Found Wood Tea Box

  • Advertise with us
Project by AffineCreations posted 04-10-2012 01:02 AM 6351 views 21 times favorited 35 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This project was actually a set of experiments. First and foremost, it was a chance to learn to use my new INCRA router table set up. Used some of the money from our tax refund to get this new toy. After a couple practice joints, decided to jump right in and try one of the fancy joints that had seduced me into getting the set up. Turned out to be fairly straightforward to cut Double Corner Post Dovetails.

Recently, while lollygagging around the yard, I noticed an interesting wavy pattern on the side of a piece of firewood. Took it down to the shop and cut off a slice. Lo and behold, some Curly Maple. I continued to dig through the firewood pile and found all sorts of promising pieces. In fact, one day I sorted through all the firewood and separated out all the pieces I thought might be interesting. This is includes a lovely log of some still un-identified wood with fantastic spalting So that was another part of this experiment: turning rough firewood pieces into nicely dimensioned lumber.

Came around this article Dyes Bring Out Best in Figured Maple (FWW) and had to try this. Picked up some dyes and after a few failed experiments, finally got something I liked Achieved this by building up first a Dark Mission Brown, sanding down. Then some Yellow Maple dye, sanding down. And finally an Light Antique Cherry red for hight light and final sanding. Hard to see from the photos, but under sunlight, the different colors come out at different viewing and illumination angles. BTW, this is that initial firewood log that caught my eye. Another new thing for me was the use of Walnut oil.

The final experiment was the finish. I have always liked using fresh shellac. But I recently thought to try wet sanding the final coat. After applying and applying walnut oil (the wood for the sides was very dry), waiting for that to dry and then applying and applying 1lb cut shellac (I mean that wood was dry), I finally got to the point I could build up a substantial coat of 2 lb cut shellac. Enough so I could dry sand it with 400 grit as to level out the surface and remove traces of brush strokes. Onto this this I padded on some more 2 lb cut shellac until no traces of sanding marks remained. And now the fun: using mineral oil and 600 grit wet sandpaper, I sanded until, when wiped and viewed at a glancing angle, I could see no evidence of unsanded glossiness. After wiping off the mineral oil, I polished with 0000 synthetic steel wool and paste wax and then buffed with a cloth. The smooth, glossy surface lets all the details of the found, spalted wood shine. I love how people are drawn to touching the surfaces, to feel how smooth I got it.

Also added some unfinished cherry dividers inside. Unfinished because my wife wants to keep her loose tea in the box.

More photos over at Flickr

-- - Nicholas, Silver Spring, MD

35 comments so far

View hunter71's profile


3564 posts in 4682 days

#1 posted 04-10-2012 01:07 AM

Fire wood is a great source of surprises, you did well with the use of it.

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View PatBrownfield's profile


50 posts in 3810 days

#2 posted 04-10-2012 01:23 AM

wow thats really nice hope I can be so lucky with my fire wood

-- Pat Brownfield Westland,Michigan

View smitty22's profile


718 posts in 4442 days

#3 posted 04-10-2012 01:23 AM

Just Wonderful! The wood by itself is awesome, and the selection of contrasting wood for the dovetails and feet really frame it nicely.

-- Smitty

View Woodwrecker's profile


4240 posts in 5071 days

#4 posted 04-10-2012 03:35 AM

Super Cool Wood + Really Cool Joints + Very Nice Interior Design = A+ box !
Good Job !

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


24947 posts in 5171 days

#5 posted 04-10-2012 04:24 AM

Awesome result!!

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Bearpie's profile


2601 posts in 4513 days

#6 posted 04-10-2012 04:53 AM

Beautiful tea box!

-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL

View Boxguy's profile


2905 posts in 3763 days

#7 posted 04-10-2012 05:14 AM

We never know what we are going to find when we look into the souls of trees. That is one of the amazing things about working with fine wood.

What wonderful craftsmanship you have shown here. I would say all of your experiments were a resounding success. I like what appears to be a four-piece top. The subtle line you left on the bottom between the nicely sculpted feet really does a super job of tying the design together…top to bottom and side to side. The beveled top is also a nice touch. The net result is that all the disparate design elements combine into a beautifully united whole…not an easy feat to accomplish. Great design in a beautifully crafted and utilitarian box.

-- Big Al in IN

View robert triplett's profile

robert triplett

1566 posts in 4600 days

#8 posted 04-10-2012 05:53 AM

Outstanding wood and wood preparation. I wish I had firewood like that. Never see any Doug. fir worth saving. The corner detail is cool. No idea how the jig does that.

-- Robert, so much inspiration here, and now time to work!!!

View deon's profile


2522 posts in 4521 days

#9 posted 04-10-2012 06:11 AM

Great work!

-- Dreaming patterns

View WoodSpanker's profile


576 posts in 4887 days

#10 posted 04-10-2012 07:35 AM

Yayyyy for new toys from the tax refund! I wanted a new table saw, my wife wanted a New ATV. so we compromised, and got the ATV. :) Nice looking box you built there.

-- Turning perfectly good wood into sawdust and kindling since 1990.

View woodworm's profile


14477 posts in 5086 days

#11 posted 04-10-2012 10:34 AM

Awesome box & work!

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4362 days

#12 posted 04-10-2012 11:33 AM

Well, it’s a wonderful box. Congratulations on getting your new toy.


-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2874 posts in 5087 days

#13 posted 04-10-2012 01:08 PM

Very Beautiful Tea Box. The wood grain was a diamond in the rough.

-- Dennis Zongker

View Woodbridge's profile


3755 posts in 3913 days

#14 posted 04-10-2012 01:43 PM

great box, the wood is fantastic. I also like how you have accented it.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View a1Jim's profile


118334 posts in 5073 days

#15 posted 04-10-2012 02:53 PM

Great looking box and unique wood.


showing 1 through 15 of 35 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics