Apple Wood and Walnut Burl Rustic Boxes

We have been itching for a while to do something quirky and creative with some small pieces of gnarly grained apple wood and some equally wild walnut burl pieces. Finally, we decided to make a pair of boxes from them, with some experimental lid designs and a little exotic Cocobolo wood thrown in for good measure. We love the crazy, all over the place grain on these guys.

We started by planing level our pieces of apple wood. We then optimized in order to get two boxes from the wood, made our cuts and rabbeted the bottom edges of the sides to hold the bottom pieces. The sides are relatively thin (compared to how thick we usually make our stuff) so we wanted to experiment with some “keys” to reinforce the mitre-edged corners. These we made from Cocobolo wood to offer a nice accent to the apple wood and to compliment the dark walnut lids.

One box has a double sliding lid. We routed a groove in the tops of the box sides for the lid to slide in and then created Cocobolo handles to slide the pieces out and back. The other box also has a double lid, but this one is hinged so that either side of the box may be opened individually. Both lids are black walnut burl wood and have terrific grain patterns (we re-sawed each original piece to form two lid parts and aligned the grain).

We finished these boxes with multiple coats of natural Danish oil to moisturize the wood and enhance the grain. After that, we finished it all off with some coats of hand rubbed Minwax furniture wax to give it all a smooth, slightly glossier finish than the Danish oil would create. We love the look.

The box with the sliding lid is 20” long (21” including the lid handles) x 5 1/4” wide x 3” deep.
The box with the hinged lid is 19 1/4” long (20 1/2” with the lid overhang) x 5 3/4” wide (6” with lid overhang in the front) x 3 1/4” deep.

These boxes make a great rustic set, but can also be purchased individually.