Treasure Box III - Post #8: Mechanisms

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Blog entry by Patricelejeune posted 05-31-2019 01:08 AM 972 reads 1 time favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 7: Veneering Part 8 of Treasure Box III - Post series no next part

In this new Treasure Box Series we actually wanted to add (on top of a bunch of marquetry) a bit more mechanic fun.

Most of the hardware had to be made for us and we worked on this with Aaron Radelow. He is at the same time a great metal and woodworker and it was great to work with someone who understood what we wanted to do.

The first challenge was that I wanted to make a dropfront out of this box. Finding a existing compass system that worked with our need and dimension did not succeed. Here is what we came up with

A brass catch activated by a brass utton in a brass sleeve with a coil spring

When you push on the brass button it glides in its sleeve and lower the catch, the dropfront is realeased. When you close the drop front the catch will catch on a hidden under the veneer brass plate.

The other part of the dropfront problem was a compass to avoid the fall front to actually fall on the table. We wanted a compass to stop the fall. We design and Aaron made. It is integrated to the side also and is incorporated in the marquetry. Everything is veneered over! Nice and clean

Next stop we wanted somethng hidden in the lid. We devised a system with Aaron to use the key at a special spot and angle to release the marquetry panel and reveal a leather pouch
So we played with an lock and engeneered something. It is hard to explain or photograph, we will do a video soon on al the mechanisms soon.

Last but not least we also wanted a series of drawers to be release by the touch of a button but we wanted them to be independant when you lock them back one by one. So we designed a wierd system that we will also describe more in a future vide but here is how it looks

Each catch has its own spring and the release is activated by lowering the all column by the press of a button inside the top till.

Here it is for the mechanisms.

We actually delivered the table. I am waiting for the pictures to come in and will do a final post on the base/pedestal we made for it and the finished box.

Thank you!

-- Patrice lejeune

4 comments so far

View justoneofme's profile


858 posts in 3561 days

#1 posted 05-31-2019 03:40 AM

Wow Patrice … it’s magic! And beautiful!! But you’re right, a video of the mechanical action would really help :)

-- Elaine in Duncan

View shipwright's profile


8714 posts in 3879 days

#2 posted 05-31-2019 06:08 AM

These just keep getting better and better. I saw the first and second and could hardly believe my eyes.
This obviously tops them and I know you are just getting started.
Truly inspirational work.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3647 posts in 4794 days

#3 posted 05-31-2019 07:59 PM


We can’t wait to see your video. We really love all the hidden hardware—your box of tricks!


-- “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin -- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View madburg's profile


328 posts in 1924 days

#4 posted 06-01-2019 08:30 AM

Thanks for the updates. Great to see the progress – its exceptional. That’s some piece of hardware, reminisent of Roentgen’s amzing mechanisms. It also reminded me of a mechansim by George W. Betjemann and Sons who were high quaility London box makers in the mid-19th century, though no marquetry. Lifting their lid also opened the front which came down similar to yours, but also swung out two trays – all hidden in the side walls of the box.

Brice1 a fellow lumberjock manged to make the mechanism work on one of his exceptional boxes some years ago. Though again with your magnificent marquetry.

I look forward to the video. I’ve used opposing rare-earth magnets in the past on a sliding lift up strip in the back of the box, which forces drawers out in sequence as you raise it. It worke, but was no where near as eligant as your masterpiece of mechanical engineering.

Thanks for the post.

-- Madburg WA

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