Jewelry box in Sapele, Birdseye Maple and Walnut

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Project by solarfish posted 07-03-2016 01:21 PM 2007 views 5 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I know several others have presented version of this design previously, but this was my first try at anything like fine woodwork so I thought I’d post it here. The project is actually for my mother’s 75th birthday next month so I couldn’t post anything to my usual social network accounts as she follows me.

The main body is sapele, my first time working with that wood and I really like how the grain shimmers. The drawers are maple and sapele sides and back the birdseye maple fronts. The columns, feet and drawer runners are all walnut. I have a few changes from the original plans, I have a larger drawer at the bottom which incorporates a removable tray, the other drawers all have removable dividers too. All the drawers have black flocking on the interiors.

This project demanded several new techniques for me. It is the first time I hand cut dovetails (they are on the large bottom drawer) and as an added complication had to be different sizes as the sides and back are stepped to create a ledge for the tray to rest on. The tray also incorporates a little walnut inlay to disguise the hole made by the forstner bit when cutting the thumb holes.

It is also the first time I tried a ‘high quality’ finish, I used 2 to 3 coats of dewaxed shellac, sanding between, then rubbed in 2 coats of wax with 0000 steel wool. The result is extremely smooth and really shows of the wood colours and grain.

I have posted a video tour of the finished piece on an account that my mother doesn’t follow.

6 comments so far

View BurlyBob's profile


7197 posts in 2942 days

#1 posted 07-03-2016 03:17 PM

That’s very beautiful and the wood combination is really stunning. I’m sure your mother will be thrilled.

View Andy's profile


240 posts in 1504 days

#2 posted 07-03-2016 05:25 PM

That jewelry box turned out excellent. You paid very nice attention to the details. Nice work.

-- Andy Smith

View bobasaurus's profile


3626 posts in 3860 days

#3 posted 07-04-2016 01:38 AM

Nicely done, great shaping work.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View Mean_Dean's profile


7030 posts in 3824 days

#4 posted 07-04-2016 10:52 PM

That’s a beautiful jewelry chest! I like the combo of woods you picked—especially that maple/walnut combo—very pleasing! I’m sure your mom will just love it!

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

View WistysWoodWorkingWonders's profile


12802 posts in 3833 days

#5 posted 08-22-2016 12:52 AM

great contrasting woods, love the simple lines too…

-- New Project = New Tool... it's just the way it is, don't fight it... :)

View MikeSpanky's profile


179 posts in 2040 days

#6 posted 09-23-2016 04:19 AM

Very well made. Love those contrasting pieces.

-- There's no crying in woodworking. Just measure and cut again.

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