First jewelry box

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Project by splintergroup posted 02-06-2015 07:19 PM 3930 views 17 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made this late last year, mainly because I had found a stash of Soss hinges I had bought on sale a few years back.

It turns out that Soss hinges suck for boxes (at least boxes with heavy lids). I had high hopes because the hinges went on perfectly, but after a few cycles the hinges began to twist/stretch in unusual ways an would no longer reliably close. BIG disappointment! I looked up quality box hinges and they exist, but at around $30 a set, no thanks! (maybe for a really special box). What can I say, I’m frugal….

Back to the box, the body is Cherry with a Walnut top and bottom frame. The lid has a Juniper veneer (from the fire wood pile). I like the Juniper, it has incredibly dense growth rings with many of my 12” or so diameter logs registering over 200 lines from center to edge.

The sides are joined with 1/4” box joints, left exposed for effect. I like the exposed joinery of Arts/Crafts style woodwork, though it does make it a pain to glue up and not be left with a lot of cleanup!

The interior is a simple mirror in the lid and a homemade slotted ring bar in the bottom (I mentioned I’m frugal right?). The box stays closed by two cylindrical super magnets glued into the front pieces and completely hidden by the top/bottom frames.

Finish is blond shellac. I didn’t anticipate the yellow cast to the Juniper and given the red/brown Cherry and brown Walnut, the color scheme is a bit odd (my wife rolled her eyes).
Anyway, I learned a bit. Box making is fun, takes minimal materials, and has the workings to make you pull your hair out.

20 comments so far

View Blackbear's profile


137 posts in 3502 days

#1 posted 02-06-2015 07:25 PM

Those raised finger joints are awesome, and I can only imagine what a pain it would be for glue-up. Great work!

View jusfine's profile


2422 posts in 4209 days

#2 posted 02-06-2015 07:51 PM

Thanks for the heads up on the Soss hinges, I also have a few I had purchased awhile ago and never used.

Nice job on the box details!

-- Randy "You are judged as much by the questions you ask as the answers you give..."

View splintergroup's profile


6018 posts in 2505 days

#3 posted 02-06-2015 07:57 PM

Thanks for the thumbs up guys, I appreciate it!

The Soss hinges seem to be quality, just not for boxes. They are listed as ‘door’ hinges which may mean they are designed for loading on a different axis. Who knows, I’ll save them for something else.

View mariva57's profile


666 posts in 3287 days

#4 posted 02-06-2015 08:11 PM

A really nice job, compliments.

-- The common man thinks. The wise man is silent. The stupid man discusses.

View Marty 529's profile

Marty 529

344 posts in 3002 days

#5 posted 02-06-2015 08:23 PM

Very nice. I think the colors look fine together and the magnets hidden inside is a great idea.

-- Marty, Ohio

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4617 days

#6 posted 02-06-2015 09:11 PM

Very nice work, especially for a first.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View ohwoodeye's profile


2707 posts in 4436 days

#7 posted 02-06-2015 09:12 PM

Stunning. Those joints are well worth the effort. They set this box apart from many others that don’t incorporate them like you did.
Well done.

-- "Fine Woodworking" is the name given to a project that takes 3 times longer than normal to finish because you used hand tools instead of power tools. ----Mike, Waukesha, WI

View splintergroup's profile


6018 posts in 2505 days

#8 posted 02-06-2015 09:20 PM


Technically it’s not my first box, but as ohwoodeye points out it’s my first that actually has joinery instead of just plain miters and splines.

Next time I’ll make the sides thinner, these are 1/2” and make the box denser than a three year old fruitcake.

View RogerBean's profile


1605 posts in 4236 days

#9 posted 02-06-2015 09:49 PM

There’s a lot to like about this box. Nice balance, color, and feel. The way you handled the box joints, which I normally avoid, is really nice. It works. The subtle contrast of the lid veneer is also very tasteful, and much nicer IMHO than if the contrast was sharper. Really nice job. I agree on the SOSS hinges and don’t use them. But good hinges are not cheap. I’ve come to just accept that.

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

View handsawgeek's profile


663 posts in 2678 days

#10 posted 02-06-2015 10:58 PM

Very attractive and unique jewelry box. Nice work!

-- Ed

View jeffswildwood's profile


4952 posts in 3260 days

#11 posted 02-07-2015 12:35 AM

I like everything about it. The style, the box joints, wood choice, everything. Very nice work!

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

View Mean_Dean's profile


7057 posts in 4430 days

#12 posted 02-07-2015 01:11 AM

This is a beautiful jewelry box! I love the exposed box joints—they really give the box a unique look!

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

View kdc68's profile


3017 posts in 3560 days

#13 posted 02-07-2015 02:53 AM

Love the box joints !.....Beautiful subtle contrast in wood selection and finish !....Well done !

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View CharlieK's profile


605 posts in 5076 days

#14 posted 02-07-2015 03:40 AM

The whole thing looks great! I think the two woods go wonderfully together.


-- Adjustable Height Workbench Plans

View coachroesch's profile


8 posts in 2491 days

#15 posted 02-07-2015 04:13 AM

Splinter I love the proud box finger joints! Nice touch!

-- Brian Roesch Industrial Arts Teacher, Quinter, Kansas, "I didn't realize I was making memories I just knew I was having fun!"

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