First incense casket: sticks stored in lower compartment

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First incense casket: sticks stored in lower compartment
Gift Ideas
Image by simonov
A gift for Ingrid. Here the top part of the box has been lifted to reveal a storage area for incense sticks.

For about a decade I have been using these cheap incense caskets imported from India. They are not very good. For one thing, they are very poorly made, and I have had one or two of them virtually disintegrate shortly after receiving them. For another, it turns out it’s not a great idea to burn incense inside a perforated container. Oils and pitch form on the inside of the container and add a nasty smoky odor to the sweet incense scent. I cannot recommend them.

Some years ago I saw Jeffrey Hollis’ incense box here on Flickr and bought it through his Etsy store. I liked it so much I tried to buy another, but he had stopped making them. Ever since then I’ve been looking for the perfect incense casket, or failing that, designing one I can make myself. This is an example of v1.0 of my thinking.

First, I liked the idea of storing the sticks in the casket itself. This meant you didn’t have to have cartons of incense laying around in your living room or wherever you burned incense. I thought of a number of ways you could make a little compartment with a door where you could keep the sticks, but finally I decided just separating the box into two parts was the simplest to make and to use.

Next, I wanted it to be easy to burn incense. Sadly, any incense burner that uses a tiny hole to accept the stick is difficult to use, especially at night, especially after you’ve been drinking. Years ago I burned incense in my office by filling a jar with sand and setting it on my desk, so a bed of sand is the solution I hit upon for holding the stick. You can buy decorative sand at Michaels and you can burn a lot of sticks before the sand gets so full of ash it needs to be discarded.

The incense casket is made from walnut that was thrown away as scrap by the door and window mill next door to us when our office was on Baker Street in Costa Mesa. I didn’t do woodworking then, so I used to collect the hardwood scraps to burn in campfires in the desert. It was only recently I discovered this lovely walnut in a forgotten box of firewood I found while cleaning out my office warehouse. I still have enough for several more incense caskets.

My favorite quick and easy finish for most woods but especially walnut is reduced tung oil (mixed 1:1 with mineral spirits).

My next design (v2.0) will be made on my CNC router and will include a compartment for a Bic butane lighter as well as the incense sticks.

First incense casket: lid comes off
Gift Ideas
Image by simonov
A gift for Ingrid. The lid has been removed to show the bed of sand that secures the incense in place while it burns. The sand can be changed if and when it fills with ash.

For about a decade I have been using these cheap incense caskets imported from India. They are not very good. For one thing, they are very poorly made, and I have had one or two of them virtually disintegrate shortly after receiving them. For another, it turns out it’s not a great idea to burn incense inside a perforated container. Oils and pitch form on the inside of the container and add a nasty smoky odor to the sweet incense scent. I cannot recommend them.

Some years ago I saw Jeffrey Hollis’ incense box here on Flickr and bought it through his Etsy store. I liked it so much I tried to buy another, but he had stopped making them. Ever since then I’ve been looking for the perfect incense casket, or failing that, designing one I can make myself. This is an example of v1.0 of my thinking.

First, I liked the idea of storing the sticks in the casket itself. This meant you didn’t have to have cartons of incense laying around in your living room or wherever you burned incense. I thought of a number of ways you could make a little compartment with a door where you could keep the sticks, but finally I decided just separating the box into two parts was the simplest to make and to use.

Next, I wanted it to be easy to burn incense. Sadly, any incense burner that uses a tiny hole to accept the stick is difficult to use, especially at night, especially after you’ve been drinking. Years ago I burned incense in my office by filling a jar with sand and setting it on my desk, so a bed of sand is the solution I hit upon for holding the stick. You can buy decorative sand at Michaels and you can burn a lot of sticks before the sand gets so full of ash it needs to be discarded.

The incense casket is made from walnut that was thrown away as scrap by the door and window mill next door to us when our office was on Baker Street in Costa Mesa. I didn’t do woodworking then, so I used to collect the hardwood scraps to burn in campfires in the desert. It was only recently I discovered this lovely walnut in a forgotten box of firewood I found while cleaning out my office warehouse. I still have enough for several more incense caskets.

My favorite quick and easy finish for most woods but especially walnut is reduced tung oil (mixed 1:1 with mineral spirits).

My next design (v2.0) will be made on my CNC router and will include a compartment for a Bic butane lighter as well as the incense sticks.

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