A box of angles

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Project by SteveAltman posted 06-01-2020 12:38 AM 1206 views 3 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made this box last year. Some people like it, some don’t. It’s one of those boxes where I’ve kind of given up on level lines, or perpendicular lines, or right angles in general. Not sure why; but it is fun, maybe even funny…who knows?

Mainly, it’s thuya burl and african blackwood. And lots of tiny pieces – curly sycamore, ebony, pink ivory, purpleheart, bloodwood, limba, verawood, pear, pau amarello, holly. Probably a few more.

Gotta use up those little pieces of scrap…

15 comments so far

View pottz's profile


21383 posts in 2273 days

#1 posted 06-01-2020 12:41 AM

hey i like it,it’s crazy but gorgeous.thats a lot of thuya burl which lets say i not cheap,i use it for pens a lot.beautiful work.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View SteveAltman's profile


99 posts in 3381 days

#2 posted 06-01-2020 12:48 AM

Thanks. You’re right about the thuya burl, expensive and hard to find, sometimes. In this box the thuya burl is veneer (everything else is solid – inlay) so not quite as expensive.

View recycle1943's profile


5975 posts in 2911 days

#3 posted 06-01-2020 01:34 AM

I have on more than one occasion stacked and piled up my scrap pieces but have never stacked them up to look as attractive as this.
What’s not to like ?

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View sras's profile


6433 posts in 4418 days

#4 posted 06-01-2020 02:43 AM

What an excellent piece! So much to see on every face! Well done!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View madburg's profile


348 posts in 2131 days

#5 posted 06-01-2020 03:06 AM

I like the combination of timbers on the sides and those small inlays. That top knob is special. You certainly have a different and unique style.

-- Madburg WA

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

8816 posts in 1871 days

#6 posted 06-01-2020 11:52 AM

That’s an eye-catcher, Steve!

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View splintergroup's profile


6048 posts in 2511 days

#7 posted 06-01-2020 05:19 PM

A beauty Steve! What did you use for core wood underneath your burl veneer?

View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile


2848 posts in 836 days

#8 posted 06-01-2020 05:42 PM

That´s really pushing the boundaries; all those funky angles are so cool. Love the way you have used that thin black banding in some places but not everywhere. It takes the true artistic visionary to create a piece like this.

-- WWBBJ: It is better to be interesting and wrong, than boring and right.

View James E McIntyre's profile

James E McIntyre

1575 posts in 2581 days

#9 posted 06-01-2020 06:36 PM

Put me in the camp of the people who like it, who wouldn’t?

To me it has hints of the modern artist Piet Mondrian combined with touches of a modern style southwestern look.
Well executed.

What degree did you angle the four posts on each corner?

-- James E McIntyre

View EarlS's profile


4819 posts in 3637 days

#10 posted 06-01-2020 07:47 PM

I like it. But then again, I like to glue little pieces together. The randomness and odd angles really make a statement. Maybe it’s crazy, but I am, so I like it.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View Ocelot's profile


3567 posts in 3927 days

#11 posted 06-01-2020 09:33 PM

That’s wonderful!

... and nobody can say you copied anything.

-- I intended to be a woodworker, but turned into a tool and lumber collector.

View Dark_Lightning's profile


4954 posts in 4398 days

#12 posted 06-01-2020 09:41 PM

What a crazy quilt! I like it!

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

View SteveAltman's profile


99 posts in 3381 days

#13 posted 06-01-2020 10:14 PM

Thank you, all, for the very kind comments. I suspect that the Lumberjocks who find the design…disturbing, misbegotten, unbalanced, lopsided, just plain ugly…have graciously refrained from adding their observations.

A beauty Steve! What did you use for core wood underneath your burl veneer?
- splintergroup

baltic birch ply

What degree did you angle the four posts on each corner?
- James E McIntyre

the posts are tapered, slightly, toward the top, as well as splayed. The inside angle, where the mortise and tenons are, is about 7 degrees from perpendicular to the floor, the outside about 9 degrees. Hardly noticeable but I think adds a little to the stance.

View therealSteveN's profile


9254 posts in 1863 days

#14 posted 06-01-2020 11:09 PM

Quirky box, kinda like me, so yeah, I like it.

-- Think safe, be safe

View ChuckV's profile


3446 posts in 4816 days

#15 posted 06-02-2020 12:34 AM

I really like it! When I first looked at the last photo, I thought that it was another box that somehow got in there. Then I realized that I was looking at a close-up of the handle. Lots of details and probably fun to make.

-- "Join the chorus if you can. It'll make of you an honest man." - I. Anderson

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