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(last update 3/5/2003)
Woods  Examples

We use intriguing woods from the Western States; including trunks, limbs, roots, and burls from both shrubs and trees. We prefer pieces that have irregularities in their shape or grain that add to the 'character' of the box. These irregularities can include burls, knots, branches, wounds/scars, voids, portholes, cracks/splits, and insect tunnels. Cracks and insect tunnels are discussed in more detail below. Those who might view some of these as flaws will not be candidates for some of our boxes. 

We have used over 100 different kinds of wood over the years.  Below are some woods we currently use most often:

  • Black Walnut Burl - Oregon and N. California
  • Buckeye root burl  -  Central California
  • Juniper  -  Central Oregon
  • Manzanita root burl  -  Northern California
  • Maple burl  -  Western Oregon
  • Mesquite limb  -  Texas
  • Myrtlewood burl  -  SW Oregon
  • Olive limb  -  Northern California
  • Osage Orange limb  -  Columbia River Gorge
  • Pear limb - Columbia River Gorge
  • Redwood root burl  -  NW California
  • Yew limb  -  Western Oregon


Wood variety
A variety of woods

Juniper (2 drawers)

Osage Orange / Maple Burl

Top of an Osage Orange
Two Boxes with CracksTop of a Juniper
Many of our boxes will have natural cracks created as the wood dried and shrank.  This cracking can be trivial to extensive.  We will use wood with cracks up to a point.  Cracks we view as a structural concern are reinforced with glue or epoxy. Since the wood is already dry when we start making the box, one can expect that there will be no further shrinking or cracking.
Insect Tunnels
A few of our boxes will have some old small tunnels left by insects.  Many trees are susceptible to flying insects laying their eggs under the bark. As these eggs hatch and develop into a boring stage they eat the wood as they tunnel through it. At a later stage they emerge as an adult and fly away. Most of the time we discard such wood when we discover it. However, there are times when the damage is less than severe, and we again can view the effect as character. (Think "wormy chestnut" which is prized for furniture and paneling, for example). We do take steps to ensure that there are no current insect residents.

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