Boxguy And The Russian Meet-Up

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Project by Boxguy posted 05-19-2012 02:17 PM 4419 views 6 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Pictured is an oak tea chest with a veneered Russian Walnut top.

Story: I just finished this box yesterday, and this top is really beautiful wood. A friend works for a local veneer plant that specializes in exotic woods. This top is a “scrap” from one of their projects. The top is a Russian Walnut burl that has been quarter matched so the four corners of consecutive slices meet in the center of the top. This technique gives the spectacular kaleidoscopic pattern you see here. At 15 inches long, 8 inches wide and 5 inches high this box will hold a ton of teabags, but I just couldn’t bear to cut the top any smaller.

Materials: The top is Russian Walnut burl quarter-matched veneer mounted on a Masonite core with a Black Walnut veneer on the inside panel. The sides are quarter sawn White Oak. The corner splines are Black Walnut. The internal dividers are made from a recycled Venetian blind, half-lapped and glued at the joints to make it into a lift-out unit for easy cleaning.

Techniques: I hand sand a slight chamfer where the lid meets the bottom. I have a blog entries that show the jig I use to cut the spline slots and the jig for making the splines themselves. Both are basic, easy builds. This year I have been using a three part finger indent you see pictured on the fifth shot above. It is done on a Jet spindle sander by first sanding away the middle part then the side indents. I put the sander’s top at a steep angle to do the indents.

Thanks: As always, thanks for looking and a really special thanks to all of you who are kind enough to add comments or suggestions. Keep boxing, and keep posting, Lumber Jocks.

-- Big Al in IN

16 comments so far

View GrandpaLen's profile


1652 posts in 3772 days

#1 posted 05-19-2012 02:36 PM

Big Al,

That is some beautiful veneer!

“Box on” dude. – Len

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 4808 days

#2 posted 05-19-2012 02:57 PM

That is really a very nice box Big Al. That walnut really adds alot of character. the QS oak is really a fine wood also. I have had several hundreb board ft of it in my shop for about 4 years that I got from a friend with a sawmill and solar kiln. It is just waiting for me to decide what to make with it. Most likely will be some more boxes soon.

View Bertha's profile


13635 posts in 4192 days

#3 posted 05-19-2012 03:08 PM

Wow!!! That top is so spectacular that I’m at a loss for words.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4366 days

#4 posted 05-19-2012 04:14 PM

Boxguy, you have wonderful talent and this box is beautiful. You do very nice work.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View doncutlip's profile


2832 posts in 5055 days

#5 posted 05-19-2012 04:40 PM

Wow, super gorgeous

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View robert triplett's profile

robert triplett

1566 posts in 4604 days

#6 posted 05-19-2012 06:03 PM

This is my kind of box. Beautiful wood in the top, nice design and some extra details like your finger indent. Great job. It really isn’t too big for the varieties of tea we have!

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

View Ken90712's profile


18123 posts in 4688 days

#7 posted 05-19-2012 06:19 PM

Great work all the way around!!! The splines and wood are perfect.

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

View GenerationWW's profile


521 posts in 3749 days

#8 posted 05-19-2012 08:32 PM

great looking box, can’t get much nicer than that!

-- list your handcrafted treasures @ for free!

View itsmic's profile


1419 posts in 4618 days

#9 posted 05-19-2012 08:56 PM

Very Nice Box Big Al, You have perfected this style which is very attrative and styleish, Great job, thanks for sharing

-- It's Mic Keep working and sharing

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4803 days

#10 posted 05-19-2012 11:10 PM

well this is just the cats meow here, i wish i had a friend who could get me wood like that, shesh, you did a great job al…..what a beauty.

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Daiku's profile


241 posts in 4407 days

#11 posted 05-20-2012 12:31 AM

Big Al

Great job as always! Before I even read your description, the word kaleidoscope came to mind. Thanks for being the savior of that piece of veneer and making it a piece of art.

-- Cal Noguchi

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 4189 days

#12 posted 05-20-2012 01:17 AM

That is a very special piece of veneer. If that is scrap, I’ll bet the planes are spectacular! The design of your finger indent is nice as well.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View sawdust55109's profile


64 posts in 4348 days

#13 posted 05-20-2012 03:14 AM

Clever idea on the dividers. Nice job on the veneering. The mirror match looks splendid.

View kiefer's profile


5852 posts in 4166 days

#14 posted 05-20-2012 04:32 AM

All of the above and love that veneer top !


-- Kiefer

View deon's profile


2522 posts in 4525 days

#15 posted 05-20-2012 06:56 AM

Great work!

-- Dreaming patterns

showing 1 through 15 of 16 comments

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