My James Bond Cuff link box

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Project by Jeremiah posted 09-19-2014 01:27 PM 2360 views 3 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Like so many of the prodjects i do for myself, this one took forever and grew bigger than expected.

At first i just wanted a small box to keep my cuff links and tie clips in. Then i thought it would be nice to have a spot for my money clip and/or pocket knife. I have my conceal carry and i often just sit my handgun on a shelf in my bedroom, so it clearly needed a better home.

Wood used:
Box body- Gancalo Alves
Trim and pulls – Curly Maple
Inside of lid – Quilted Maple
Dividers – tiger maple
Top of lid – mahogany, walnut and cherry

The design is based on a piece of art done in the mid 60s by a Spanish artist (i belief) It is 8×11 and YES each one of those triangles is a separate piece of veneer that i made myself. The “art” of the lid took almost as long to do as the whole rest of the box!

The black velvet and foam things that hold the cuff links, is a ring display piece i bought from Rockler a long time ago and never used.

If you are wondering about the penny, it’s my way of dating the work i do. I usually use a penny or nickle and place it in a non-visible area. But with this piece, i felt like having it show.

Lastly the finish. This was new finish technique for me. here is how it went:
1) Sand to 220
2) Grain fill (TimberMate is my favorite by far)
3) Shellac (blond)

Here is where i differed from my normal process
4) Sprayed on water based poly, about 5 Gillion coats (or 8-9)
5) let it completely cure
6) sanded all the way up to 1000
7) pumices stone
8)Rotten stone
9) buffed on a clean loose cotton wheel

What i would do different:
Use a brush lacquer instead of the water based poly. the water based Poly never got hard enough to polish well and while it didn’t yellow anything, it did give a slightly cloudy finish

Thanks for looking, feel free to ask any questions or give feedback, i always like to hear feedback (especially when they start with “WOW You are my new hero” or “The sheer artistry of it made me weep”) but any old question or comment will do :D

10 comments so far

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3060 days

#1 posted 09-19-2014 03:15 PM

Beautiful work and very nicely crafted! I definitely like what you have accomplished. Thanks for sharing.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3635 days

#2 posted 09-19-2014 03:43 PM

You did a beautiful job on this. I love everything about it.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View neverenougftackle's profile


195 posts in 2614 days

#3 posted 09-19-2014 04:14 PM

There is just some’tg about boxes that grabs me. There is just so many ways to go,,, with these small forms of artistic woodworking in a square casement, that the box builder ideas can carry them.

An when I saw this top of yours, it grabbed my attention at first site. So my question would be, since I don’t see any protrusions sticking out from the top, there for I am assuming that those wood facets are a form of inlay, right ???? Now if so, there is where I have seen in most questioners on these woodworking sites, where woodworkers would like to know more. So can you share more on making that top ?

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 3253 days

#4 posted 09-19-2014 05:51 PM

Absolutely killer work. I love that top.

-- Brian Timmons -

View SteveGaskins's profile


762 posts in 3355 days

#5 posted 09-19-2014 08:50 PM

Love the box! Especially the top. Added to favorites.

-- Steve, South Carolina,

View Mean_Dean's profile


7040 posts in 3915 days

#6 posted 09-20-2014 12:11 AM

Great looking cuff link box!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View Jeremiah's profile


82 posts in 3092 days

#7 posted 09-20-2014 03:28 AM

Thanks everyone for your comments.

neverenougftackle, the top is indeed flat. its all made with veneer i cut. The illusion of depth is created in choosing different colored wood. I basically used a dark, medium and lighter colored wood for this effect. They key is to pick three species that have roughly the same grain structure. This makes it look like it was all made from the same type of wood and the shadows happened naturally.

During the design phase, i drew out the triangle pattern first, then picked a direction for my “light source” Then it was just a matter of having all the lightest wood pieces facing that direction the darkest veneer triangles on the opposite side. Once i had my drawing done (doing it on graph paper helps) and I put D, M, or L on each of the triangles (dark med and light of course). I then cut all the pieces up and spray mounted all the D’s on my Walnut veneer, my M’s on my Mahogany and my L’s on a light piece of cherry i had. Next came a whole bunch of cutting with my utility knife.

Next I flattened the edges using an upside down low angle block plane as a joiner. i assembled each 3 sided triangle using blue tape. next, i did the final shape/sanding of edges for a clean fit together. When everything was just the way i wanted it (and it looked like an explosion of blue tape) I used contact cement to attach it to a piece of 3/8 ply.

If it sounds like a lot of work….YOU HAVE NO IDEA. what i just described made it sound easy :) But it was worth it to me.

On a design note, when it comes to original designs, it is easy to go over board and make your project too busy. Once i knew what i wanted the top to look like i had no choice but make the rest of the box as “clean” and un-busy as possable. I had some beautiful tiger maple and some awesome spalted wood i wanted to use for this project, but i knew it would be a mistake. Pick one thing you want people to focus on, and make everything else support or complement that.

Just my 2 cents.

View neverenougftackle's profile


195 posts in 2614 days

#8 posted 09-20-2014 03:40 AM

Thank You JD, for you taking the time to pass on what you hve learned. I got the picture so to speak. Thanks again.

View rtbrmb's profile


727 posts in 3157 days

#9 posted 09-20-2014 03:50 PM

Very unique with so many details. Well executed.

Thanks for sharing.

Bill in MI

View Surfside's profile


3389 posts in 2942 days

#10 posted 09-22-2014 08:43 PM

You have produced a true work of art! Outstanding details.

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

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