Maple & Walnut Jewelry Armoire

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Project by CKM posted 01-27-2010 10:48 PM 6748 views 10 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my entry for the Yin Yang contest. The whole piece is made of maple and walnut. I got a new Porter Cable 4212 Dovetail jig for Christmas this year from my family so the dovetails that you see on the top and bottom of the piece are my first in a finished project. The jig sure does make it easier! :)

As for the Yin Yang aspect of the piece, there were a couple of specific things I thought about while building this project. The first and most obvious was using the contrasting woods. The second was to create the hinged necklace hangers with a curved shape so that when they are retracted inside the box, they resemble the Yin Yang symbol. The last idea was that jewelry is something you wear for display but there are other things that you wish to hide. So I made a secret compartment in the middle of the armoire. To open it (see picture 5), there is a small post that you push up on to reveal the hidden compartment (see picture 6).

I finished it with Tung Oil, Wipe on Poly, and Flocking for the drawer bottoms. I really enjoyed making this project since it was probably the most involved piece I have ever built. Final dimensions were about 22’ x 8’ x 5.5’. I hope you all enjoy it as well :)

Thanks and I hope you all enjoy it as well.


-- CKM - Minnesota

14 comments so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5304 days

#1 posted 01-27-2010 10:57 PM

Very striking and beautifully made!

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

View danr78's profile


74 posts in 4134 days

#2 posted 01-27-2010 11:20 PM

beautiful. i spent a lot of time admiring the pictures and thought “man, that would have been cool if he put a secret compartment in that space.” then I read your comments :)
it’s a beautiful piece. good luck in the contest!

View Shay's profile


59 posts in 4887 days

#3 posted 01-27-2010 11:29 PM

That turned out awesome!!

-- Centerville, MN - Hobbyist and DIYer

View pommy's profile


1697 posts in 4777 days

#4 posted 01-27-2010 11:35 PM

this is lovely i like alot stricking finish great design and if you dont mind telling me how you did the arms inside the cabinet

-- cut it saw it scrap it SKPE: ANDREW.CARTER69

View dmoore's profile


177 posts in 4400 days

#5 posted 01-27-2010 11:36 PM

Nice work and a great design.

-- Duane, Ohio

View WistysWoodWorkingWonders's profile


12825 posts in 4243 days

#6 posted 01-28-2010 12:52 AM

very nice work here… I like the hidden compartment idea too… well done and good luck in the Yin Yang contest…

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

View TurnTurnTurn's profile


614 posts in 4195 days

#7 posted 01-28-2010 03:31 AM

This is really nice!!! Good luck in the contest

-- TurnTurnTurn

View a1Jim's profile


118162 posts in 4663 days

#8 posted 01-28-2010 03:40 AM

what a great Armoire. A fantastic design and amazing look. wonderful build.


View OutPutter's profile


1199 posts in 5076 days

#9 posted 01-28-2010 06:15 AM

Very nice box for jewels. I love the contrasting woods and the thought that went into the design.


-- Jim

View Rob's profile


35 posts in 4376 days

#10 posted 01-28-2010 05:54 PM

Excellent work!

View CKM's profile


73 posts in 4183 days

#11 posted 01-28-2010 06:00 PM

Thanks for all the great comments! Pommy, I built the arms by gluing a piece of walnut to maple, drew the shape and then cut it out with my bandsaw. As for the hinges, I cut a dado groove the thickness of the arm, drilled a hole through both pieces and used a finishing nail (cut to length) as the hinge pin. Hope that answers your question.


-- CKM - Minnesota

View JasonK's profile


58 posts in 4881 days

#12 posted 01-28-2010 11:04 PM

Beautiful work! Can you give a little more insight as to how the secret compartment works.

-- Measure once; Cut Twice, Three Times, Four Times...

View CKM's profile


73 posts in 4183 days

#13 posted 01-29-2010 02:21 AM

JasonK, the secret compartment is actually really simple. To open it, you push upward on a square peg that pushes the “secret” lid upwards and out so that you can see the secret compartment. In picture 5, the bottom of the peg is where my fingers are located, so all I do is push up on the peg to lift the lid. In picture 6, if you look inside the compartment, there is a 1 inch piece of wood that you see at the front of the compartment. That piece is the top of the peg, which is actually a T shape so that it doesn’t fall through into the drawer below. As for the lid, it is held in with friction. It took quite a number of attempts to sand down the sides little by little to get a tight fit that held it in place but not so tight that you couldn’t get it out when pushing up on the peg.
I hope that all makes sense. If not, let me know. Thanks for looking and thanks for the great comment.


-- CKM - Minnesota

View steliart's profile


2895 posts in 3774 days

#14 posted 02-12-2011 03:42 AM

Wow that is beautiful!!!

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions !!!

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