"Heartwood" jewelry box

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Project by SST posted 04-27-2009 10:16 PM 2821 views 3 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Let me start by saying that all the wood in this box is what I’ll call “throw away” wood.

The box is made from 4 different woods. Pine, white ash, mahogany, and maple. The ash for the sides came from a branch that broke off of a white ash in our woods that went over in a storm a while back. The mahogany, (lid & base), maple (floor) and pine (inset) came from a pallet dump site at our local landfill. I browse the pile for project wood several times in the summer.

The focal point is the pine I set into the top. After I planed the pine pallet boards, I realized that 2 of them were bookmatched grain, and the location of a knot gave the pieces an almost perfect heart shape when placed together. The camera shot makes one side of the heart seem more distinct, but but that’s only on photos. In person, the look is balanced. At the time I saw this, I had no idea what to do with it…only that I needed to make something. As Mother’s day approached, I decided on a jewelry box for my wife who puts up with my Shopsmith fettish. Also in the works is a necklace that has a faceted crystal heart as the focal point, along with birthstones of both our boys, being made by a local jewelry maker, to be placed in the box.
I’m thinking that I won’t be hearing any complaints about having too many shopsmiths for a while, although that’s not why I did it.

The pine heart panel was sanded to 320 grit and rubbed with fine steel wool and given several coats of clear shellac, rubbed with steel wool between coats. No stain was used. The rest of the box was sealed with a wash coat of reduced Zinsser clear shellac reduced to about a 2 lb cut, (give or take) and given a gel stain coat of mahogany stain, and finish coats of clear shellac, rubbed between coats. It has a hinged lid. I wish I could say that the dovetails were hand cut, but I can’t…that will have to come to a later project after much practice, but it sure feels great to get back to making something, nonetheless. -SST

-- Accuracy is not in your power tool, it's in you

12 comments so far

View scrappy's profile


3507 posts in 4670 days

#1 posted 04-27-2009 10:31 PM

Very nice box.

Great use of reclaimed wood, and What a find!

Beautiful matching to create a fantastic mothers day gift.

(The neclace won’t hurt either)


-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

View lew's profile


13424 posts in 4995 days

#2 posted 04-28-2009 12:01 AM


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

View DaleM's profile


958 posts in 4624 days

#3 posted 04-28-2009 12:18 AM

Excellent find and I’m glad you were able to make something nice out of it.

-- Dale Manning, Carthage, NY

View Napaman's profile


5535 posts in 5317 days

#4 posted 04-28-2009 01:47 AM

that is a cool project…and the story on the wood just makes it “meant to be”...great job and great find!!!

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View a1Jim's profile


118252 posts in 4817 days

#5 posted 04-28-2009 03:03 AM

great find and creative use of reclaimed, looks super.


View bowyer's profile


340 posts in 4636 days

#6 posted 04-28-2009 03:20 AM

Great call on using the “Heart” pine for the wife’s present, should buy you some quality time with the shopsmith!!

-- If at first you don't succeed...Don't try skydiving

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27249 posts in 5062 days

#7 posted 04-28-2009 03:33 AM

Tom, this is a wonderful box and thanks for the story behind it as well. Great job of “recycling” too. I enjoy seeing projects posted that are make of reclaimed wood destined for the fireplace or the dump.

You will definately earn some shop time with this project.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View boxman's profile


104 posts in 4672 days

#8 posted 04-28-2009 04:21 PM

very nice job, the grain is just perfect.

-- john, Moose Jaw, Sask, [email protected]

View mranum's profile


131 posts in 4656 days

#9 posted 04-29-2009 03:46 AM

Nice job Tom!

-- Just remember,it was a lone amatuer that built the ark, and a team of experts built the Titanic.

View itsmic's profile


1419 posts in 4358 days

#10 posted 01-26-2011 09:06 PM

That is great, you have a good eye to see the potential of the wood, you have done a wonderful job on this box. Your wife must be very happy, thanks for sharing

-- It's Mic Keep working and sharing

View Dusty56's profile


11866 posts in 4928 days

#11 posted 01-29-2012 08:30 PM

Very nice project for the Mrs..
How did the necklace come out ?
Question about sealing with Shellac before staining. What does it do for your stain or finish ?
Also , sanding between coats of Shellac…I’ve been told that one coat melts into the next coat and so on, which would make sanding between coats unnecessary. What are your thoughts about it ? thanks : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View doncutlip's profile


2832 posts in 4796 days

#12 posted 01-29-2012 08:36 PM

Really nice job, cool idea for the heart

-- Don, Royersford, PA

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