Spalted Hackberry Meets Wenge with a Catch

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Project by Blackie_ posted 08-04-2013 01:04 AM 2940 views 5 times favorited 32 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here is another step away from the bandsaw, A mitered joint with splines box, I optioned Wenge to counter with the Spalted Hackberry, Wenge for the hinges, splines and the Hasp, the tray however is a bandsaw made tray as I wanted the rounded edges on the inside apposed to the sharp angle 45s so as to retrieve items better. This box was made from my stock pile of hackbarry that I actually harvested via chainsaw, all of the trees were already dead standing due to drought thus since they are cut from single logs I find it hard to do book matching on the ends.

Build This box has once again given me new challenges to conquer, the hinges and the hasp are a first, I used my new MLCS Multi Joint Making System for the finger joints on the hinges, I selected the 3/8 for the joint sizes, being my first time to make exterior wooden hinges, I ran into a slight problem once they were mounted, when I added the 1/16 spacer between the lid and the box and after the glue had cured on both ends of the hinges, I found that the lid was sprung open all the way around 1/16th so after tinkering and scratching my head a lot….. I came up with the idea that it needed a latch of some sort on the front of the box to bring it down so as to close the gap, after hours of research online and googleling it came to me…. A hasp! Lets build a hasp and it will match the hinges and I believe I pulled it off nicely I constructed a peg as a decorative item. It measures 12” x 6” x 7”

It is finished in a single coat of tung oil and a few coats of my own mixture of wipe on poly and a final wipe with paste wax.

Side Note Now if only I had one of the custom made pad locks that I’ve seen posted to finish it out. :)

Thanks for viewing and comments are always enjoyed.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

32 comments so far

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3633 days

#1 posted 08-04-2013 01:16 AM

Really cool! You certainly are evolving from repeating the same thing over and over again with only minor changes. Congratulations on a great job and very nice craftsmanship!

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View DocSavage45's profile


9071 posts in 4183 days

#2 posted 08-04-2013 01:17 AM

Tools don’t make the man but they do help the man make more? LOL! Keep reaching outside your box Randy. Nice work.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View archie18's profile


210 posts in 4831 days

#3 posted 08-04-2013 01:20 AM

Finally, a use for all these ugly hackberries on my property…

-- Robert in middle TN

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 3853 days

#4 posted 08-04-2013 01:30 AM

Thanks everyone,

I need to figure out what I’m doing wrong on the lid not closing in the front, the hinges are two-blocked at 45s on the lid, I allowed a slight swing back on the upright so it would stay open and wondering if I need to make the hinges so they have a slight forward closing past the 45?

Robert they are trash and ugly on the outside but beautiful on the inside, get your chainsaw out and make a spalting pile, just keep the bark peeled as best as you can to keep the longhorn beetles larvae from chewing it up.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View kiefer's profile


5852 posts in 4008 days

#5 posted 08-04-2013 02:16 AM

That’s nice and rustic ,wood ,hinges and hasp I like that combination .
That tray is excellent .

-- Kiefer

View aussiedave's profile


3114 posts in 3165 days

#6 posted 08-04-2013 02:31 AM

Great looking box, the hinges and latch are really nice….excellent work well done.

-- Dave.......If at first you don’t succeed redefine success....

View Ivan's profile


17144 posts in 4208 days

#7 posted 08-04-2013 03:32 AM

I like hinges the most.Very beautiful box and choice of wood.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 4649 days

#8 posted 08-04-2013 03:37 AM

What an awesome looking box that you made with some really cool looking wood. We definitely won’t find hackberry in the lumberyards. Nice combination with the wenge.

View Gary's profile


9427 posts in 4773 days

#9 posted 08-04-2013 03:38 AM

Nice box and beautiful wood

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

View doubleDD's profile


10932 posts in 3384 days

#10 posted 08-04-2013 04:29 AM

Beautifully made box with great looking old fashion looking hinges. Well done Randy. The Hackberry shows well.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Boxguy's profile


2905 posts in 3608 days

#11 posted 08-04-2013 05:12 AM

Blackie, that hackberry is really beautiful stuff. The wenge is a nice contrast and I like the way you have tapered the hinges and clasp at the back side. That taper keeps them from looking excessively bulky. Good design on the scooped out tray, I think that works extremely well.

I generally round over the inside edges of my boxes (with a board mounted router) as this makes the top edges more comfortable when you reach into the box. I also would have made the lid a bit deeper to resist warping and give the tray a bit more room to keep stuff in the tray from hitting the inside top of the box.

When I have a box that springs open it means that I have mortised my hinge too deeply. In your case, I would imagine that the top of the back of the box is touching too soon and holding the box open. It could be that you could solve the problem by planing or sanding a little bit off each top-rear surface with just a couple of swipes with a hand plane. Nice to see that you are using your new toys so well. Beautiful wood, beautiful work, beautiful design. Keep boxing and keep posting.

-- Big Al in IN

View Dave777's profile


303 posts in 5410 days

#12 posted 08-04-2013 08:20 AM

Awesome box and great looking wood

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

View Jim Sellers's profile

Jim Sellers

519 posts in 3675 days

#13 posted 08-04-2013 08:57 AM

Well you’re sure getting good use and making some really cool boxes with that stockpile of hackberry. If you want a lock for it I’d suggest getting some plans and make one. you’ve got the skills.

-- J.C.Sellers, Norcross, Ga. Just cut it right the first time. The best carpenters make the fewest chips.

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 3853 days

#14 posted 08-04-2013 10:01 AM

Thanks Kiefer The Hackberry is so forgiving to work with as is the Wenge, You make some really nice boxes too.

Thanks for your kind words Dave

Thanks Ivan I got this hinge pattern from Al Navas design.

Greg Nice hearing from you and thank you for a great comment, actually hackberry can’t be purchased here in Texas lumberyards either even though it grows abundant here in Texas, it’s notorious for taking out fence lines, the only way I can get it is to have a property owner invite me to cut it down, they are considered a trash tree and no one wants them.

Thank you Gary

Dave thank you, I kind of got the same feeling on the rustic feel.

Big Al Nice hearing from you and thanks for the great comment and advise, normally I take a small cut of #80 sandpaper and go around the inside edges with a follow up of #150 and #220 it slipped by me on this one I might can still get away with smoothing without messing up the finish noticeably.

As for as the lid goes, the springing action and the process I used, I added two paper towels laid on top of each other 4” wide on top side of each side wall between the lid and the top of the box at the rear to allow 1/16” gap at the rear for the space when opening the lid and didn’t take into consideration that the hinges being rigid at 45 degree when closed no room for positive play after gluing, once the glue cured the hinges held the entire lid off of the box in place firm with the 1/16 gap I allowed with the spacers of a 1/16” gap. shrugs

Thanks for the nice comment Dave777

Jim thanks for your nice words, I did take a peek at the plans for making a lock, maybe one day I’ll take a stab at it. :)

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 3853 days

#15 posted 08-04-2013 12:41 PM

Well I’d like to let everyone know that there’s been a change in the box this morning, the hasp on the front of the box has now become just a nice decorative piece, it’s no longer needed as a way to force the front down to rest on the box, to my amazement, I woke up this morning fiddled with the box and noticed the lid was resting all on it’s own down flat on the front of the box the latch was no longer needed to force the gap closure. It’s possible that the paste wax had a hand in this?

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

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