Ambrosia Maple/Walnut Tool Caddy

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Project by AffineCreations posted 11-13-2012 06:53 PM 16182 views 35 times favorited 27 comments Add to Favorites Watch

One of my successful designs so far.

This is a nice and large tool caddy. It measures 17” by 9”, 9 1/2” tall. The sides are Ambrosia Maple and the ends Walnut. This handle is Birch and the bottom is Lyptus (for durability). I made one with an Osage Orange handle and that was the first one to sell. To be repeated. Finished with multiple coats of Tung Oil and polished with Paste Wax. Before the Tung Oil, sanded up to 600 grit, these puppies sell once people touch the smooth, polished wood. But I do this because I love being obsessed with a quality finish. Why put the effort into making something from wood and then not do all you can to let the beauty of the wood reveal itself.

This finish is very good; I knocked over a cup of Hide Glue and found the corner of mine in the puddle. A quick wipe with a damp cloth and good as new.

I’ve made a total of seven to sell and have sold six during two fairs. I will be making more. But I am thinking I will also make some smaller. People are always asking if they can buy mine, which is about 70% smaller. I get tempted to sell it, but my wife reminds me I should not. I need to keep something I’ve made for myself.

The hardest part about repeating this build is finding beautiful planks of the Ambrosia.

Edit: Added a photo showing the detail for the Osage Orange handle.

-- - Nicholas, Silver Spring, MD

27 comments so far

View zlatanv's profile


691 posts in 4690 days

#1 posted 11-13-2012 07:02 PM

Very nice! on my list.

-- Z, Rockwall, TX

View ybotyawnoc's profile


78 posts in 3526 days

#2 posted 11-13-2012 07:04 PM

This is beautiful!
What’s the dark wood which borders the maple in the box joint fingers?

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30678 posts in 3794 days

#3 posted 11-13-2012 07:24 PM

Almost too beautiful for tools!

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Valentin's profile


20 posts in 3517 days

#4 posted 11-13-2012 07:28 PM

The color of the wood shows up very nicely! Is it because of the Tung Oil? I’vebeen using poly only and get an amber like color all the time

-- Valentin

View AffineCreations's profile


28 posts in 3714 days

#5 posted 11-13-2012 07:41 PM

@ybotyawnoc, the dark wood that borders the Maple is the Walnut, as the light wood that borders the Walnut is more the Maple.

@Monte Pittman, I’ve heard that a lot this past weekend! One of the reasons for just using a Tung Oil finish: easy to refresh after much use.

@Valentin, Yes, it is the Tung Oil. It is a patient person’s finish, but I have had a hard time finding another finish that brings out the character of a wood without coloring it too much. Of course, for more delicate items, little compares to following the Tung Oil with some Shellac. But I’m old school like that.

-- - Nicholas, Silver Spring, MD

View Sergio's profile


470 posts in 4148 days

#6 posted 11-13-2012 07:44 PM

That wood is just wonderful. You are right, needs the proper finishing to show off her beauty.

-- - Greetings from Brazil - --

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 3632 days

#7 posted 11-13-2012 08:25 PM

I like how you made the wood grain stood out so beautifully!

View blackcherry's profile


3351 posts in 5279 days

#8 posted 11-13-2012 08:52 PM

Now that’s one classy caddy…BC

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 4443 days

#9 posted 11-13-2012 11:18 PM

Love the ambrosia maple and walnut combo.
What did you use to make the joints?

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View Boxguy's profile


2905 posts in 3723 days

#10 posted 11-13-2012 11:18 PM

Nick, beautiful design and great sense of proportions. Have you had any problems with the grain splitting above the handle? Tung oil does give a great finish. I have compromised with first coat of tung oil followed by three of poly on my recent boxes. I love the color the oil gives to the grain. Do you use steel wool between coats? This is another design that might give you something to ponder, but I really enjoy seeing what you have done here. I would love to see more of your work than the three projects you have posted. Keep boxing and keep posting.

-- Big Al in IN

View doordude's profile


1085 posts in 4439 days

#11 posted 11-14-2012 01:48 AM

nice job, love the contrasting woods. are you getting enough money for the time spent on each box?
love to see how the osage orange looks with the walnut and maple, next time you have one.

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4759 days

#12 posted 11-14-2012 01:48 AM

that turned out really beautiful, what a great place to carry your tools, i just bought 16 bd ft of ambrosia a few days ago, but its not quite as nice as this, i have different plans for mine this time, but i think after seeing how your project turned out, i will use this in the future for a project i have in mind, this is good inspiration..

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

View AffineCreations's profile


28 posts in 3714 days

#13 posted 11-14-2012 02:28 AM

@doordude, I found I did have a decent photo of the Osage Orange handle detail and and added it to the gallery.
Money-wise, they work out well. Takes me about 4 days to make 4 and I sell them for $100/each. And for now, that is my mark.

-- - Nicholas, Silver Spring, MD

View tomd's profile


2232 posts in 5226 days

#14 posted 11-14-2012 03:00 AM

That’s too pretty to put tools in. Nice work.

-- Tom D

View AffineCreations's profile


28 posts in 3714 days

#15 posted 11-14-2012 03:00 AM

@Boxguy, On the prototype, I did have a problem with the grain on the Walnut splitting above the handle. Now I make sure the tenon is just hair undersized against the Walnut’s grain and all is good. The mortise is routed with an inlay template, so the stresses are minimal during cutting.

Re: Tung Oil. With these items, I always do the build a couple weeks before I need them so I can give each of the two coats time to dry. And yes, I steel wool between coats and before the Paste Wax. Something to do while watching Walking Dead (go zombies!)

I like your design, I’ll keep it in mind. And I will post some more of my recent builds; just finished an epic build marathon and would love feedback on the results before the next one starts up.

-- - Nicholas, Silver Spring, MD

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