Keepsake Box

  • Advertise with us
Project by Chip posted 08-27-2010 10:41 PM 6914 views 80 times favorited 56 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I had a piece of Holly and Padauk laying around that I wanted to use up. I also wanted to do a project that would sharpen my skills a bit and allow me to fine tune my tool’s accuracy since I haven’t done much woodworking in a while. This keepsake box is the result. I love working in Holly. It’s very tight grained and easy to work with though sanding it with other woods can be a challenge. There’s a knot on one of the sides that bothers me a little bit (as you can see from the pics) but I didn’t have a ton of Holly to spare and besides, it’s wood. I’m especially proud of keeping the grain lined up with the Padauk strips on the top. You can’t see it well in the pic but it’s a weave pattern. It wasn’t easy. The top was originally going to be a cutting board but I put so much effort into it that I decided to use it this way instead. I made the hinges also.

I’m presenting it without finish because it may be a while before I get it completely done. I have two other pieces I’m working on and thought I would do them all at one time (clean up the shop one time and all that). The stains around some of the compartments are the result of me wiping it down with mineral spirits before taking the photos and not noticing it wasn’t thoroughly dry until I looked at the pics. I put a faux felt liner in the bottom of the compartments for the photos though I’m not sure what the final lining will be.

I’d appreciate any suggestions on a durable, crystal clear finish because I want to keep the Holly from yellowing as much as possible.

It’s 14.5” x 9.5” x 6” and made of Holly, Padauk and Walnut.

Anyway, nice to see that LJ’s has grown so much in my absence and thanks for taking a look.

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

56 comments so far

View JBahou's profile


15 posts in 4466 days

#1 posted 08-27-2010 11:03 PM

Wow, this box has got to be my personal favorite. It’s beautiful.

Chip, if you don’t mind me asking, how did you make the top of the lid? I am wanting to make a jewelry box for my wife and this box is stunning and so much more like what I would like to make then from what I have seen with other boxes.

How did you make the hinges and what are they made out of? It’s hard to see in the pictures.

Again, this box looks great.

-- Jack †

View blackcherry's profile


3351 posts in 5316 days

#2 posted 08-27-2010 11:05 PM

Hey Chip, at first glance I thought it was a poker chip box. The tray on this box are very ingenious, love the storage capability. The woods are just grand together and the front handle is very sleek. I can go on and on well done and thanks for posting…BC

View Spoontaneous's profile


1340 posts in 4823 days

#3 posted 08-27-2010 11:08 PM

I just flipped back and looked at your previous work and you have a certain ‘modern’ look about your designs and wood selection. I hope you will post again after applying the finish as I am anxious to see the extra warmth. Very nice work that you do. Visually striking!

-- I just got done cutting three boards and all four of them were too short. (true story)

View Chip's profile


1904 posts in 5586 days

#4 posted 08-27-2010 11:30 PM

Thanks Jack. As mentioned the top started out as a cutting board so the Padauk and Holly are small 3/8” thick tiles glued together. When I decided to make it a top I glued the mosaic panel to a 1/4” Walnut backing that extended beyond the tiles to give me something to slide into a 1/4” groove I had cut into the mitered Holly sides (I gave it a little movement room so I hope it holds up). Did I explain that correctly? I hope so. I like making hinges. It’s similar to making a box joint. These are Padauk and Walnut with Holly “pins”. You can find directions by Googling “wooden hinges”. A bunch of good stuff pops up or at least it did years ago when I started making these things. I didn’t buy the bit sets they sell to make them… I just bought them separately on my own over time.

Thanks BC. I get the “poker chip” comment a lot because I have this thing for Forstner Bit compartments (see my other boxes). Really like your boxes too. Thanks again.

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

View Chip's profile


1904 posts in 5586 days

#5 posted 08-27-2010 11:37 PM

Thanks Spoon. I’d like to do more “organic” work and that is the next challenge I’m going to give myself. This piece and the couple I’m working on now are just to get my feet wet in woodworking again. Thanks for commenting.

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

View mtnwild's profile


4865 posts in 5021 days

#6 posted 08-27-2010 11:44 PM

Beautiful box, great design! Super top, I love the racing stripe around the side. Really nice detail and with the spline, cool. That tray is awesome. It’s all good, great craftsmanship too. Great project…............

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View Karson's profile


35300 posts in 5894 days

#7 posted 08-28-2010 12:05 AM

Chip Welcome back. We not talked in a while.

How’s your mother doing.

This box is just beautiful. I’ve got some Holly down here but I’m not sure if it’s totally white. it might have some blue streaks in it.

A great box. I’ve talked to Lee about a picnic at his place this year. Keep it in mind. I’ve not picked a date yet.

-- 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 Woodenwizard's profile


1369 posts in 4537 days

#8 posted 08-28-2010 12:27 AM

Outstanding! What are the dimensions?

-- John, Colorado's (Wooden Wizard)

View Chip's profile


1904 posts in 5586 days

#9 posted 08-28-2010 12:36 AM

Thanks much Skeez. It did take a bit of work.

Thanks for the kind words Jack.

Hiya Karson. Thank you for the welcome back. Nothing stays the same but change… we’ll talk soon I hope. Glad you liked the box. It’s nice to be getting my hands dirty again. This place sure has grown!

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

View Benighted's profile


57 posts in 4355 days

#10 posted 08-28-2010 12:56 AM

Amazing box…. Sets a standard to aim for. Just amazing.

-- Jani, a Neanderthal woodworker in Sweden.

View Chip's profile


1904 posts in 5586 days

#11 posted 08-28-2010 01:45 AM

Thank you for your comment John. It’s 14.5” x 9.5” x 6”

Thanks for the kind words Jani… much appreciated.

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

View Mark Blomster's profile

Mark Blomster

107 posts in 4479 days

#12 posted 08-28-2010 01:58 AM

Gorgeous box! Very nicely done. The compartments are great!

View robert triplett's profile

robert triplett

1566 posts in 4598 days

#13 posted 08-28-2010 02:51 AM

Beautiful wood choices. I really like Padauk, but Holly is not often seen out here. The weave looks great. The size isn’t apparent to me. It looks very well proportioned. Thanks for posting it It doesn’t look like you are too rusty!

-- Robert, so much inspiration here, and now time to work!!!

View donjoe's profile


1360 posts in 4524 days

#14 posted 08-28-2010 03:18 AM

Wonderful build on this box. Really like the color combos and the very clever storage trays. Great job.

-- Donnie-- listen to the wood.

View RedOakRomance's profile


11 posts in 4365 days

#15 posted 08-28-2010 04:31 AM

That is truly beautiful! Love the details.

-- "Life is good..."

showing 1 through 15 of 56 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