DIY Burned Finish Kindling Box

2 Materials
$40
2 Hours
Medium

A lot of my woodworking projects involve cutting long boards into shorter pieces and arranging them in a different direction to make wider panels and this one was no different. When a client asked for a kindling box to put next to his wood-burning stove I knew I could make a lidded pine box with a burned finish that would be perfect for the space. I used a domino joiner and made four small panels that I joined with a lidded top and plywood bottom to form a kindling box out of long pine boards. When you are looking for something specific for a space or function in your home, it is always a great idea to try to create it yourself!

You Will Need:

  • Cabinet lid lift
  • Hinge
  • Propane torch
  • Wood glue
  • General Finishes Enduro-Var Satin
  • Festool 125 Rotex sander
  • Domino joiner and tendons
  • Table saw
  • Router
DIY Burned Finish Kindling Box

Cut Boards for Panels

Cut Boards for Panels

I used my saw to cut long pine boards into twenty smaller boards to use to build the sides of my kindling box. I measured and cut the boards to the same length.

Use Domino Joiner to Create Panels for Sides of Kindling Box

Use Domino Joiner to Create Panels for Sides of Kindling Box

After cutting the long pine boards, I used my domino joiner to create the four panels of my kindling box out of five joined boards for each side. To create the joints to attach the pine boards to each other, I cut the mortises with my domino joiner, applied wood glue on the inside of each board, used a mallet to insert the tendons (dominos) vertically, and then placed another board down on top of them so that the holes lined up. Use the mallet to pound the boards down onto the wooden domino tendons. I used a wood glue dispenser to make the gluing faster and more efficient.

Apply Wood Glue
Pound the Wood Down

Clamp the Boards

Clamp the Boards

After inserting the dominos and joining the boards for the sides, I clamped them together to dry. I chose to use a domino joining tool to quickly make the panel joints and provide a strong join for the sides of a box that would need to be strong enough to hold heavy pieces of wood.

Cut Boards and Create Lid

Cut Boards and Create Lid

      I cut 2x4s into small boards to create a hinged lid for the kindling box and joined them in the same fashion as I created the four side panels.

Join the Boards

Trim Side Panels

Trim Side Panels

After allowing the glue to dry on the four panels for the sides of the kindling box, I used my table saw to trim the panels to the size I wanted the box to be.

Clamp Boards and Measure and Mark Domino Holes

Clamp Boards and Measure and Mark Domino Holes

After cutting the panels to size, I clamped the boards together and measured and marked the spots where I wanted to join the panels with dominos. 

Use Domino Joiner to Create Widened Holes for Dominos

Use Domino Joiner to Create Widened Holes for Dominos

      I cut the openings for the dominos to fit inside with the domino joiner. I cut openings on the insides and the tops of the panels.

Cut Openings
Cut Openings for the Dominos

Create Bottom for Kindling Box

Create Bottom for Kindling Box

I cut plywood to the dimensions to fit the kindling box sides and attached the sides to the plywood bottom. I used dominos and wood glue to fit all of the side pieces together and to the bottom.

Piece Box Together
Join with Wood Glue
Use a Mallet

Sand Finish and Round the Edges

Sand Finish and Round the Edges

I lightly sanded the surface of the box with a hand sander and then rounded off all of my edges with a quarter-inch rounder bit and my trim router.

Round the Edges

Create Burned Finish

Create Burned Finish

Because the box was intended to hold fireplace kindling, I decided to give the entire box a burned finish using my propane torch. Slowly move the torch back and forth, side to side, close to the surface of the box to burn a dark scorched appearance on it. Use a similar motion as you would to spray paint over the wood and do not hold the torch too long in one place. Be sure to have a fire extinguisher and hose nearby when you do this part!

Burn the Wood

Lightly Sand Torched Finish

Lightly Sand Torched Finish

After I created the burned finish, I did some light sanding with 220-grit sandpaper to reveal the grain and remove a little bit of the soot from the surface of the wood.

Seal Finish with Polyurethane

Seal Finish with Polyurethane

After I finished sanding the box, I lightly sprayed it with two coats of polyurethane to seal and protect the finish.

Install Latch for Kindling Box Lid

Install Latch for Kindling Box Lid

I cut the largest-sized piano hinge I could find into the correct width for my kindling box lid with a grinder to cut it down to size. I cut a mortise into the top of the side of my kindling box and screwed the hinge into pre-drilled holes then attached the lid to the hinge on the kindling box.

Attach Hardware
Screw on Hinge

Install Lid Stay

Install Lid Stay

I installed one lid stay inside the box and one on the underside of the lid. I attached the lid stay hardware with my drill onto the lid and the inside of my side panel. I only needed one lid stay for the size of my project but if you have a heavier or much larger lid, use one on each side of the lid.

The Finished Lid
The Finished Product

I’m so pleased with how the kindling box turned out and love the effect the burned finish had on the plain pine boards. This was a relatively simple project to complete and produced a custom storage solution for kindling that fits perfectly in the space. I used new boards but this could also be completed using leftover scrap wood and materials! Using the domino joiner gave a clean look and sturdy structure to the box, making it great for storing bulky wood while looking nice in the room.

DIY Kindling Box

Have you created a storage box or added a burned finish with a torch to any of your woodworking projects? Share your best projects and photos or find inspiration and ideas for more woodworking creations like this one on Hometalk!

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3 of 7 comments
  • Gail
    on Mar 16, 2020

    Hope your son helped all the way till the end. Wonderful opportunity to learn skills on a small project.

  • Robyn Garner
    on Mar 20, 2020

    Gorgeous! I especially like the burned saw blade shape! Good job by you and your son! 😎

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