Mathildes Japanese inspired jewel box #3: The grand finale and a blast of a confirmation.

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Blog entry by mafe posted 06-03-2014 01:16 PM 7795 reads 9 times favorited 41 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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Mathildes Japanese inspired jewel box
The grand finale and a blast of a confirmation.

Part three:
In the process of making of a Jewel box for my sweet daughter Mathildes confirmation.

Time to continue the Jewel box tour, last time we ended with lots of bamboo nails, glue and a Jewel box in clamps, so I guess there are no way back.
As some og the comments suggested, this blog is a World record in number of Pictures and if I had put just one more Picture in it, I guess we could have called it a video… This was because it is for my sweet daughter, so I thought it would be fine for her to one day be able to see what goes into the making of a simple looking box and how much Heart I tried to put in it too.

This is a stand alone project, yet it needs feet…
Time to make the ‘feet’ for the box, since it needs some distance from the surface to be able to open the bottom drawer.
I also think it adds some elegance that the box will not stand directly on the table.
Decide for two long since think that’s the most simple and will add some support for the thin bottom.
Here I plane them to thickness after cutting two strips of oak.

Sending a warm thought to my friend Jamie In Scotland, can’t wait to come visit you again this summer.
The plane has become a favorite and even my Japanese planes are jealous.

Shaping a Little, I like to do that by hand with a chisel, it adds life and love.

Now marking and pre drilling holes.

I put some nails in loose as I go, just to hold it in place while drilling.

The adding…...........................yes you guessed it; bamboo nails. ;-)
From each side, this will help locking it.
Guess I should also have drilled upper side directions, but we cant win them all.

Like so.

Now glue and a nail to get the right position.

Here we are.

More bamboo nails with glue.

Hammer in.

Saw of.

Cut flush.
Guess you heard that one by now.
The truth is, this is a really strong assembly, are dead easy and giving the little sexy round detail.
I love it!

Time to glue the interior to the box.
I just put glues in the ends, with the bamboo nails from the sides no more should be needed.

Here we are.
You can see the three little dots on the front, I think that adds a charm and tells a story of ehat goes on inside the box and yet keeps the lines clean as I want.

Time to fit the drawers.
Made then a millimeter too big, so I had a little room for fitting.

I clamp a board to the back to avoid tear out on the end grain.
Again I go for a loose fit, no pistons here, that will be taken care of by the magnets.

Finish with the 62, to get that baby ass smoothness.
The combination of those two planes are like touching heaven.

That’s smooth in my world.

Fitting the lid, I want it flush to the sides of the box and also this I made a little to big so I had room for adjustment.

Now a little story board to define the rabbet, I want the lid half way in the box in this way it is locked in place.

The rabbet are cut on the table saw, this is quick and easy.

A stop to define how deep I can go.

And one for direction.

Then tuning them with my sweet little planes.
And sending a thought to our long missed friend Div.

Sweet yes.

To hold the lid in place, I have also added a rare earth magnet to the room divider and will now add one to the lid, in this way the lid will click down and also not fall of under transport.
(And yes I think it’s a naughty detail).
So I mark up the center.
Ain’t that the coolest awl?

Lid in place.


Just a quick view on the shelf behind.
How can you not smile looking at that.

So drilling a hole for that magnet in the lid.

On the good old drill press.

After carefully measures.

To secure the deepness are right.

You need a little extra for the glue under.

May I present; magnet, hole – hole, magnet…

I put a piece of tape on top of the magnet in the divider and then the magnet on top.
In this way I am sure to get it in the right direction, so the magnet will not push the lid open.
I also sand it a little on the top and clean it with acetone.

Then epoxy in the hole.

I do the same with the mirror, but actually I should have used a flexible glue for that, so the mirror would not crack if the wood moves a little, but since it is a interior furniture, it should not become a problem.
At least I am sure it will not fall out now.

Some more fitting of the drawers.

Flattening the bottom, so it will glide easy.

Here the bench top bench again proves it worth.

Sliding wonderful, I have a big smile on my face at this moment.

Now it’s really close to being what I set out for.

The little tray in the box needs something to rest on, so I cut some thin oak strips.

Thinking that it will be elegant like this.

Time to go outside, here the shop front and my little Vespa, now with new seat covers.
See you in a picture, I will go for a cold beer and get a little wind in my hair on the Vespa.

Back in the shop.
There are times for drinking and time for making shaves.

I always smile when I see this wall, I feel lucky and blessed.

Again I want to make a test before the choice.
So a scrap piece of oak giving it three different treatments.
Oil with white pigment, bees wax and Renascence wax.

The white oil blurs the wood.
The bees wax colors it darker and black.
The renascence wax brings out the wood and are almost matt.
Since I want simplicity and honesty, I decide the renaissance wax will give most to this project.

Back to the tray holders.
I tape them to a piece of wood in the right height.

Then clamp them and leave to dry.

The little tray needs a way to be pulled up.
I have not taken any choice, so I try to play.
First turning a kind of knob on the lathe.



Just a devider…

Less is more!
This one I like.

But I have a idea for the first knob I turned.

Seen that before?

I will show later for what.

Now just time to look at some beautiful tools, sometimes my eyes stop like this in the shop and soaks in the image, it brings warmth to my heart.

Now off the helpers go as the glue is dry.

Jim helps me marking for…..

To get a drill inside here are a challenge, but one that can be solved.
The tape are to stop in time.

You probably guessed it; bamboo nails.

One of my little saw made from jigsaw blades come in handy here.

After many thought, it has become time to glue on the drawer fronts.
Load of glue.

All over.

Then clamps and waiting for it to dry.

Also the side drawer.

And the little tray gets it’s handle.

Test time!

It fits.

This one also!
Almost too god to be true.

Since I want no screws, I drill from the inside and drill sideways.

Then nailing.

Flush and finished.

I think that’s sweet.

Same for the other drawer.

Now time to fix little mistakes, I make a puddy of glue and oak saw dust.

To fix little holes and marks in the wood.

I almost ran out of bamboo nails and ordered some more, but this time they gave me beech nails… that’s not as sexy, so luck I have enough.

Perhaps in a pine project they will be sexy.

Wax on, wax off.

We got a jewel box!
Yes I am done!!
And in time before Mathildes confirmation party, actually two days before.

Time to show off!
Ok not my arm… It’s not that sexy.

Here the box as it stands closed up.
Simple and cubic as I wanted it.
The gain on the front are like a waterfall and the grain on top as a sunrise.
The little leather handle tells us that there are more to this box.
I am to be honest more than happy.

Lid open mirror are now to be used.
Notice the little knob from earlier, it hangs on the side of the magnet.

Now the tray are up and the knob placed on the lid, in this way she have a place to hang a bracelet.

Side drawer.

Front drawer.

Secret room where I put here a cross and a handful of green.

Feet under.


Right side.

Left side.

Details, tray.

Details, lid.

Details, interior.

Details, wood spring.

Details, wood spring.

Secret room.

Detail, handle.

Mathildes jewel box.

This is Mathilde on her big day (in white) when her mother and I made our speech to her, do I need to say more.
She was so happy for the jewel box and especially the little details caught her eye, she said thank you from the heart and I felt her joy.
It was a blast of a party, wonderful foo, wine, cocktails and dancing until late in the night.

And her father proud of his daughter touched right to the core of my heart.
And also proud of what he have made her, in a wonderful way I feel I had to use all I have learned to make this, like a apprentices exam piece.
If I passed the exam…. Looking at her smile and how she have it now in her room, full of jewels and set up beautifully – yes I did!

Hope you enjoyed the long ride, for me it has been a travel in my heart, a build where my sweet daughter was in my thoughts as I went along and in every bamboo nail I put in it.

Thanks for watching and all the wonderful comments I read by now.

best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

41 comments so far

View lew's profile


13488 posts in 5095 days

#1 posted 06-03-2014 01:31 PM

A beautiful keepsake for a beautiful daughter. You have every right to be a proud papa!
Thank you for allowing us to ride along on this one, Mads!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View patron's profile


13722 posts in 4681 days

#2 posted 06-03-2014 01:40 PM

both your smiles
says it all mads


blessings to you both

excellent work my friend

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View tsangell's profile


216 posts in 4033 days

#3 posted 06-03-2014 01:59 PM

This is why we make things, Mafe. Thank you for sharing.

Would that you had another daughter, so I could watch you make such a thing again. But I have sons, and I will make things for them!

View Sodabowski's profile


2402 posts in 4173 days

#4 posted 06-03-2014 02:38 PM

Aww :’) Man she’s grown a lot since I last saw a picture of her!

-- Thomas - there are no problems, there are only solutions.

View sras's profile


6520 posts in 4469 days

#5 posted 06-03-2014 02:43 PM

It has been a pleasure to watch this journey. I know that you have created an heirloom that will be around for many many years. And there is a touching story of a father’s love to go with it.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View kaerlighedsbamsen's profile


1387 posts in 3053 days

#6 posted 06-03-2014 02:55 PM

Allways great to read your blogs. Makes me want to just go to my workshop and look at my tools and remember that working wood and tinkering is all about the process. And great to see that what was just a pile of boards when i visited you turned out that nice.
Thanks for sharing!

-- "Do or Do not. There is no try." - Yoda

View 7Footer's profile


2575 posts in 3288 days

#7 posted 06-03-2014 04:16 PM

Another great write-up and absolutely spectacular jewelry box Mafe. Well done as always. And yes that is the coolest little awl, pretty much all of your tools are the coolest!


View Tomoose's profile


422 posts in 4713 days

#8 posted 06-03-2014 04:33 PM

Wonderful! As always, I enjoyed your blog very much – incredible detail and warm touches along the way.

best wishes,

-- “I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” Pablo Picasso

View Buckethead's profile


3196 posts in 3208 days

#9 posted 06-03-2014 04:36 PM

You would make a most excellent host for a woodworking show. I don’t know if having a following and production crew constantly prodding you would lessen your charm.

I’m very glad you come here to share it with us.

Oh… And the box… It’s gorgeous. Your daughter too. You’re enjoying life. Thanks for sharing that enjoyment.

-- Support woodworking hand models. Buy me a sawstop.

View Dutchy's profile


4294 posts in 3508 days

#10 posted 06-03-2014 04:55 PM

A beauty for a beauty. You made a great peace of ART. Do I have to say more? I don,t think so, look at your daughter, and indeed than you know what you have made.


View kenn's profile


813 posts in 5060 days

#11 posted 06-03-2014 05:26 PM

I agree with your philosophy, put something of yourself in your project and it will be special to the recipient. Nothing like a proud Dad except a proud daughter. Great blog, and congrats to Mathilde !

-- Every cloud has a silver lining

View GrandpaLen's profile


1652 posts in 3612 days

#12 posted 06-03-2014 05:28 PM

In the beginning the end seems so far… a blink they are grown, with children of their own.

A beautiful Daughter, ...a gift from our Father.

A beautiful Jewel Box, ...a gift from her father.

A beautiful Story, ...shared among friends.

Best Regards Mafe.
Work Safely and have Fun. – Grandpa Len

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View 489tad's profile


4118 posts in 4351 days

#13 posted 06-03-2014 05:36 PM

Congratulations to your daughter! Thank you for sharing a great build.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View DavidTTU's profile


150 posts in 2975 days

#14 posted 06-03-2014 05:59 PM


You continue to be my favorite poster on LumberJ’s. Great story and very well written.

-- -David -- Lubbock, TX

View mcoyfrog's profile


4757 posts in 4934 days

#15 posted 06-03-2014 07:14 PM

Hey Mads I have to ditto what davidttu just said….

I love the bamboo nails I’m definitely going to try something with those..

thanks for sharing such a cool journey of yours

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

showing 1 through 15 of 41 comments

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