Introduction: Dogwood Burl and Walnut Freehand Pick Box

Well it said "In this Wood Contest, we want you to show us what magic you can create with a hunk of wood" so I did just that. A couple of years ago while wondering out in the woods I found a dog wood tree with a small burl near its base and since the tree was nearly dead I got my saw and cut the burl off. I don't have a picture of it on the tree but I did take a couple after I resawed it on the band saw. I flattened the wood out only with a 6" belt sander cut the box out with my band saw glued it together then shaped it completely by eye using the belt sander .Other than waiting for the glue and the finish to dry it took about 2 hours to make.

Hope you like it, It was fun to make.

Thanks Rickysp8

Step 1: The Burl and the Walnut


A burl (American English) or bur or burr (used in all non-US English speaking countries) is a tree growth in which the grain has grown in a deformed manner. It is commonly found in the form of a rounded outgrowth on a tree trunk or branch that is filled with small knots from dormant buds.

The burl I used came from a dogwood it was only about 9"s or so long and maybe 6" high not much to work with. The wood is really nice light in color and the grain is just beautiful. I sawed it in 4 1" wide boardsThe box finished out at 4 1/4" x 4 1/4" x 2 1/2 "s deep Good size for a pick box.the inside and lid of the box is made from a piece of walnut I used as a bit right that's where the 1/4" hole came from.

Step 2: Choosing the Boards

I had resawed the burl about two years ago and let it dry. I picked out the best 2 boards and used a walnut bit right I had for the center. Leveling the sides with the belt sander until they fit pretty tight to the walnut.

Step 3: Making the Hidden Hinge

I used a 1/4" dowel for the hinge. I marked a center for the hole in the walnut block 1/2" from the back and from the top. Then drilled a 1/2" deep 1/4" hole. Using a set of dowel centers I then lined up the box parts and pressed the burl sides into the points to mark where the sides are to be drilled

Step 4: Cutting Out the Box and Lid

I layed out the lid freehand and the box with about 1/2" sides and cut with the bandsaw use a thin kerf blade mine is 3/16"s and works well to cut the tight bend of the hinge area



Now it's time to glue it together. Not much to it just a little glue around the box. BE CAREFUL NOT TO GET GLUE ON THE LID OR THE DOWEL!! After gluing line the sides with the box and lid and clamp together.

You can sand the inside of the box and lid but I like to leave the band saw marks who knows why. I had to glue in a walnut plug for the 1/4" hole I had in the walnut.

Step 6: Now the Fun Part

I sand with a 6" belt sander with 80 grit sandpaper it works well but takes off a lot of wood fast so easy does it.

Doing it freehand with no layout lines I start by getting the bottom flat then the back and front. Next since the lid is to be rounded front to back pay attention to how thin you're making it. After that I flatten down the sides. It takes a few looks and sands to get it looking right just remember to take your time.

Be careful sanders are dangerous and use a good dust mask and wear safety glasses

Step 7: Fitting the Hindge

It takes a little bit of time to get the bugs out of the hinge area I do this with a double sided 120 grit sandpaper strip. Just pull it back and forth it will open up pretty fast. Take your time.

Step 8: Cut in a Grip on the Lid

Next mark the front of the box in the center and use a rattail file to cut a grip for the lid

Step 9: Sand Sand Sand

If you want wood to look good sand it. I start with 100 grit to get the scratches from the belt sander then work down from 120,180 top 220 grit then I raise the grain by rubbing down with a damp not wet rag after it dries I sand with 220 then 320 grit. Then I raise the grain and sand with 320 to 400 grit If i'm happy with it it's time to put on the finish

Step 10: Finish It

I used A fast drying spray on lacquer for this box. I sprayed on tow coats let set over night and water sanded from 320 to 400 grit it turned very nice I think.

Step 11: I Felt Like Linning the Box With Felt

Use self adhering felt liner it will dress it up.

Step 12: Thats It Folks

It turned out nice I really like the live edge on the side and the burl is beautiful and the contrasting black walnut set it off.

Step 13:

Step 14: The Stuff

A small dogwood burl

4 1/2" x 3 1/2" x 2 1/2" block of walnut

6x6 piece of self adhering felt

2- 3/4" dowels

spray lacquer

sand paper


6" belt sander

band saw

1/4" dowel center and bit

drill press

dust mask and safety glasses

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