Burl Box

author-gravatar Timmy2Hands Feb 02, 2017

Sean gave away some walnut burl veneer during his Veneered Box guild project and I was lucky enough to be one of the recipients. I've finally gotten around to using it in a project.

This is a relatively small box, the overall dimensions are 4 3/4" x 2 3/8" x 2 3/8".

The sides are 3/8" thick walnut, the lid is 3/8" thick tiger maple, and the bottom is 1/4" birch plywood.

I cut a 1/4" groove for the bottom panel and a rebate for the lid. The basic construction is simple mitered corners. I used Tightbond hide glue for the veneer work and the box construction.

After Christmas gifts were done I had a bunch of small scraps left over and I decided to use some of them to make a box and the size of the box would be determined by the scraps I had.

I had gotten to this point in the construction when I realized that the walnut side pieces were a little too boring for the nice tiger maple piece I had for the top. I looked around and found the burl veneer that Sean had sent me back in November. 

This is my solution for a veneer press. I covered the faces of two 3/8" plywood panels with packing tape to use as the platens. I cut the veneer a little oversize, wet them front and back with plain water, and sandwiched them in the platens between some paper towels for about 36 hours to flatten the veneer. 

I then applied an even layer of hide glue to the veneer and the walnut side panels placed them back in the press for 24 hours for the glue to dry.

I placed the walnut side panels in such a way that the veneer would book-match around two of the four corners. The top right piece and the bottom left are one book-match and the same for the top left and bottom right.

Now that the pieces are out of the press I cut them apart and used my shooting board to trim the veneer to exact size.

You can see the book-matching in this photo.

At this point I've got all the joinery cut, I applied Timber Mate pore filler to the burl only, and I've sanded the pieces with 220 and 320.

Now I'm ready for glue-up.

After the box is out of the clamps I clean up any glue squeeze out and hand sand to 400 grit. I also make final adjustments to the lid for size and fit.

This is the first coat of my favorite finish, Watco Danish Oil in natural.

I had to get some light on the situation to really show off that grain.

Pictures still don't do it justice. 

Thanks for looking, I hope you liked it.

If you have any questions put them in the comments below.

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