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Blog entry by larryw posted 02-13-2011 09:49 PM 2083 reads 4 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Just wanted to respond to all the nice comments and questions about my posting “mom’s jewelry box”. Thanks to everyone for the kind comments. Technically speaking No marquetry was used in the making of the surface decoration, but actually “inlayed” into the surface of the box. A cavity was routed to fit all the pieces into. All the inlay consisted of pieces that were around 0.60 or 1/16 of an inch. All the pieces were cut by hand using a jewelers saw (looks like a tiny coping saw). The blades are quite small as you can imagine, they range from “0” to about #8 in ascending order, which is about the size of a coping saw blade, to 8/0 in decending order which is extremely small., I primarily use 3/0 and 4/0 for most of my cutting, which are about 0.10 thick. I first design a theme from my own drawings or from photos i’ve taken, or photos from books or magazines. from there its a matter of getting everything to scale, which I do at the printer/copier machine ,and then I take it to my drafting/light table where I put it all together. When I’m satisfied with the composition, I make many drawings/tracings to clean up everything., from there its back to the copier to make copies.,these become my patterns that I cut out and glue to what ever material I’m going to use for that particular piece. I glue the paper patterns to the material that will be cut with cyanoacrylate. After the pieces are cut and filed, they are arranged and secured to the surface where they will be inlayed(I use some sort of model making glue/airplane glue,which holds the pieces well, but makes it fairly easy to remove the pieces later) after the glue dries , I then scribe around the whole perimeter using a scribe or x-acto knife., then I gently pry off the pieces by sliding a razor blade under each one., I then use chalk to rub into the scribed lines. this gives me a visible line to rout to.,the cavities are then routed,( the router is set to depth according to the thickness of the piece to be inlayed) the inlay pieces are then placed in the cavity and glued with epoxy or cyanoacrylate, allowed to dry, and then sanded flush.The materials I used For this particular project ( “mom’s jewlery box”) are as follows. WOODS~The box was made from figured bubinga, gaboon ebony, makore,leopardwood,snakewood, and a unique wood that’s reported to be carbon dated at 50,000 years old called swamp kauri from New Zealand. SHELL~mother of pearl, black mother of pearl, gold mother of pearl, green abalone, red abalone,paua abalone, and pink mussell shell. METALS~ sterling silver, copper, brass.RECON. STONE~jade, red coral. PLASTICS~corian. IVORIES~ woolly mammoth tusk, elephant ivory(please note: the elephant ivory came from a reputable scorce. this ivory was already here in the U.S. prior to the 1976 c.i.t.e.s treaty ban, which is legal to purchase and use here in the U.S ).The box was finished with nitro. lacquer ( about ten coats and sanded/rubbed out).

-- "everything is beautiful, but not everyone sees it" ~confucius-551-449 b.c.~

9 comments so far

View TheBossQ's profile


115 posts in 4028 days

#1 posted 02-13-2011 11:15 PM

Beautiful work on that box. I don’t think you could make a case for another box to be any better than this. The workmanship and materials is amazing.

A question on the Kauri, it’s the large center piece in the lid, with the hummingbird and dragonfly inlaid into it, correct?

View tdv's profile


1203 posts in 4405 days

#2 posted 02-14-2011 02:48 AM

Stunning work ! How many hours did it take have you any idea?

-- God created wood that we may create. Trevor East Yorkshire UK

View bigike's profile


4059 posts in 4624 days

#3 posted 02-14-2011 03:03 AM

Wow! that’s all I can say about that. That is alto of work and materials for one project, when I think it’s too much I stop and do the finish now I see what happens when you keep going. Thanks for posting such an exquisite piece it really came out beautifully.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop, http://[email protected]

View tpires's profile


16 posts in 4218 days

#4 posted 02-14-2011 03:58 AM

Larry, it is a stunning beautiful jewelry box, your mother must be very proud when she shows this off.

-- Tony, South west Missouri

View TheHarr's profile


128 posts in 4874 days

#5 posted 02-14-2011 05:23 AM

Larry, thanks for taking the time to post a reply. We like to share our skills—for sure, I do. How about pictures showing the type of router and the type of bit you used? How ‘bout just pictures? We all appreciate the know-how and skill involved. This would be a terrific skill to share.
Thanking you in advance, TheHarr

-- Wood is good.

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3666 posts in 5047 days

#6 posted 02-14-2011 06:55 AM


Thanks for sharing all the various exotic materials you used and your method. It’s a great way for us to learn.


-- Voltaire: “Those Who Can Make You Believe Absurdities, Can Make You Commit Atrocities” There are 112 genders (not including male and female)

View TJ65's profile


1432 posts in 4385 days

#7 posted 02-14-2011 09:58 AM

thanks for more info on the box making- soooooo interesting.
Oh by the way Welcome and I am sure you will fit in here quite nicely- especially with that box!

-- Theresa,

View Marco Cecala's profile

Marco Cecala

189 posts in 5368 days

#8 posted 02-16-2011 04:25 PM

Great work. Looking forward to more!!

View peteg's profile


4438 posts in 4158 days

#9 posted 02-21-2011 09:14 AM

Larry, from your reply you are a very dedicated & focused “woodie” you know what you want to achieve,
your projects don’t just happen, I can appreciate your planning for each one which shows in the result we all get to see.
Don’t get the stitch man : ))) just go go go

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

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