The 6-Year Cherry Jewelry Box...

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Project by WWilson posted 09-19-2012 02:07 AM 3984 views 4 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A good friend from work gave me some beautiful Cherry and absolutely refused payment. I kept pestering him and he finally caved and said “make me a box or something”. Well that was 6 years ago… Perhaps some of my fellow woodworkers can relate?

To be honest I am terribly embarrassed it took me so long to make this for him but I am glad in some ways because 6 years ago I could not have made something like this. I was just starting out. The delivery of this box comes on his 20th Wedding Anniversary (1 week early) so I guess the timing isn’t so bad. I only hope his wife likes it!

Without further hesitation, may I present my first attempt at a jewelry box – 6 years in the works…

Box Sides: Cherry
Lid: Combination of Cherry and Walnut.
Shop Made Pull: Walnut.
Dividers and Tray: Walnut and Cherry.
Bottom: 1/4” ply.

The Cherry for the box was imported from a farm in Fowlerville, MI.
The Cherry in the lid Imported from a tree which was hit by lightning in Macomb MI).
1/4” Plywood note – get the good stuff from Woodcraft, etc. It is definitely worth the few extra $$.

Danish Oil – simple, simple, simple!

Length: 13 1/2”
Width: 6 3/4”
Height: 5”

Sides: 7/16” thick.

- Contrasting wood floating panel top.
- Jewelry tray (topside).
- Jewelry compartments (bottom).
- Curved dividers for 1.) Function – the tray slides on them, 2.) Visual effect – matching curves.
- Shop made lid lift.
- Dovetail construction (box carcass).
- 1/2 lap joints – (tray).

This box was a lot of fun to build. It was challenging because I had to figure it all out on the fly. No plans – just worked with the wood I had and tried to maximize the pieces. The material for the sides came out of a cant (approx 10” x 4” x 6’). I re-sawed it into smaller pieces working around cracks and splits.

The top panel has 3 pieces and I tried to use the grain as a design element – tight grain to the outside edges and wider grain in the middle panel. I also tried to be conscious of wood movement and made the grooves so the panels could float.

I made the Dovetails with my Leigh D4 Jig. What a dream. That thing is a real pleasure to use. This is only the 2nd time I have used it and I am very pleased with the results.

Both the top and bottom panels are secured with stopped groves made on the router table.

The wavy / curved panels that separate the top and bottom chambers were a result of trying to figure out how to separate the two parts with some type of design element. I made the cut on the band saw by sticking the 2 pieces together with double sided tape and free handing 1 cut. Worked pretty good (and fast too!).

The tray was made with scraps I had left over and a little imagination. I figured it should hold rings and errings but still have room for a watch or bracelets, etc. That’s why I divided the tray in 2 sides. The divider also serves as the handle (1” hole). I used my low angle block plane to add chamfers and radii everywhere I could. I also used it to “whittle” some of the corners. It may sound cliche but I think this kind of looks Krenov inspired (see the last pic of the tray)?

This is the first time I got the courage to mortise in butt hinges. I got some good brass hinges from Woodcraft and used Doug Stowe’s “flip stick” method. It worked superb! Just be mindful not to cut the mortises too deep (think flange thickness). I cut mine just a hair too deep and when I fully assembled the box the lid didn’t close all the way in the front.

Never fear, 3 pieces of blue tape under each hinge was just enough for it to close perfectly! Next time I won’t cut so aggressively!!!

What I Learned / Things to Consider
1.) Take chances. You have to explore design and don’t be afraid to try curves.

2.) Hand tools are essential for working with small parts. I used almost 100% hand tools to make the tray and all the other small parts for this project. They are safer and offer more control than power tools. I was able to “sneak up” on really good fits and didn’t ruin any pieces in the process. Don’t be afraid to get after it with hand tools!

3.) Take the time to learn how to install good hardware. Practice! Don’t expect to get it right the first time. I took my time and still messed up the hinges. Luckily I was able to recover with a little bit of tweaking! Innovate whenever you can.

Thanks for Looking!

7 comments so far

View Kopac's profile


79 posts in 3039 days

#1 posted 09-19-2012 02:10 AM

Came out really nice! keep up the great work

-- Follow me to see more at Instagram.Com/KopacDesign !

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30208 posts in 2604 days

#2 posted 09-19-2012 02:48 AM

Very nice. I’m sure the appreciated it.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View TimWood's profile


196 posts in 2508 days

#3 posted 09-19-2012 10:33 AM

Nice beginning Wilson….you pay a lot of attention to detail which is good….just don’t let it drive you crazy! :)

-- Tim Harrelson

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2956 days

#4 posted 09-20-2012 01:43 AM

This great box was worth the wait! I really like all the details and organization in your post. Great woodworking and great posting.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View kapanen's profile


121 posts in 3048 days

#5 posted 09-20-2012 01:36 PM

Great post….thanks

-- "Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life"....Pablo Picasso

View balidoug's profile


495 posts in 2745 days

#6 posted 09-20-2012 02:30 PM

some things are worth the wait.

-- From such crooked wood as that which man is made of, nothing straight can be fashioned. Immanuel Kant

View Jay Nolet's profile

Jay Nolet

75 posts in 2305 days

#7 posted 12-07-2012 05:22 PM

Shweet!! The added info helps more than you know. Makes me canna wanna do something like that.

-- I think, therefore I think I am.

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