Karelian Birch

Growing in the forests of the Karelian region of Finland is a variant of the silver birch. It is not an impressive tree, small in stature, often appearing as a bush or large shrub. Some of these unremarkable trees a have areas of thickened bark on their trunks – the only clue that these trees contain wood with the stunning Karelian birch figure. 

The Karelian figure (also referred to as Karelian burl and Masur birch), is hard to describe given it’s unique to this species and its random appearance. Some say it looks like marble, others compare it to birds-eye maple or a dense burl figure. These descriptors don’t quite do it justice. I like to describe it as a sea of dark lined ‘sugar pops’ swimming on a lustrous undulating white background. 

Karelian birch

Kitchen Cabinet

I constructed this cabinet from cherry and curly soft maple. The pulls are lathe turned out of ziricote.

Kitchen Cabinet

Build a Side Table with a Floating Top

This simple yet stylish side table is a great addition to any home, and it can be modified to suit. Changing the width or length, using a different wood species and modifying the style of the top would all be great ways to customize this table.  The table features a modern, floating veneered-top with tapered legs.

The table is a collaboration between studio furniture maker Steve Der-Garabedian and Vic Tesolin, aka the ‘Minimalist Woodworker’. It was built ‘in real time’ at the 2018 at the Woodstock Woodshow.

Side table with floating top


Afrormosia is one of the most valuable timbers harvested and imported from Africa.  Renowned for its durability, it is often used as a substitute for genuine Teak (Tectona grandis). In fact, it is often called African Teak.

It has a distinct sweet and spicy odor while being freshly worked. Afrormosia is a beautiful wood and deserves consideration for many woodworking projects on its own merits.


Top 10 Finishes

For anyone new to the craft of woodworking, knowing which finish to use and how to apply it is fraught with confusion, uncertainty and disappointment. But wood finishing doesn’t have to be all that complicated or distressing. 

Learn the basics of when and how to use these finishes and you will be well on your way to success in woodworking’s crucial final stage.

Top Ten Finishes