Sally’s Tea Box – Completed

Here are photos of the completed tea box I made for Sally.  Top is birds eye mesquite burl, sides are mesquite and edging is of ebony.  Box interior is Spanish cedar.  Exterior finish is tung oil and paste wax, interior finish is amber shellac and paste wax.  Dimensions are 11″ L x 8.5″ D x 3.25″ H.

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All Done

Here are some photos of the completed jewelry box for Pat, all waxed up and shiny and ready for shipping off to NYC.

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Applying Finish

Drawer cases and partitions get several coats of amber shellac with light sanding between coats.  Box case and drawer fronts are finished with several applications of tung oil to build up a nice patina.  Whole box is then paste waxed and rubbed out for a subtle shine.

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Box Frames, Panels and Back

Sides for box are made of frames using quarter sawn ash with laminated book matched mesquite burl panels.  Frames are mortise and tenon with thru tenons.  Mesquite burl is laminated to 1/4″ birch plywood.  Miter joints used at corners of box.

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Drawers and partitions are made of Spanish cedar and finished with several coats of amber shellac.  Drawer bottoms are 1/8″ 3-ply birch plywood.  Thru dovetails front and back with drawer faces of book matched mesquite burl.  Knobs also of mesquite burl.

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Raw Materials

The panels and drawer fronts for the box are made of mesquite burl.  I got the burl from a mesquite sawmill in Tumacacori, AZ.  The burl came from a tree growing in that area and I estimated it weighed about 250 pounds and was perhaps over 100 years old.  Once I managed to cut it open I discovered that the moisture content was about 45 (fully seasoned and dried wood is around 6-8).  Even though the burl had been sitting in a yard at the sawmill for many years, the moisture was locked inside and it was going to take a long time for it to cure and dry out.  Getting useable product from the burl took about 1.5 years.  Here are some photos of the burl in process…

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Box Plans

Here are plans for a jewelry box I am building for Pat.  Box will be frame and panel construction with mitered corners and thru tenons.  Two drawers are to have 2″ x 2″ x 2″ compartments for earrings and jewelry.  Materials are: frames of quarter sawed ash, panels and drawer fronts of laminated mesquite burl, drawers and partitions of Spanish cedar.  Overall dimensions are 12.75″ l x 10.5″ d x 6.5″ h.


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Sally’s Tea Box – Construction

Here are some construction photos for a tea box I am making for Sally’s 45th birthday.  I used mesquite laminated to Spanish cedar for the case (the top is mesquite burl), the edge banding is ebony and the box interior and partitions are also Spanish cedar.  Dimensions are 11″ x 8.5″ x 3.25″.

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Utility Box for Emma

Made this utility box for Emma for her 21st b-day.  Exterior is Arizona walnut, drawers are Spanish cedar and miter splines are maple.  Finished with tung oil and wax.

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Companion Tray

I made a companion tray for Sally using mesquite burl for the floor, quarter sawed ash for the rails and mesquite for the handles.  I like the brown color and very straight grain of the ash in contrast with the wildness of the burl.

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