Spalted Maple Keepsake Box

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Project by Brodan posted 06-20-2021 09:03 PM 988 views 2 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My wife’s brother and his wife had their first child and my wife is the baby’s godmother. Completed this Spalted maple keepsake box as a gift for her parents to store this newest addition of the family’s mementos.

The maple is some I milled from a tree we took down that was interfering with our waterline.

Walnut hinge and lid accent. Oak tray and document keeper on the inside.
Swing arm latches from Amazon.

Pyrography for the monogram and birth date.
After testing varnish and not caring for how it changed the color, end up using spray can lacquer based on advice from other LJs and couldn’t be more pleased with the clarity and how well the spalt shows.
The soft maple was a bit challenging to work with, but pleased with the outcome. Dimensions- 6” x 10” x 5-3/4”

Thanks for looking.

-- Dan, TN

23 comments so far

View EarlS's profile


4611 posts in 3502 days

#1 posted 06-20-2021 09:09 PM

Wow – that is some amazing spalted maple. So many interesting details too. I think the hinge is what intrigues me the most. The latches are pretty interesting too. Nice work.

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

View MrWolfe's profile


1642 posts in 1277 days

#2 posted 06-20-2021 09:14 PM

Beautiful spalted wood and the minimal (not simple) design really showcases the beautiful wood. Plenty of great features that are understated but strong design elements

View 987Ron's profile


1612 posts in 470 days

#3 posted 06-20-2021 10:08 PM

All said by the above. Great build. Love it. Would be nice to know more about the hinge. Interesting.

-- Ron

View Brodan's profile


349 posts in 2456 days

#4 posted 06-20-2021 10:53 PM

Thanks EarlS. It seems that I chose the right time to mill those maple logs. Heavily Spalted throughout but very little “spongy” …better to be lucky than good.

MrWolfe, admittedly I had originally drawn it up with a scalloped base and top trim. It occurred to me they would detract from the spalt, hence the simplicity. I hoped just the two walnut components add just enough contrast to the spalt.

Thanks Ron.

All, Regarding the hinge I saw the idea on a YouTube video.
Rob Cosman wood hinge. He sells a jig for drilling the dowels , but i made my own out of wood. I went with this type of hinge because I was concerned about small hinge screws pulling out of the soft maple.

-- Dan, TN

View pottz's profile


18610 posts in 2138 days

#5 posted 06-20-2021 11:25 PM

very nice work thats some of best spalted maple ive see and you did justice with it.great job man.

-- 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 Eric's profile


1665 posts in 1027 days

#6 posted 06-21-2021 12:35 AM

Great job, that shall be cherished for years, very nice though for the keepsakes. The grains stand out and the trim pieces make it pop. Great with the hinge, I will have to keep that in mind.

-- Eric, building the dream

View Brodan's profile


349 posts in 2456 days

#7 posted 06-21-2021 10:04 AM

Thanks Pottz.

-- Dan, TN

View Brodan's profile


349 posts in 2456 days

#8 posted 06-21-2021 10:10 AM

Thanks Eric. I’m pleased with the way the maple and walnut work together. As far as the hinge, next time I’ll design with a provision for the ends of the hinge to be covered to avoid seeing the gap when it’s open.

-- Dan, TN

View recycle1943's profile


5599 posts in 2776 days

#9 posted 06-21-2021 03:43 PM

beautiful box and love the hinge. I bought Robs fixture kit and use the heck out of it. There’s a LOT of variations available to an imagination

-- 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 Brodan's profile


349 posts in 2456 days

#10 posted 06-21-2021 04:53 PM

Dick, thanks for the kudos on the box. Rob has a number of tools that I’d love to have, and probably would save time with. Seems I always think about them at the time I need it, so I end up finding a way to use his idea to create what I need rather than wait . He’s got a very logical approach to tasks , that I find helpful.

-- Dan, TN

View awsum55's profile


1095 posts in 1662 days

#11 posted 06-21-2021 06:09 PM

I feel the same way as everyone else, you did a wonderful job on what will surely be an heirloom. Congrats on your DT3

-- John D, OP, KS

View Peteybadboy's profile


3634 posts in 3103 days

#12 posted 06-21-2021 07:23 PM

Very nice. Congrats on DT3

-- Petey

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26398 posts in 4259 days

#13 posted 06-21-2021 11:01 PM

Beautiful box!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love that wood.


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

View Eric's profile


1665 posts in 1027 days

#14 posted 06-22-2021 12:36 AM

With the design on the hinge, it appears that it would also create a stop for the lid so it doesn’t flip all the way back.

-- Eric, building the dream

View Brodan's profile


349 posts in 2456 days

#15 posted 06-22-2021 12:39 AM

John, Pete and Jim, thanks for the kind words. Actually didn’t know what DT3 was, but figured it out. I received a lot off good advice from other LJ , starting with milling the logs and drying the wood to choosing the finish all of which I’m much appreciative of. And Jim, I hated losing a tree but I’m thrilled with the wood.

-- Dan, TN

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