Padauk and Curly Maple Keepsake Box

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Project by tpmwoodworker posted 05-31-2015 04:23 PM 1935 views 2 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a simple project. But I’m happy how it turned out. I’m new to woodworking. And I’ve made several boxes to practice my joinery and sawing skills. My main goal has been to learn how to make at least (for now) workmanlike dovetail joints. This is the first box I meant as a finished product, rather than a one I’d use for tools in my shop. It’s a gift for my mother-in-law. This was done with hand tools only – dovetail saw, planes and chisels with a few sweeps of 220 sandpaper to smooth out the rounded edges.

It’s pretty self explanatory. Padauk and curly maple assembled with dovetail joints and glue. The top and bottom are also curly maple cut from the same piece of wood. The bottom is glued just long grain to long grain, no joints. The top is secured by one of those pricey Brusso machined hinges. Mortises are cut in the body and the lid and they marry up nicely, flush with the edge of the wood.

The idea for the oversized, rounded bottom and lid I got from what a Paul Sellers video. I’d been using rabbets to do tops and bottoms. But I found it more difficult than it needed to be. This was simpler and I think a better aesthetic result. Mortises are cut for the insets, as you can in one of the pictures.

It’s finished up with a wet application of Watco Danish Oil.

One thing I found was that Padauk was kind of brittle to work with, seemed to chip easily. Like a bit closer on the spectrum to rock as opposed to wood. Not sure if this was the piece I had to work with or the species. Anyway, it wasn’t so bad that I wouldn’t use it again. Just not the ease and workability of maple or oak.

Thanks for reading. I welcome your comments. I am here to learn.

-- Newcomer to Woodworking, Looking to Learn More

2 comments so far

View Boxguy's profile


2898 posts in 3429 days

#1 posted 06-01-2015 04:53 AM

TPM, looks like your hand tool skills are really developing nicely. Good craftsmanship. Those are really nice hinges, the woods are beautiful, and this will make a great gift.

In the spirit of sharing, and just to give you some different ideas about making boxes, you might check out this posting and look through the index that goes with it. Thanks for sharing your work and skills. Keep boxing and keep posting.

-- Big Al in IN

View tpmwoodworker's profile


19 posts in 2364 days

#2 posted 06-02-2015 04:12 PM

Al, thanks so much. I checked out that box. That’s an amazing piece of work. I’m going to look to it for inspiration.

-- Newcomer to Woodworking, Looking to Learn More

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