Birch boxes - from firewood logs

  • Advertise with us
Project by RS Woodworks posted 08-13-2012 02:23 AM 3964 views 16 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made these boxes as a recent tribute to the passing of my wife’s grandfather. The three boxes were each given to his kids, my wife’s father, aunt, and uncle. I wanted to create something special for each of them to help remember him by. They were gifted to them yesterday on a special day to remember Grandpa, and they were very well received.

The wood was milled from two of a stack of short logs that were cut from an old birch tree on the uncle’s property. Grandpa had the wood stacked at his place intending to use it as camp fire wood. When I saw the birch, I knew that it had some potential, and reluctantly picked an appropriate time after his passing to inquire about it. I immediately knew that one of the logs had some spalting in it, but I didn’t know how much or if it was still good wood until I began to cut it up. I also milled one other log into boards. From the two logs I created these three boxes. I used Peruvian walnut (aka Nogal) for accents on two of the boxes and Purpleheart as an accent on the box for auntie. While the designs are fairly straight forward the wood, especially the spalted birch I chose for the tops, is spectacular. A good soaking of Danish oil and a buffing with paste wax gives these boxes their natural looking and satin feeling finish.

I’m very happy with how these boxes turned out and the recipients were greatful. I hope that they will help serve as a memory for my wifes grandfather for many years.


-- I restore the finest vintage tools! If you need a nice plane, saw, marking tool or brace, please let me know!

17 comments so far

View Gary's profile


9400 posts in 3880 days

#1 posted 08-13-2012 02:31 AM

Ryan, those boxes are fantastic. I’m sure they all appreciated what you did for them That wood is just beautiful. Wish I could find that kind of stuff.

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View Dusty56's profile


11850 posts in 4135 days

#2 posted 08-13-2012 02:50 AM

I had to put these into my favorites : ) Very nicely made and finished.

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Woodenwizard's profile


1357 posts in 3490 days

#3 posted 08-13-2012 03:18 AM

Great boxes and a great story. Thanks for sharing.

-- John, Colorado's (Wooden Wizard)

View robert triplett's profile

robert triplett

1566 posts in 3552 days

#4 posted 08-13-2012 04:19 AM

Very nice work and beautiful wood. I do like all of the details on the first box the best, but the others are nice. You did a great job centering the figure on box lid # 2. Each box is different and that would be special to the people who received them.

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

View Dustmite97's profile


439 posts in 3667 days

#5 posted 08-13-2012 04:19 AM

These are great boxes. Fantastic use of logs.

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

4261 posts in 3008 days

#6 posted 08-13-2012 04:21 AM

Wow you did a fantasic job and the woods are great together.


-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30406 posts in 2785 days

#7 posted 08-13-2012 06:47 AM

Very Beautiful

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Spoontaneous's profile


1337 posts in 3777 days

#8 posted 08-13-2012 01:09 PM

Beautiful boxes… beautiful commemorative.

-- I just got done cutting three boards and all four of them were too short. (true story)

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3750 days

#9 posted 08-13-2012 04:32 PM

i find that the most beautiful boxes are done with simple design and then let the wood speak, let it be the star, and you did that, i know they will love these boxes for the rest of there lives, and will become family heirlooms, they deserve that spot in your families history, very well done, and where the wood came from is spot on, how can a memory like that ever die.grizz

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

View RS Woodworks's profile

RS Woodworks

533 posts in 3699 days

#10 posted 08-13-2012 07:29 PM

Thanks very much for the kind comments everyone.
Robert, the lid for the second box (solid nogal corners) is actually a cut off from the lid of the third box (nogal corner keys). I didn’t take a photo showing it, but the grain actually lines up if the boxes are held together.

-- I restore the finest vintage tools! If you need a nice plane, saw, marking tool or brace, please let me know!

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3314 days

#11 posted 08-13-2012 07:36 PM

These are very nice; I’m sorry about your loss.


-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Doe's profile


1425 posts in 3277 days

#12 posted 08-13-2012 10:14 PM

Beautifully done and amazing wood. They’re a wonderful tribute to your wife’s grandfather and you’re so lucky to find it in his wood pile.

-- Mother Nature talks, I try to listen

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 2855 days

#13 posted 08-13-2012 11:13 PM

Beautiful work and the tops you designed are great! Very very nice work.

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View TexasPenworks's profile


36 posts in 2803 days

#14 posted 08-14-2012 12:17 AM

Wow, Beautiful!

-- Kyle,

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3137 days

#15 posted 08-14-2012 12:49 AM

You did a super job creating these keepsake boxes with family history. All are beautiful but the one with the purpleheart handle is extra special.

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

showing 1 through 15 of 17 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