Curly ambosia maple candy box

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Project by matt garcia posted 06-26-2008 06:35 AM 2948 views 4 times favorited 31 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I just commented on dmann’s ambrosia maple box, and felt compelled to share this project, and story with you guys!
After I sold my Strat and bought my tablesaw, I needed a plain straight forward project to soothe my woodworking itch. While I was working at a 18 wheeler manufacturer, this chasis came in on a long pallet. Well the short cross boards weren’t too impressive, but the long ones were! They had some curl, and mineral streaks to them. So on my break, I wen’t out to the chassis, and cut all the short boards from the long ones, and proceeded to take them to my ‘95 Pontiac Bonneville SSEi. That car was big and long, but only had a ski opening in the rear seat. I carefully guided the boards through the hole, and managed not to tear up my leather seats. I brought them home, and sanded the fuzz off of them with my belt sander. Lo and behold they were maple! I showed them to my woodshop teacher, and he identified them as curly ambrosia maple. He enlightened me that the color change was due to different minerals in the water the tree grew next to. I thought they were gorgeous, and that along with my new tablesaw was what truly sparked my woodworking craze!! I still have some of this maple!!
Here are a few boxes I made with them. The first one has a padauk raised panel top. The second has a bloodwood raised panel top. The padauk topped box is my mom’s, the bloodwood is her sister’s. They are both finished in tung oil. The third picture are the “boards”!!

-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX

31 comments so far

View Bigbuck's profile


1347 posts in 4177 days

#1 posted 06-26-2008 06:38 AM

Nice boxs, man I wish I could find some free wood that looked that good! Thanks for sharing

-- Glenn, New Mexico

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 4281 days

#2 posted 06-26-2008 01:04 PM

Gorgeous wood.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View blackcherry's profile


3343 posts in 4337 days

#3 posted 06-26-2008 02:00 PM

Now that keeping a eye out Matt…you never know what around the corner. My Dad taught me to always be on the look out…one mans junk is another man treasure. Score one for the woodworker…thanks for sharing Blkcherry

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1141 posts in 4505 days

#4 posted 06-26-2008 02:19 PM

Very nice indeed, the maple is stunning!

-- I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

View CharlieM1958's profile


16284 posts in 4732 days

#5 posted 06-26-2008 02:41 PM

Wow, I can’t believe some idiot made pallets out of wood like that. Beautiful box! I can’t quite tell how the lid opens… can you fill me in?

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4493 days

#6 posted 06-26-2008 03:10 PM

Hi Matt;

Fantastic work and the lumber… ooh the lumber.

It’s funny, just yesterday I was with a buddy at a sears store loading dock, waiting for his washing washing to be brought out.

While we were waiting I wandered over to the pile of pallets, looking for a similar gem.

No such luck this time, but in the past, ooh the lumber…


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 4242 days

#7 posted 06-26-2008 03:24 PM

are their little holes in the middle of the grey marks? I wonder if this is partially the work of the ambrosia beetle. Very nice.

View Dominic Vanacora's profile

Dominic Vanacora

508 posts in 4383 days

#8 posted 06-26-2008 03:28 PM

The story, the wood, the box, will live on for ever. I hope you signed your work so future generations will know who the master wood worker was.
Great Story. Even Greater Receiving This As A Gift.

-- Dominic, Trinity, Florida...Lets be safe out there.

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 4282 days

#9 posted 06-26-2008 03:33 PM

fantastic work! i love the maple and the bloodwood. they really go good together! thanks for the post

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 4388 days

#10 posted 06-26-2008 04:47 PM

This is beautiful! This is why I love boxes so much. They are always a great way to show off some amazing wood. Really, really nice.

-- Happy woodworking!

View Napaman's profile


5530 posts in 4591 days

#11 posted 06-26-2008 05:09 PM

wow…just gorgeous!!!!!!!!!!!! I keep thinking I want to go around town and collect pallets…and if the wood is bad just make outdoor stuff or shop projects…But man—-that wood is beautiful Matt!!!

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Ampeater's profile


441 posts in 4261 days

#12 posted 06-26-2008 05:28 PM

WOW!! Beautiful boxes and workmanship. I also want to know how the box opens.

-- "A goal without a plan is a wish."

View Bartee's profile


16 posts in 4258 days

#13 posted 06-26-2008 07:19 PM

Very nice. I really like the finish.

When you say “tung oil” what exactly did you use ?

How any coats ?


View Brad_Nailor's profile


2545 posts in 4471 days

#14 posted 06-26-2008 07:38 PM

Beautiful! Thats some really nice work and beautiful wood. Funny how it was treated as throw away junk until you got a hold of it!


View Karson's profile


35202 posts in 4914 days

#15 posted 06-26-2008 07:47 PM

Beautiful Ambrosia maple. I’ve got a hundred board ft or so but none of it has curls like that. just beautiful wood and some great looking boxes.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

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