The WoodButchers Blurb
My boxes are handmade from the roots of trees that would normally be dug out and burned after the
main wood has been harvested. Roots are not desirable for normal lumber millers due to the dirt and
rock that is found in them, BUT they do contain the most beautiful burled grain patterns of the tree and
a lot of exotic shapes and twists to work with. I have been making these boxes for 30 years and can
honestly say I never get tired of the beauty of the wood each time I cut into them. They are literally
nature's hidden beauties..........
There are two main factors I consider when using the woods I do to make my boxes. They have to be
American grown and harvested from private land (someone will have to have cut the tree down before
I will consider using the root. (I WILL NOT CUT A TREE JUST TO GET TO MY WOOD)...... I use three
varieties of woods. Buckeye, Maple and Redwood (Redwood when available through storm and flood
When using root balls I can end up with pieces that weigh anywhere from 400 t0 4000 pounds and may
take up to 6-7 years to air dry before any boxes can be made from them. I will power wash any
extraneous dirt & rock and then quarter the root ball, let it sit and dry for about 18 months and then
quarter those pieces and let air dry for 3-5 more years. (Air drying wood is a slow process; it dries the
wood at the rate of about 1-2 inches in thickness a year)
Janice (The love of my life) and I have been making our living with wood for the past 32 years, mostly
showing and selling our work at juried art/craft shows all over the country. Our work has been exhibited
in many museums and we have even sold pieces to people who would never give us a second glance
if not for the work itself......Presidents Reagan, (Nancy asked for a discount...heheheh) and Clinton
(very weak handshake)....not to mention several other politicians and their families (Lady Bird Johnson,
Hawaiian Senator Inoue (sp?)).... Now I consider that an ego boost, but to tell the truth it's when the
average person buys from me than I am always amazed the most. Because they truly are spending
their hard earned cash on something I make and it truly humbles me every time....
Buckeye...... (also known as horse chestnut) is considered a trash tree by most land owners. It is a water
hog and its nuts are harmful when eaten by cows and horses (tends to shut down their kidney functions).
The roots contain a lot of voids usually containing dirt/rocks. The wood can run a gamut of colors from
pale yellow mixed with dark blues, browns, pinks and reds.... It is the most challenging of my woods to
make a box out of. It grows over most of the U.S. When it has a good water source the roots can get
Maple....... The most common roots of maple I use are from the Big Leaf variety. The roots themselves
have more of what you'd call bark pockets and less voids than buckeyes when cut apart. They also
contain more concentrations of highly figured grains and birdeyes than my other woods. The colors can
range from white to a reddish brown, depending on how long the root ball has been in the ground
before I get it.
Redwood......... I gather my redwood roots from three different sources. These land owners replant
after each selective harvest and the trees are known as new growth as they are ready for harvest every
20-30 years. They are also known as NEW GROWTH TREES. Not what most of you consider as the
giant variety know as OLD GROWTH. New growth is the only species that is available to me less often
than the others and thus very precious to me when it is available.
There are three easy moves to begin disassembling your box that are repeated when
taking apart the inner boxes as well..... ****IMPORTANT**** When putting your box back
together and you find difficulty to key into the various slots it is because each piece goes
in only one way, just look at the shape of the pice and where it has to go.......
THERE SHOULD NEVER BE ANY FORCE NECESSARY TO PUT THE BOXES BACK