Sliding Burl Lid Box

A small box made from thermally modified ash with a live edge sliding cherry burl lid and box elder splines. Inspired by Faisal Malik Design

The starting materials for the box.  A piece of thermally modified ash that I got from a friend for the box, a scrap of box elder from the outfeed table build for the splines, and a chunk of cherry burl that I cut off a log and has been sitting in my shop for about 5 years for the lid.

I’ll start by working on the box.  The ash is resawn so it can be bookmatched.  Flipping the bookmatched faces to the outside and cutting the parts continuously around creates a continuous grain pattern where the grain flows around the corner.

Next I create the grooves for the top and bottom.  These are 3/16″ wide and I cut them with two passes at the table saw followed by a little clean up work with a router plane at the bench.

Next the miters are cut on all the box pieces.  I take care here to cut the pieces in the right order and orientation so I preserve the grain flow around the box.

With all the ends cut the box can be brought together for a quick progress check.  All the corners came together nicely and next the left side can be ripped along the top groove so the lid can slide in.

Next the bottom can be cut to size.  This was resawn out of another piece of ash.

Glue is applied to the corners and masking tape is used to pull the corners together.

Once the glue has set, the splines can be cut into the corners.  These will reinforce the joints and add a decorative element.  I decided to have the splines systematical with the groove so the distance from the bottom to the bottom spline is different from the distance from the top to the top spline.

The box elder can be dimensioned to fit into the cuts made in the box and can be cut into spline blanks.

The splines are glued in, the excess is cut off and sanded flush.  That takes care of the box.

On to the lid! The burl is squared up at the jointer and a slice is sawn off at the bandsaw.

There were a few cracks in the burl so I filled those with tinted epoxy.

The lid is cut to length and width.  A rabbet is cut on three sides to slide into the grooves in the box.

I removed the bit of the rabbet that extends past the end of the groove.

The box received one coat of arm-r-seal.

Products Used

Table Saw:
Router Table:
West System Epoxy Resin (Gallon):
West System Epoxy Slow Hardener (Quart):
West System Metering Pumps:
Transtint Medium Brown:

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