Blog and Gallery of Mike Miller

Grain Matching Maple Keepsake Box with Burl & Epoxy Top

A few weeks ago I’d picked up a couple of pieces of maple burl
from a local sawyer (ig @theforesterswoodco). The material has inspired to make all sorts of things, but being new to working with burl I wasn’t exactly sure how to handle it, if it needed to be stabilized, etc…

After making the Les Paul push stick, I cut my teeth in working with the burl material. I learned that it is pretty finicky, can be very soft in places, and the spalting in the pieces I had caused some integrity issues that would require stabilization, more on that topic later. 

I wanted to make something a bit different than what I’d been seeing lately, with all the river tables, epoxy and beautiful walnut furniture being paraded around the internet. I opted to go with a white wood, Maple, to showcase the rich amber almost red color of the burl. I wanted something muted, had even planned on finishing with a water borne finish to keep the maple as white as possible. Then a plot twist, in re-sawing the maple… I found ambrosia! Or, worm holes… bonus character in my opinion. So, I changed my plan a bit to showcase the character and finished with a light amber shellac that would enhance the staining, and grain slightly. 

The top I wanted a pillow top look, and since I don’t have an ogee bit, I opted to run a few passes on a cover bit and shape the top round over by hand. 

Polished the top to a jewelry like shine, and voila.

I have a stockpile of things to add to our online store for sale, this piece will eventually make it up on the site. In the mean time, If you’re interested in adding this piece to your collection, shoot me a message.

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