Show Question

Ok, I have some 5/4 tiger maple coming from Bob Kloes,  for the box build, I used a piece of resawn 12/4  split in the middle for the box sides, , so I had 6/4 , but I know 6/4 and 8/4 can be a bit hard to come by, so I am thinking we give some 5/4 a shot to see how well it will do,  I think we can get a nice profile, but have not tried it just yet, but will, my thinking is enabling more folks the ability to make the box, in addition I plan on doing several, while the original was tiger and curly claro, I know most don’t have access to the claro, so I’m plan on using some regular walnut as well as some cherry, also thinking a cherry box with tiger base and feet , one of my favorite contrast is cherry and tiger maple, it’s what we used in the show secretary pigeon holes.

So the question is, what domestic woods do you think would make a nice box, I have to be honest, I don’t think coarse grained wood would look good on this, my primary thought is red oak as the box, just can’t see it working, I have mahogany, cherry, tiger maple , walnut and so forth so lets hear your suggestions of  what you have in mind

Its Friday, and its cold,  and the weekend promises to stay a bit cool as well, but we can deal with it,   I have the show birch table ready to do a final scrape and its ready to finish, so it will be moving along, as well as the tiger tables and so forth you have seen in the show, so its alot of final sanding and finishing over the week-end and next week, so off to rock and roll  y’all be safe

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21 Responses to Show Question

  1. Stumpy Nubs says:

    I really like figured maple. Not everyone has access to good thick tiger maple, but quilted maple can be very dramatic and is pretty common. I am also a huge fan of the rainbow of colors that can be found on a lot of softer maples. And you know how I feel about spalted maple.

    Just about any mill, even a lot of Woodcraft stores will have that stuff in stock. And if they don’t have access to those places, go buy a cord of maple firewood! You won’t believe what you can find in that stuff! (boxes only need short pieces…)

    • Stumpy, I have some quilted maple as well as some nice burl, but I don’t think its common, its out there but expensive to most,, doubt you would find any in Florida, Texas or New Zeland, 🙂
      It’s dominate to the Pacific North West, and Canada, and typically comes from the big leaf maple that grows out there,,, the leaf is on the Canadian flag!

      • Stumpy Nubs says:

        I suppose it must be more common here because I live in the great white north (Michigan). I find it in firewood once in a while, which is always a nice surprise. If I bought a face cord (a 4′ high, 8′ long stack of 16-24″ long logs) of all maple firewood (for $60) I would find enough of the stuff to make a few boxes medium sized. And besides quilted, I’d have all the “rainbow maple” as we call it in these parts, that I could handle! (It has swirls of red and yellow in it, sometimes really nice stuff!)

        The woodcraft here has it all the time- but they likely ship it in and they charge way too much for it.

        Maybe it pays to live up here in da cold after all- eh?

    • Dave says:

      Strange, because I’m in the Upper Pennisula of Michigan and am always poking around in the woods. I’ve found decent birdseye and curly maple, spectacular flamed yellow birch… but never any quilt worth mentioning. I’ve cut over 25 full cords of boughten firewood for my sister in the last few years, and again came across birdseye and curly, but no quilted. Maybe you’re just lucky because it sure isn’t common from my experience.

      • Stumpy Nubs says:

        I buy my maple from someone who brings home the cut-offs from a small, rural mid-Michigan mill to sell as firewood. I don’t think they stock much wood, never any that has been dried, they just cut up what people bring in or what someone calls them to go get. I’ve had very good success with that wood, which is why I won’t tell you it’s name :). I suppose it is possible that the wood came from somewhere else, but one assumes that a local mill like that has mostly local wood.

        I’ve also bought firewood in the mid-Michigan area that has yielded some nicely quilted maple. Perhaps what I refer to as “quilted” is not as dramatic of a figure as some would require to fit that definition, but it’s just as figured as the stuff they sell as “quilted” here at Woodcraft.

        Of course, really seeing what you have in firewood usually requires sawing it into short boards and running it through the planer. That’s a lot of work, so if all you want is the quilted stuff, it may not be worth your time. You may try those mill cutoffs I referred to above. They require a lot less work.

        Funny though…, I’ve never gotten any birdseye maple…

  2. Mike says:

    Hi Charles, for domestics black walnut and cherry of all thickness is readily available up north here with tiger and birds eye maple up to 6/4, your right about finding it thicker than that. Even have a nice supply of 10/4 crotch walnut.


  3. I like this thread. When I asked Charles why he didn’t build something in more common woods as were choices in the early antique builds he said something that stuck with me. “It is the same time and effort in the build and there are many pieces out there. When he uses a more unique wood there is a greater return because the build becomes unique.”

    There is also the design and integration which produce the piece?

    I think that combintion Charles put together made his box “pop”.

    Stumpy makes a good point about what is available, without going to a mill or specialty supplier. I love the natural tones some people put together with some very common woods. There is always the density and expansion issue although that may not matter here? Hopefully there is a Woodcraft in peoples areas. But Bob Kloe with ship. And he has supplied Charles with some great wood in previous builds.

    My lumber pile has ash, oak, and some walnut. Just cut down a soft maple and I found a huge trunk cut of walnut at our compost site.

    Spalted maple is a great natural color source , but I have found out we have to handle it with extreme care due to the mold ?

    Just thinking out loud, but the boxes could be built in three or four different materials? A box of common, natural, contrasting woods? And some out of more specialty materials to see the difference?

    Back to paper work, and then finishing my maintenance, before the snow flies here in Southern MN.


  4. don says:

    I’m thinking along the lines of, say Mesquite…

  5. Ben says:

    I’m covered on the mahogany, cherry, tiger maple , walnut front. I just wish I could get quilted maple local. It’s the one they seem to have trouble getting here in MT.
    Couldn’t you get away with gluing up two pieces to get the thickness for the sides? The seam would only show along the top when the lid was off, and maybe not even then if the grain is right.

    • Ben we can do a glue up, actually thinking on just that, and perhaps use a adverse wood for an accent , for example glue a 5/4 then 1/8 of an adverse, then another 1/4 of the same as the exterior, when made the adverse would show only on the top, when the box is opened, but would appear as a inlay and it would also give us a balanced glue up ( dual glue lines , like a plywood , much stronger and more stable)

  6. jk93117 says:

    What characteristics makes claro different than other walnut?

    • don says:

      Claro Walnut is a grafted walnut, usually a Northern California Walnut as the rootstock (The Claro part) and English Walnut as the upper fruiting part. The really nice and crazy grain comes from where the two woods mix.

  7. I agree that walnut and cherry and some form of maple should be readily available in many parts of the country. I was thinking incense cedar or redwood might work but I’m not sure of their availability in other parts of the country. A glue up sounds very cool too. How about something crazy like poplar that is finished to look like a more expensive wood ?

  8. well I personally dont have time to sort thru fire wood, resaw and worry about if its dry, for figured maples as well as most any wood, I go to Bob Kloes , and if he doesn’t have it then I look to C.P. Johnson or Good Hope Hardwoods, definately cost more than firewood, but considering time and yield as well as I get what I want, I will stick with my sources,, check Bobs blog out, doubt you find this in 2 cords,, 🙂

    • bob says:

      I have gone through thousands of feet of maple and have found maybe 4 boards that were nice quilted maple. I will try and put together some packages of material for the box. Be glad to help if I can. Once I get the molding profile for the box, maybe I can have a set of knives made for the molder and make it available that way. That will depend on the amount needed. bob

  9. Monte West says:

    I like a curly maple with a darker wood, maybe walnut for the box even if I love quarter sawn white Oak. Around here all the Maple and other Hard woods are wind whipped. That the reason I go to good Hardwood suppliers.
    By the way it’s cold here today also Charles.

  10. Brian Loucks says:

    I’m with Jim B, Walnut on the outside, Spanish Cedar on the inside. Looking forward to this project as an accent to the cabinet humidor I am building now, Thanks again for all you do Charles!

  11. Just for no good reason, I ask Bob to take a couple of quick pic’s of his “firewood ” piles, this is but a little taste,, just so you know,, check it out

  12. Rob says:

    I’m getting where I am pleased they way my projects are coming out and to me worth the extra money for some killer wood. Can’t wait to see what Bob has for material. Count me in.


  13. jelton says:

    I’d vote for Cherry, Walnut, Maple. Can get those here without a big hassle. 6/4 is about tops though. Will keep Bob in mind for some awesome wood. Look at his new blog to see what he’s been up to – beautiful stuff.

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