I rarely work with burl, but when a piece from a Norway maple came my way , I decided to see what I could make from it. I ended up with this cup (4 1/2″ in diameter and 2 1/4″ high). I neglected to take any process photos, but the layout is straightforward.
I hollowed with bent gouges and a hook knife, then rough shaped the outside with an axe after making a couple relief saw cuts on either side of the handle. With this burl there was no predicting the ever-changing grain direction, so careful work with a coarse rasp and spokeshave prevented blowout as I neared the final shape.
I left a fair amount of extra thickness, expecting the piece to move and twist as it dried, and it did. So after drying there was some reshaping and then paring all of the final surfaces with gouge and knife.
In steep tight hollows like this, I often use a tightly curved crooked knife from Kestrel Tool in Washington state. The double edge is convenient for quickly changing direction and with this burl, I had to switch direction constantly.
I’ve got a few of these crooked knives now and I decided to finally make a simple storage box for them to protect those edges.
I made it from a piece of pine 1 x 12 (3/4″ x 11 1/4″). Pine is easy to work, light, and it smells great every time the box is opened.
I wanted the tools to fit snugly to make the most of the space and to prevent them from rattling around. So I made the box first without dividers, then determined the divider locations and fitted them directly by putting a tool in place and marking the divider location on both end walls.
Then I carved a notch with a v-tool beside the mark and cut a quick v on each end of the divider. The dividers are only 1/8″ thick, so they can be sprung into place. Repeat the process for the next tool and so on.
Another nice thing about the pine is that it’s easy to resaw into thin boards. The box is 11 x 11 and can be made from a two-foot board.
The bottom panel and sliding lid came from these boards, with plenty of extra length for later use. I love that texture — should have kept it. The boards for the sides were resawn off-center leaving 1/2″ of thickness for the sides and 1/8″ for the dividers.
The lid slides in the grooves.
And on another note…
A cricket visited the shop this week and explored a spoon in progress. It was a reminder that fall is here and I hope he brought some luck. That spoon and some others should be ready to share before long.