Two Tea Boxes - one made with flooring for a top!

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Project by ellen35 posted 02-20-2013 10:49 PM 6804 views 8 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hello LJ friends,
These are 2 tea boxes I made over the last 2 weeks. The first one has the most interesting top. I was at the woodworking show in early January and I saw this “wood”. They are actually tongue and groove floor boards. I thought the stuff was pretty interesting but who needs a floor! I then ran into someone who had bought a bunch of the stuff and asked her what she was going to do with it. She was making boxes with the stuff! I immediately went back and re-thought my dismissal of this. I began talking to the people who were selling the stuff and learned that indeed, it was flooring. It was made from scraps of exotics that were “glued” together to made a very dense composite flooring. Now, how could I leave the stuff behind! I bought 3 40” lengths and began thinking of what I could use the stuff for. This brings me to the second tea box. I had this idea to make an oak and purpleheart tea box with the purpleheart standing proud of the oak on the top. I made this one and brought it to a little “food emporium” nearby where the owner is kind of hot on my woodworking. She likes both the design and the price. I dropped it off last Wednesday morning and it was sold by Wednesday afternoon! She wants more and who am I to argue!
So I ended up using the flooring for the top of another tea box for her (yet to be delivered as I just finished it this morning). I thought about using the “wood” for the whole thing but it was really too busy and not at all pleasing to the eye so I looked around for something that would “go with” this stuff and walnut seemed to go best. I used yellowheart keys in the mitered corners and it picks up the colors nicely. I did have to put in a chain to hold the box open (even though I left a lip on the back to prevent it from opening all the way) because the composite is sooooooo dense and heavy! The box is approximately 10×10 and has 9 compartments. The dividers are also from the same piece of walnut. I still have 2 more pieces of the composite so we’ll see how fast this one sells… maybe a yellowheart box with it???? Purpleheart just doesn’t go with it and anything with figuring is just too busy.
Thanks for looking!

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

23 comments so far

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 4314 days

#1 posted 02-20-2013 10:58 PM

that is AWESOME…! That wood on the top looks like Cocobolo…but whatever king of composite it is i think you should buy more…!

I would love to have my entire floor looking like that top looks…Great job Ellen..I hope you sell many more cause I know they are soooo nice.

View redsox9's profile


105 posts in 3292 days

#2 posted 02-20-2013 11:00 PM

Ellen, as always, your projects come out fantastic! Thanks for sharing.

-- Jeff, North Andover, MA

View Gary777's profile


82 posts in 3604 days

#3 posted 02-20-2013 11:11 PM

Very Nice Ellen, and yes, that wood is beautiful!

-- Gary - Carson City, NV - "Every man looks upon his wood pile with a sort of affection." — Henry David Thoreau

View patron's profile


13716 posts in 4347 days

#4 posted 02-20-2013 11:16 PM

mucho wowee

you go girl !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View jack1's profile


2158 posts in 5033 days

#5 posted 02-20-2013 11:21 PM

great looking wood and great looking work.


-- jack -- ...measure once, curse twice!

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4309 days

#6 posted 02-20-2013 11:36 PM

holy leave it to beaver, that composite stuff is the bomb….is it expensive…i bet it is, what are they calling it…well you made a gang buster of a tea box with it and i really like the other top as well, good luck on selling more…i think you shall be known as the queen of tea..

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

View Lenny's profile


1688 posts in 4533 days

#7 posted 02-21-2013 12:56 AM

Two beauties Ellen. I love the design elements of the oak and purpleheart one. The raised purpleheart of the lid gives the box texture and a unique look. While contrast is often good, I like the polished and clean look of the all oak inside. Regarding the composite wood, it has so many interesting colors, there are several species that should be a good match for it. I bought some jatoba from Downes & Reader that has a yellow tint to it. I see it as being a nice match and perhaps not as overpowering as say yellowheart.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10961 posts in 5058 days

#8 posted 02-21-2013 01:34 AM

I’m Floored! ... LOL

What beautiful floored boxes!

I love that “wood” in box #1… Just wonderful!

Can you go back and BUY MORE of that scrap Flooring?! Sure hope so!

There are hinges that will also just stop a little past Vertical, which a nice.

Great boxes!

Thank you!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View LittlePaw's profile


1572 posts in 4084 days

#9 posted 02-21-2013 01:41 AM

The third picture – the close up – really is amazing! A composite? Beautiful wood and what you made from it was even more beautiful! Where is it being sold, Ellen? I’m getting some as soon as I can find them!!! Thanx!

-- LittlePAW - The sweetest sound in my shop, next to Mozart, is what a hand plane makes slicing a ribbon.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3696 days

#10 posted 02-21-2013 02:28 AM

I love that top on the first box! I’ve never seen or heard of this “composite flooring” but I would really like to find a source.

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

View Dusty56's profile


11863 posts in 4694 days

#11 posted 02-21-2013 02:40 AM

Great job on both of them , Ellen , and thanks for letting us know about the new product : )
Do you think it would be useful for cutting boards ?

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

View MarkTheFiddler's profile


2068 posts in 3194 days

#12 posted 02-21-2013 03:50 AM

That’s beautiful. I have to have some of that composite wood. In fact, I’m Off to surf.

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

View Woodwrecker's profile


4240 posts in 4582 days

#13 posted 02-21-2013 04:48 AM

Of course they are going to sell fast!
Who wouldn’t an “original Ellen” ?!

That composite stuff is really colorful and just sends that box over the top !
And the proud purple-heart on top of the oak on the second box is a splendid touch !

Nice job Ellen !
(and good luck with sales.)

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30597 posts in 3344 days

#14 posted 02-21-2013 06:54 AM

Very beautiful. Great job.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View ellen35's profile


2749 posts in 4438 days

#15 posted 02-21-2013 11:45 AM

So here goes:
SOURCE OF WOOD: Lakeshore Hardwoods in New York. They do not show the stuff on line. I think you have to call. I am putting the price I paid into this posting because they are not as “consistent” with their pricing as they should be. i paid $18.99 for a 4×40” tongue and groove floorboard.

JOE LYDDON: The box is made with a lip on the hinge side to stop the cover from opening at a certain point. My problem and why I needed the chain is that the top is such dense wood (denser than purpleheart in my estimation) and has that polymer glue to hold it all together, the weight is just heavier than anything I have worked with. It can also do a number on bits and blades so I am keeping cutting to a minimum.

LEN: No, I don’t think it would work for cutting boards. It is too hard and you would have to sand off the finish that comes on it. I think it would ruin a knife…and sandpaper ;-)

IF YOU CALL LAKESHORE: Tell them you are an LJ and heard about the wood from the woman from Cape Cod who gave them a hard time about the cost of Bush Oil and bought some of the composite at the Springfield Woodworking Show. He’ll know me… I really gave him a hard time about charging more at the show than on his website.

And thanks for all your wonderful comments. And yes, I am a tea drinker!

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

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