Black Walnut Jewelry Box

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Project by JTRid43 posted 08-29-2007 06:07 PM 3940 views 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well, Its been a while but here is my latest. This box was made for a customer out of Black Walnut. I milled the wood myself so as to cut down on some of the cost. This was a lot of fun as I did all that by hand. No power tools for that process. In fact, my power tools kind of died on me so most of this work was all done by hand. I had my table saw but the band saw, sanders and drill all died. I don’t have a jointer or a thickness planer so all that work was done by hand as well.

I started with a black walnut log milled to about 1/2 in thickness. I cut my sections slightly larger to give some room to work. The sides are 3 inches tall and the box is about 11 1/2 in wide and 9 1/2 in deep. All from the same log. the bottom of the box, tray and center piece of the lid are 1/4 birch. The dividers and corner keys are milled from an elm log. This was a huge learning project for me. Doing almost the entire box by hand tools alone brought me some new knowledge and appreciation of woodworks long ago. The miters were a slight challenge but after making a couple of miter sleds for the table saw things worked out fine. Not perfect mind you. But they are close enough to please the customer. I wanted the lid to stop at a point so the lid would sit about 65 or 70 degrees. I made a stop on the back so when the lid is raised, it would sit on the stop and just the right angel.

The tile on the front is another business my wife and I do called sublimation. We can take just about any picture or graphic the customer has and place it on tiles of all kinds and sizes as well as coffee mugs and various other substrates. Using epoxy, I placed the tile on the front and trimmed out the sides. The mirror on the inside is sandblasted/etched which is another part of our business. I have been asked what kinds of things we can etch on. I jokingly tell people anything including the dog.

The finish is a high gloss poly. After curing for a couple of days, I rubbed it out with 600 grit and buffed with butchers wax. This produced a very nice shine and smooth surface of which the customer was really excited over. Don’t know why. They just kept running their fingers over it. I’m not sure but I think I heard them call the box, “My precious”. Okay, well all you Lord of the Ring fans caught that one.

Now I took the box to the customer and while there another person saw the box and fell in love with it. So needless to say, I will be starting a new box shortly. Well I hope these pictures turn out okay.

-- In His Grip,

13 comments so far

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4639 days

#1 posted 08-29-2007 06:45 PM


ok.. so what’s the “sublimation” process???

Congrats on the “demand” for more of the same

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View TomFran's profile


2961 posts in 4473 days

#2 posted 08-29-2007 07:13 PM

Nice work! You must be pretty good with hand tools.

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View Greg Mitchell's profile

Greg Mitchell

1381 posts in 4547 days

#3 posted 08-29-2007 07:16 PM

Very nice jewelry box. I love the top. Nice job.

-- Greg Mitchell--Lowell, [email protected]

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4725 days

#4 posted 08-29-2007 07:34 PM

Very pretty, I like it done in walnut, nice. good luck with the next one. Jockmike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Atelierwoodworks's profile


108 posts in 4492 days

#5 posted 08-29-2007 09:18 PM

Very nice piece of work.

They just kept running their fingers over it. I’m not sure but I think I heard them call the box, “My precious”.

Sounds like a real happy customer ;-)

-- Atelierwoodworks Vaud Switzerland

View CharlieM1958's profile


16283 posts in 4697 days

#6 posted 08-29-2007 10:21 PM

Great job! I guess you can throw away those dead power tools.

Is that block on the back just to hold the lid up? I make a lot of boxes, but I confess I never thought of such a simple solution.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 4544 days

#7 posted 08-29-2007 11:32 PM

Very nice and with hand tools no less! The box looks spectacular. I really like the idea of the photos (I assume they are your customers’ family photos) on the box.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View Don's profile


2603 posts in 4655 days

#8 posted 08-30-2007 12:39 AM

Very nice work. I respect anyone who does most of their woodworking by hand. This is an attractive box, and I just love small wooden boxes!

Did you cut the corner key slots and keys by hand? I like the simple lid stop, I may use this idea in a future box.

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

View ernieb's profile


17 posts in 4403 days

#9 posted 09-05-2007 05:45 AM

well done! a very nice looking box. i am building a walnut trestle table w/matching benches for a customer. this is my first time working with walnut and i’m impressed with both the workability and the beautiful grain. i’m also impressed with the fact that you made this with handtools. this is something that i should do (using more hand tools) but it always seems that i’m fighting the clock.

keep up the great work!

-- ernieb westerlo, ny

View Karson's profile


35197 posts in 4879 days

#10 posted 09-05-2007 06:08 AM

I hope you make enough money to replace your power tools.

Nice jewlery box.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View mot's profile


4926 posts in 4515 days

#11 posted 09-05-2007 06:20 PM

Very nice box!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Chip's profile


1904 posts in 4571 days

#12 posted 09-05-2007 07:28 PM

Beautiful piece JT.

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4050 posts in 4542 days

#13 posted 09-06-2007 04:51 AM

Cool work, Frodo!

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over two decades.

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