or 7, I’d need to plan on Christmas 2025!


-- “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin -- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View Ivan's profile


16526 posts in 3841 days

#15 posted 10-24-2019 04:38 AM

Pretty nice and interesting decoration outside….I like that lid.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

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