Chalenge Box - Japanese Maple

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Project by doubleDD posted 05-16-2022 06:58 PM 1228 views 1 time favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This box became a challenge when my friend told me he had a couple white branches he would give me if interested. When I saw them I couldn’t get firewood out of my mine but when he said there’s not much that could be done with it I took it as a challenge.
It was so bug eaten and spalted that each branch felt like balsa wood. After slicing up on the bandsaw into a few boards I felt the like my first guess was right to dump, then I figured epoxy will be a big friend on this so I kept going. I joined a couple boards to make a top and went with the single boards for the sides. I did more epoxy filling on this box than I used in many projects. Using brown, copper, and black epoxy it started look much better.

It’s 9’‘w x 5 1/2’’ d x 2 1/4’’ h. It only ways 11 ounces and I think half of that weight is the epoxy. Finished with lacquer.
I showed my friend how it turned out and he thought it was beautiful. I’m giving it back to him and he can give it to his daughter, wife or whatever he feels right. Made me feel good too.
Thanks for looking.
This was the original log and after I sawed it up on the bandsaw.

I forgot to mention when cutting for the hinges the guy who did that cut them on the front of the box instead of the rear. That’s why you may have noticed the 2 ebony pieces I used to fill in the void. That guy is gone now and is not allowed in the shop any longer. (till the next new guy comes in)

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

21 comments so far

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

10498 posts in 2076 days

#1 posted 05-16-2022 07:26 PM

Good job, Dave! I need to get my stabilizing setup running again. Not sure if its cheaper than epoxy or not, but that’s another good technique for turning junk into pretty.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View pottz's profile


26560 posts in 2478 days

#2 posted 05-16-2022 07:29 PM

wow that came out pretty damn nice dave.that wood looks awesome.any idea what it is ? well whatever it is it’s beautiful.nice 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  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

8662 posts in 4847 days

#3 posted 05-16-2022 08:30 PM

Well it’s not a log anymore and it’s not a pile of ashes either! Nice work! I bet he’s looking for more logs to give you so you can work more magic!

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

View adot45's profile


705 posts in 2118 days

#4 posted 05-16-2022 08:47 PM

Finding firewood is easy, finding pretty boxes in wood is hard but so much more satisfying. Nice job!

View PapaGary1's profile


312 posts in 481 days

#5 posted 05-16-2022 09:07 PM

I thought about the epoxy stabilizing technique when I first looked at the pictures of the slabs, but it turned out very nice.


View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

27807 posts in 4599 days

#6 posted 05-16-2022 09:12 PM

Nice design on that box, Dave. Man does that wood ever have character!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cheers, Jim

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

View kdc68's profile


3078 posts in 3770 days

#7 posted 05-16-2022 09:29 PM

Well worth the effort! It came out real nice! No doubt your friend will love it

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View Eric's profile


5763 posts in 1367 days

#8 posted 05-16-2022 09:39 PM

Beautiful box there Dave. It turned out very well, from the grain to the fancy top. Well done challenge.

-- Eric, building the dream. the "Loft"

View jeffswildwood's profile


5159 posts in 3471 days

#9 posted 05-16-2022 10:56 PM

What a great box. You really did step up to the challenge. The wood is amazing!

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

View MrWolfe's profile


1974 posts in 1617 days

#10 posted 05-16-2022 11:08 PM

Beautiful save!
Thats a keen eye and a lot of determination to make such a beautiful box from that Japanese Maple.
Well done!

View filmorgan's profile


142 posts in 59 days

#11 posted 05-17-2022 03:01 AM

Love a good challenge!

-- Phil, Missouri,

View swirt's profile


7787 posts in 4466 days

#12 posted 05-17-2022 03:35 AM

A really nice nature rescue.

-- Galootish log blog,

View therealSteveN's profile


10202 posts in 2068 days

#13 posted 05-17-2022 03:48 AM

Good save Dave, it makes for an interesting box.

-- Think safe, be safe

View doubleDD's profile


11381 posts in 3537 days

#14 posted 05-17-2022 04:03 AM

Hey Dave thanks for looking. That’s interesting about stabilizing rather than the epoxy. Let me know what yo come up with.

Thanks Pottz. It’s supposedly Japanese Maple. I believe it was dead for a couple years and after he cut it down to use as fire wood, it sat for another year or to. Talk about some punky spongy wood, this was tops.

Thanks Tony. He didn’t think that I should give it to him. He said it was too nice and my reply was, you gave me something to do and it was enjoyable. (sort of) lol.

Thanks adot45. I agree, finding firewood is easy, finding the right one doesn’t come along that easy. This one had me going for awhile.

PapaGary1, thanks. I’m gonna have to look into that stabilizing more. In this case it would of made things easier.

Thanks Jim. All that character is from the bug holes and tunnels. A little magic with different epoxy color to save the day and anything is possible.

Thanks kdc68. Just returning a gift to a good friend who gave me some enjoyment also from it. It was well appreciated.

Thanks Eric. This one was giving me a hard time almost through out the whole process. I’m glad I stuck with it .

Thanks Jeff. I still have two more pieces left but I need a break from it before I start another. hahahaha.

Thanks MrWolfe. I think the copper, brown and black epoxies worked out well. I did have a lot of determination but will admit it became a fill in project after awhile. Just a little here and there so I didn’t get upset with it.

Thanks filmorgan. I still love a good challenge but not all the time. LOL

Thanks swirt. I think you said it the best. A nature rescue, I like that. Most of the wood seemed so bad and rotted I would almost be skeptical of burning it.

Thanks therealSteveN. Definitely an interesting result. Getting there was more interesting. LOL.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View mel52's profile


2450 posts in 1758 days

#15 posted 05-17-2022 04:49 AM

Dang, that is beautiful. The dark streaks on the light wood almost make it look like over the top Black Limba. Excellent job !!! Mel

-- MEL, Kansas

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