Thursday, November 17, 2011

Small chests, figured wood and something different.

I started some keeping chests today. Charles Neil and I made a set of dvds a few years back about these and candle boxes. They are just flat out pretty. I have sold a number of these over the last few years. If you want to see my acting debut and how good Charles is at making these, go here

You can make these any size. I am making these 10" deep, 20" long and 10" tall for the chest. I have made them as small as 8"' by 16". I have seen some made smaller. I like the proportions going by halves.
Here are the 4 I have cut the dovetails on.   

The one on the lower right as you look at the picture is made from bark inclusion hard maple. It is pretty cool stuff. I pulled this from a pile at a mill that was going to the pallet factory. I got 1 board that was wide enough to make a chest.
It is full of holes and bark and swirls and all kinds of cracks. I 'll put up a picture of the back side a little further down. When I cut the tails and pins, I wasn't sure what would happen. There are so many cracks and holes, I thought it might just blow apart when I pounded it together. It didn't.

The other boxes are 1 hard tiger maple , 1 sap flame birch and 1 red flame birch.

This is the red flame birch. It is the heartwood of a yellow birch. Very hard and it is red like cherry. Unlike cherry it does not get darker. This one will get a russet amber dye which is my favorite for red birch. It has some really nice figure.
This is the sap flame birch. It has a little broader curl in it. This is the same stuff as Charles used in his table on his show. Go there and look up his show. He does an excellent job showing how to build furniture. I have been building for 30 years and I learn stuff all the time. Well worth the low cost and if you can't understand something, he will answer you.

Last but not least is the hard tiger maple. It has a nice tight figure. These are always the ones that stop people dead in their tracks at a show. It should be a very pretty one when its done.

Here  is the backside of the first box. It has some reddish brown heartwood in it too. I will get some closeup pictures another time. The stuff is really different.

I will show more as I go. I have the hardware for these, which I buy from Horton Hardware.
Deer hunting opens here this weekend and I am expecting the gunshots to be loud. I love hunters. I have hit too many deer over the years and its great to see kids out with their folks hunting and spending time together. Nothing better then that.


  1. Bob nice work question I'm still working on mine that you supplied the wood for and was wondering what grit do you sand the endgrain to one flame birch and tiger maple. Thanks for all the tips you gave me on building them save me a lot of mistakes
    Rob Indianapolis

  2. Hi Bob. I go to 400 on end grain. Then after I predye, I do 400 again on the end grain. The rest only goes to 150 or 180. Hope that helps. bob