Purple-heart & Beech Jewelry Box

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Project by JayCee123 posted 03-23-2017 09:19 PM 3122 views 6 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made this two drawer jewelry box back in the mid 1990’s, it measures approximately 16” wide x 9” high x 10” deep. The design is based on a box built by John Reed Fox, a featured artist in a wonderful book entitled “Wood Boxes Design & Technique” by Tony Lydgate. I chose to make my box out of Purple heart and Beech. The box sits elevated on top a frame of Purple heart pillars and rails. The Beech drawers ride on Purple-heart slides. The handles are set off the drawer fronts with rectangular Beech posts, with two Purple-heart wedges driven into each post to secure the handle. The drawers are divided, and the bottom of each drawer is lined with velvet. Please excuse the quality of the pictures since they are digital photos of original photographs.

12 comments so far

View Mean_Dean's profile


7043 posts in 3924 days

#1 posted 03-23-2017 10:49 PM

That’s a fine looking jewelry box—I like the wood combo, and the base design!

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

View dalepage's profile


387 posts in 1617 days

#2 posted 03-24-2017 12:15 PM

Your using purple heart wedges to affix the handles to the drawers is a great design detail. I really like having the two drawers accessible separately instead of having removable trays inside a box. It also takes hinges out of the process.

I obtained a small log of Osage orange (bois d’arc) and have paired it with padauk to make the same idea. It’s a great way to use scraps of expensive or scarce wood. Here’s a box (unfinished) with the technique.

-- Dale

View OnhillWW's profile


242 posts in 2009 days

#3 posted 03-24-2017 12:20 PM

Very nice! Love the species mix and design details.

-- Cheap is expensive! - my Dad

View splintergroup's profile


3798 posts in 1999 days

#4 posted 03-24-2017 02:51 PM

Nice chest! The use of the contrasting woods is well thought out, I like the application in the dividers.

View Ivan's profile


15969 posts in 3644 days

#5 posted 03-24-2017 04:38 PM

Nice straight lines everywhere. Beautiful woods combination.I like padouk.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Dan P's profile

Dan P

750 posts in 2668 days

#6 posted 03-24-2017 04:38 PM

Love the floating look. Would like to see more pictures on how you constructed it.

-- Daniel P

View JayCee123's profile


200 posts in 1541 days

#7 posted 03-24-2017 06:03 PM

Hi Dale

Thank you for the comments/compliments. Your project is looking fantastic. When you’ve applied finish please post. I’d love to see the final results.

Your comment about drawers vs trays encouraged me to go back into my files to find photos taken of a jewelry box that I made for my wife. I made it at the same time as the Purple-heart box. The drawers were sized slightly deeper then those in the PH box so that I could fit a sliding tray in the upper drawer, and a lift out tray in the lower drawer.

The tray in the upper drawer slides on rails over the ring rolls and small item compartments. The lift out tray in the lower drawer is divided into three compartments and sits on top of a single compartment.
The plan was for the upper drawer to be used for rings and ear rings, while the lower drawer would be used for necklaces and larger pins.

The photo below shows the drawers on the left and the trays on the right.
Over the years she has mentioned once or twice, that she wishes the trays were a little larger. That makes me a little nervous and pretend not to hear her … when will I learn :)

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3643 days

#8 posted 03-24-2017 08:01 PM

This is such a beautiful box and so nicely done. I has a lot of nice details and craftsmanship.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Woodknack's profile


13395 posts in 3156 days

#9 posted 03-25-2017 05:33 AM

Nice attention to detail and lovely proportions

-- Rick M,

View dalepage's profile


387 posts in 1617 days

#10 posted 03-25-2017 01:14 PM

Thanks for the photos of the drawers and trays, Jay Cee. It really sparked my imagination for putting trays in my largest box to date, made of bird’s eye, padauk, black walnut, and bois d’arc. It measures 4×7x17 inches.

I’m apprehensive about the hinges. This box came out so nice that I’m afraid of ruining it. I have made a hinge jig for the mortises and will try that on a smaller box as a test.

I appreciate your encouragement.

-- Dale

View david38's profile


3518 posts in 3120 days

#11 posted 03-25-2017 02:26 PM

great build

View JayCee123's profile


200 posts in 1541 days

#12 posted 03-27-2017 02:15 PM

Thanks all for the comments and compliments.


That is a beautiful box.

I can tell you first hand, the “spark” received from member encouragement works both ways.

The hinge jig and “test” are the way to go. If your still tentative, and want to take it slow, try a utility knife and a sharp chisel. Good luck.

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