Tea Chest

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Project by Richard posted 03-15-2014 11:41 PM 2128 views 1 time favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A tea chest I made to hold my tea. Made out of Cherry with a bit of maple. I used a piece of figured cherry for the lid. This cherry has been in my shop for about 4 years and had aged nicely. I really wanted to keep the look but after re-sawing and running it through the planer it lost that color. After a bit of research I discovered potassium Dichromate. It is an oxidizer the speeds up the aging of woods high in tannin, like cherry. I applied a coat of the potassium dichromate followed by a coat of boiled linseed oil. Sealed everything with a coat or two of shellac. I hand carved the Chinese symbol for tea into the lid. The color did not quite match the aged cherry but it got close to it. I will just have to wait for nature to take its course.

17 comments so far

View OhValleyWoodandWool's profile


970 posts in 3929 days

#1 posted 03-16-2014 12:47 AM

Very nice. The cherry should brown out again with age.

-- "All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then Success is sure." Mark Twain

View siavosh's profile


674 posts in 2679 days

#2 posted 03-16-2014 01:00 AM

Very cool, thanks for sharing.

-- -- Discover the most interesting woodworking blogs from around the world

View tyvekboy's profile


2033 posts in 3822 days

#3 posted 03-16-2014 01:31 AM

Nicely done project. How long did it take to make?

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View MATTTHEW's profile


10 posts in 2343 days

#4 posted 03-16-2014 01:54 AM

Nice job. It inspired me to do something similar. Thanks.

-- "Something's wrong when you regret things that haven't happened yet"

View a1Jim's profile


118104 posts in 4386 days

#5 posted 03-16-2014 03:06 AM

View Josh's profile


1234 posts in 3378 days

#6 posted 03-16-2014 03:22 AM

Nice work, Richard. This is way nice.

-- Tree, wood, and box lover from Pennsylvania

View lanwater's profile


3113 posts in 3743 days

#7 posted 03-16-2014 03:41 AM


Great work.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View robert triplett's profile

robert triplett

1566 posts in 3913 days

#8 posted 03-16-2014 04:49 AM

Nice wood combo!

-- Robert, so much inspiration here, and now time to work!!!

View Tony Strupulis's profile

Tony Strupulis

260 posts in 3932 days

#9 posted 03-16-2014 05:27 AM

I like the contrasting woods on top.

Where does one get potassium dichromate and what is it normally used for?

-- Tony -

View deon's profile


2522 posts in 3834 days

#10 posted 03-16-2014 06:12 AM

Looks great! Watch out for the dicromate as it is extremely poisenous stuff

-- Dreaming patterns

View Richard's profile


120 posts in 4224 days

#11 posted 03-16-2014 12:52 PM

Thanks for the comments everyone. It took me a couple days spread out over several weeks. This started because I needed something to do when us southerners paniced during the first “blizzard”. I had the cherry and due to the size all I could do with it really was a box. I am a bit of a tea snob and have amassed a bit of tea so… a project was born. Low and behold two weeks later we paniced again so the work continued.

The potassium dichromate is available on the internet. The cheapest I saw it was on ebay but the timing of the auction didn’t work(i got impatient) so I ended up buying it on All the reading i did compared it to bleach as far as toxicity.

View aussiedave's profile


3114 posts in 2633 days

#12 posted 03-16-2014 01:18 PM

Very nice box Richard the aging process you have used has given the desired result, it looks great and the addition of the Chinese Calligraphy is a nice touch.

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

View Operaman's profile


153 posts in 4655 days

#13 posted 03-16-2014 01:57 PM

Very nice. I’m a tea nut and this is ideal for holding tea bags. Thanks for sharing.

-- Cheers!

View Boxguy's profile


2879 posts in 3076 days

#14 posted 03-16-2014 09:43 PM

Richard, great job here. I especially like the top and the carving. You might lighten up a bit on the dividers and consider options on the hinges. Examples and links here. Good use of your ice storm days. Keep boxing and keep posting.

-- Big Al in IN

View Richard's profile


11309 posts in 3841 days

#15 posted 03-17-2014 05:27 AM

Very Nice Project Indeed Richard! Well Executed also! Thanks for Sharing!


-- Richard (Ontario, CANADA)

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