Monthly Book Giveaway - March 2023

Presentation box for knife

To go with the knife I made recently I made a box to go with it.

The box is poplar, with torrefied curly maple top and bottom, and a bit of walnut trim to cover the imperfect joints.

The knife sits on a removable piece of pine, and is held down by a bit of closed-cell foam. The box is a close enough fit that the knife can’t move much, but with the removable bits, it will be able to be reused for another gift.

The finish is a coat of tung oil, followed by four of five coats of shellac, with one of the coats on the poplar being garnet shellac to offset the slight greenish tinge of the poplar.


Dave, I made my first go at using Tung oil during the knife swap, but I was doing a Tung oil-only finish so I let it set several days between each heavy coat, with thinned coats first, blah blah blah.  I’m happy with how it came out, but that was the only finish I applied. 

When you’re using it as a base coat then covering it up, what’s your process? Thinner? Heavy coat? Wait before shellacking? Any other notes to add?

Ryan/// ~sigh~ I blew up another bowl. Moke told me "I made the inside bigger than the outside".

When I’m using tung oil as a base coat, it’s always diluted at least 50-50 (I’ve been using Real Milk Paint’s Half & Half lately). I let it dry for a day, then shellac it with a light coat of platina or blonde shellac as a sealer, let dry overnight, sand lightly with 400 grit, use enough coats of garnet shellac to get the color I want, then sand very lightly with 800 grit or a brown paper bag just to get any dust out, then four-five coats of platina or blonde. Dry overnight, and burnish with brown paper bag. Wax if it needs it.

But with tung oil, you should always be putting on light coats, and I thin most of them and wipe off any excess after a half hour. Let dry overnight, then rub it with a clean rag (old t-shirt is my favorite) or maybe a brown paper bag, then put on the next thin coat and wipe after about 1/2 hour, dry overnight, then burnish.

I use shellac for things like this little box where I want more sheen than I can get with tung oil (at least without spending a month finishing). It’s nice because I can recoat in about 15 minutes, and after 5 coats, it’s dry enough to handle in an hour or two. But it’ll be three or four days before it’s completely cured, so no rough handling before then.
I make and use a fair amount of shellac and really like how it sprays. Especially for an undercoat to lacquer. And it doubling as an easy wipe on is just great! Usually if I’m using an oil base, it’s something like Danish oil or BLO. Since those dry fast with the other ingredients and such, I don’t worry too much about it. But the 100% Tung oil is definitely a different animal. I really like it, I just don’t have much experience with it. 

Thanks for the info! 

Ryan/// ~sigh~ I blew up another bowl. Moke told me "I made the inside bigger than the outside".

Nice Project, good job !!!  Mike
Hey Dave nice project, really looking good.

-- Soli Deo gloria! ( To God alone be the Glory)

Good looking box there Dave, the top an bottom with the swirls really pop. Well Done.

Main Street to the Mountains

I either brush or pad shellac on, Ryan. But it’s one of my favorite finishes. But I also mix it (in a rag) with BLO or tung oil and make a friction finish I use a lot on the lathe.

Thanks, Mike!

Thanks, Oldrivers!

Thanks, Eric! I bought that torrefied curly maple back in the summer, and have been waiting for a project for it. This one seemed like a good choice, and once I got some finish on it, it sure did pop. Looks better in person than in the photos, even.
super nice box my friend.some sob is gonna get a damn sweet cutter.not as nice as the ones i got in the swap though ;-)).

working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

Thanks, Pottz! I think the gal that’s getting it actually likes ceramic knives, too.
Making the gift even nicer  (or just saving on wrapping paper?😉).  Great presentation of the present.  
Thanks, Barb! Saving on wrapping paper, plus protecting the knife from the USPS. I’ve had them destroy cardboard boxes pretty thoroughly, but I’ve never (yet) had them smash a wooden box I built.
Something cool about a hand made gift in a hand made box…craftsmanship

Ryan/// ~sigh~ I blew up another bowl. Moke told me "I made the inside bigger than the outside".

Dave nice project.  I appreciate the fishing education you left for us all as well


Nice container, well made, and the curly maply top is great. Hand made presentation box for the hand made gift, sweet, it doesn't get any better than that. 
Thanks, Ryan! Folks seem to appreciate them, and I’ve heard of many of them getting reused and regifted, so making removable inserts is paying dividends, too.

Thanks, and you’re welcome, Petey! Not claiming to be an expert, but I’ve made a few mistakes and learned from them, so that’s something.

Thanks, Tom! Yeah, the torrefied curly maple board I bought was ¾ thick, and after looking at how pretty it was, I resawed it to ⅜ and ended up with two ¼ boards when I was done smoothing, so I doubled the amount available to me. It came from Curly Maple Wood and they really do have some pretty stuff. I wish I was a little more confident in my resawing, so I could’ve gotten 3 or more pieces out of it. One of these days maybe I’ll get good enough that I can make my own veneer.
Nice work on the box Dave! (yes I'm here now :) )
Nice project Dave.  I am taking some time to explore this site and ran into your project.  Nice work.
Thanks, Roger! I don’t have a ton of stuff moved here yet, but I am trying to get all new projects here (after writing them on my own website first). Just haven’t had a lot of productive shop time lately…