Walnut boxes from tree in our back yard

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Project by Mcnervy posted 05-27-2013 01:29 PM 1288 views 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My sister was graduating from Medical school and mother’s day were coming up.
I had never given either of them gift of a project. I thought boxes. I added a 3rd for the wife.

I made enough parts for 3 complete boxes with one extra side of each type.

I was taking a Stay-cation for 3 weeks, with the kids 12,5,3 in school on M,W,F I had 6 days of construction time, really 3 if you count the 3 full days of cleaning the house. But still much more time then I usually get.

In week one I made my shooting boards and my router fence(previous posts), all rough milling, made the box sides and bottoms and tops. The wood was from a Walnut tree in the backyard, we had it cut into planks and dried for last 2 years, nice wood and great gift back story. I was ready to add detail and finish in week 2.
Then I and the 3 boys got a wicked stomach flu. 3 days of vomiting, 4 people one toilet. I lost 2 of my build days, so not I had 24 hours to glue and finish.

I bought spray shellac and spray lacquer along with some not so ideal hinges, smallest I could find. Decided to abandon the 3rd box, sorry honey.

Well rushing always improves the quality of work. I glued one box side upside-down, so I had to cut that internal rabbet post construction, and I have mysterious groove on inside of one box side, second time I have done that.

Then I added hinges to one box, not enough planning, screws penetrated thru the rabbet, had to remove and try to eliminate the evidence. hinges are a luxury item anyway.

On to the one great part, spray can finish. It was my first try. I used 4 coats of spray shellac 1 hour between followed by approx. 10 coats of spray lacquer 30 minutes between coats quick and easy. I chose very light coats and no sanding at all. Texture was not my perfect but looked pretty good and was so easy, and felt good.

One day I will make the project I set out to, but I have been happy with every result so far.

-- Bennett; If it can't be fixed with a hammer its an electical problem

6 comments so far

View Dave777's profile


303 posts in 4846 days

#1 posted 05-27-2013 03:17 PM

Great job. gotta love the walnut

-- the stone rejected by the builders will become the capstone

View jeffswildwood's profile


4452 posts in 2754 days

#2 posted 05-28-2013 12:03 AM

Great box, I have a large maple tree in my yard that is getting to large and dangerous. I told my wife that when it has to be removed I want the wood milled to build something nice with. I hope whatever I build comes out as beautiful as your boxes.

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

View Eddy_1287's profile


44 posts in 2856 days

#3 posted 05-28-2013 09:53 AM

The boxes look great, awesome job! I do have an interest in doing the same thing. As my families old apple tree was involved with the latest tornado season, its currently laying uprooted, just waiting to be claimed as a new project of mine. My question to you is how step-by-step you got your lumber from a green tree? I’ve heard it takes about a year per inch of wood for the product to be remotely workable. Is that true?

-- "Kneeling in Order to Stand"

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3644 days

#4 posted 05-28-2013 12:28 PM

Beautiful work. They’ll always mean more since they came from a tree in your yard.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Mcnervy's profile


108 posts in 3881 days

#5 posted 05-28-2013 01:04 PM

Thanks a lot for the comments
Yes I was told 1 inch per year, the person who sawed for me dryed it for 2 years
I got some really great boards, this is just the beginning

-- Bennett; If it can't be fixed with a hammer its an electical problem

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 2953 days

#6 posted 05-31-2013 02:33 PM

Beautiful boxes! Love the gorgeous walnut. I’m sure they are greatly appreciated.

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