My First Box

  • Advertise with us
Project by Dan M posted 11-11-2007 12:33 AM 2502 views 2 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

All .. for your viewing and feedback I present my first ever box.. a jewelry box made as a Christmas gift for my sister-in-law (the one who isn’t getting a clock grin)...

The box itself is cherry (3/4”) with a bloodwood inlay in the top .. I went with hard maple for the removable tray as well as the frame for the mirror that is hidden under the lid. I went with miter joints on the corners instead of a ‘fancier’ type of joinery… I also wanted to give it the illusion of having a floating top hence the gap/shadow area between the lid and the lower portion

The finish is Varathane’s traditional cherry with four coats of semi-gloss poly (the wife likes ‘shiny wood’)

If I had to too it all over again I think I’d try dovetail’d corners and a thinner stock – at least for the top as at 3/4” it is a little top heavy when opened

-- Dan M, SW Suburbs, Chicago IL

16 comments so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5500 days

#1 posted 11-11-2007 12:47 AM

I wish I could say my first box looked anything like this one! Great job!

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

View mrtrim's profile


1696 posts in 5162 days

#2 posted 11-11-2007 12:56 AM

well dan i doubt your sister in law will mind asking the others what time it is . in fact she will probably have a big giant grin on her face when she asks ! very well done i like the inlay nice touch

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 5156 days

#3 posted 11-11-2007 12:56 AM

Wow, you are a top notch box maker! Looks great. I like the deep lid and inlaid top a lot.

-- Happy woodworking!

View mjpierson's profile


86 posts in 5274 days

#4 posted 11-11-2007 02:07 AM

first? really? nice job!

actually it kinda reminds me of my first box (being cherry and all) – recipe box for my mom…turned out ok for a first…but not as nice as yours. the hinge is off on the recipe box and to this day still irritates me when I see it on the counter…of course mom doesn’t mind…

the inlay is a nice touch—-well done!

-- Mike - Columbus, Ohio

View schroeder's profile


702 posts in 5407 days

#5 posted 11-11-2007 02:35 AM

I’m with Charlie – hell, I wish I could build one that nice now!

-- The Gnarly Wood Shoppe

View TomFran's profile


2964 posts in 5276 days

#6 posted 11-11-2007 02:48 AM

Beautiful job! If this was your first, you’re going to be really good.

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

View 's profile

593 posts in 5254 days

#7 posted 11-11-2007 02:58 AM

I hope Don is doing fine, two hours and he hasn’t still told us about what he loves… :o)

First class job, by the way. This couldn’t possibly be your first box, I guess you got the numbers wrong when counting.

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4074 posts in 5345 days

#8 posted 11-11-2007 03:12 AM

Pretty darned beautiful right out of the chute. Or even at the end of a long ride. The inlay is a nice touch and it will even get better when the cherry tans up. Did you part the lid after glue up or build it in two parts?

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

View Dan M's profile

Dan M

121 posts in 5226 days

#9 posted 11-11-2007 04:08 AM

I am truly humbled by all the kind words – thank you all for the positive comments, I will definitely be building more boxes in the future and agree with Jojo – I hope Don’s ok ;-)

I have to admit that this was the most nerve wracking project I have ever built .. getting the inlay and corners just right .. and then cutting the top off to reveal the inside once again—”let’s see, was the bottom of the cut supposed to be 4 15/16” up from the bottom or was it the top of the cut…? Why did I sand the outside that last time – now my pencil marks are gone…”

I’m thinking a second go – this time perhaps with a piece of nice quilted maple and purpleheart accents??

-- Dan M, SW Suburbs, Chicago IL

View Karson's profile


35279 posts in 5682 days

#10 posted 11-11-2007 04:31 AM

Let me stand in for Don. ”A very nice box” and you all know that I like boxes,

Get well Don.

-- 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 Bill Cowan's profile

Bill Cowan

110 posts in 5387 days

#11 posted 11-11-2007 04:52 AM

Hi Dan,

And a very nice first box it is. Wow…not even just a plain one. You went all out and made a jewelry box. great job!

-- ICN, Bill, (

View Andy's profile


1724 posts in 5190 days

#12 posted 11-11-2007 01:29 PM

Very nice box Dan.Good crisp miters are a challenge….you did very well.

-- If I can do it, so can you.

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2545 posts in 5239 days

#13 posted 11-11-2007 04:21 PM

Sweet box! Nice material selection and awesome execution for a “first timer”. Looks like a veteran job to me!


View TheCaver's profile


288 posts in 5121 days

#14 posted 01-27-2008 03:31 AM

That lid looks like its captured in a groove, but I don’t see any gaps. How do you account for expansion of that top panel?

-- Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known. -Carl Sagan

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 5156 days

#15 posted 01-27-2008 11:19 AM

Very nice—and especially for a ‘first box’ project.

showing 1 through 15 of 16 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics