Jewelry/keepsake chest

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Project by splintergroup posted 05-16-2019 05:05 PM 715 views 14 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This idea came from those who are always shouting “more storage”!

Just your basic chest of drawers with some flourishes.

Dimensions are 20”W x 8”D x 9”H, constructed with Russian olive and walnut (primary woods), maple as a secondary wood. Construction is frame & panel.

The finish is Mohawk matte precut lacquer with the compatible Mohawk sealer underneath, I’m really getting to like this stuff as it sprays like a dream, though I do need to reduce it by about 10% over what comes in the can.

I have a bunch of the olive drying (local firewood trees) and a good portion of it has knots. Typically these pieces also have checking so they don’t work well as a structural part. I was planning on where to use these and the thought came to veneers.

The drawer fronts, top, and side panels have a 1/8” skin of the olive over maple. I also decided to use full thickness panels so I could keep everything on the same plane and also add an accented black border. To avoid the inevitable expansion issues, I stabilized all these panels with “cactus juice” resin. This also helped fill some stray cracks in the olive.

The back is simply plywood with walnut and maple veneers.

In my mind anything identified for jewelry storage needs plenty of compartments/trays. Each drawer has a divided lower half and two removable trays above. The top lidded section has two areas dedicated for rings. Previously I had made my own ring inserts since premade versions (Rockler, etal.) are very expensive. It’s a lot of work! I recently found some online for a good price. They are well made and easy to size with the table saw. Two of the drawer trays have bracelet inserts for variety.

The drawers themselves are dovetailed maple with simple maple runners. The handles are an evolution of some previous designs I’ve used, made with jatoba and walnut.

All in all I’m happy how it all turned out. A few changes if I do it again, but fun and uncomplicated and a great way to use up some narrow cutoffs.

Thanks for looking!

21 comments so far

View EarlS's profile


2732 posts in 2712 days

#1 posted 05-16-2019 05:18 PM

Really nice looking chest. The patterns in the wood and the way the panels are inset are the little extra the bumps it up from being just another nice looking chest to a “WOW!!”.

I think I will “borrow” your pull design when I start making drawers for the closet systems. They look a whole lot nicer than metal pulls and are a lot less expensive too.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View pottz's profile


5037 posts in 1348 days

#2 posted 05-16-2019 07:32 PM

that came out beautiful,love that russian olive wood,and a very nice design.really like the handles too,well done.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View AandCstyle's profile


3208 posts in 2621 days

#3 posted 05-16-2019 08:14 PM

Hey, Splint, this is another winner for sure. Superbly done!!!

-- Art

View Jerry's profile


3153 posts in 2012 days

#4 posted 05-16-2019 08:22 PM

This is really something. Beautiful hardly does it justice. The quality of the craftsmanship and the design is top shelf.

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be.

View splintergroup's profile


2641 posts in 1586 days

#5 posted 05-16-2019 09:18 PM

Thank you guys!

View SMP's profile (online now)


878 posts in 270 days

#6 posted 05-16-2019 09:21 PM

Absolutely gorgeous!

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

22537 posts in 3469 days

#7 posted 05-16-2019 10:46 PM

Great looking chest, Bruce!!

cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Gary's profile


1383 posts in 4688 days

#8 posted 05-17-2019 02:09 AM

This is an absolutely beautifully crafted piece.

-- Gary, Florida

View cvalley's profile


97 posts in 2858 days

#9 posted 05-17-2019 03:05 AM

Beautiful work splintergroup. Love the choice of wood. Excellent write up describing all the details. That part alone takes time. I take it that the drawer faces are made with the Russian Olive. Looks great. Congratulations on getting your Daily Top 3 award.

View therealSteveN's profile


2633 posts in 938 days

#10 posted 05-17-2019 05:36 AM

Like the shape, love the wood choices, and applaud you for going that extra ummmmphh for all those awesome drawer dividers.

Great box, well deserved 3.

Thanks for posting.

-- Think safe, be safe

View awsum55's profile


504 posts in 873 days

#11 posted 05-17-2019 06:21 AM

Congrats on your DT3, that jewelry box is gorgeous!

I’d love to try and copy it for a gift. I’d also be interested in where you found the ring inserts because I agree they are difficult to make (I’ve tried).

-- John D, OP, KS

View KimAccurso's profile


506 posts in 504 days

#12 posted 05-17-2019 01:01 PM


-- Kim - imperfection is the pursuit of perfection

View Bob Kassmeyer's profile

Bob Kassmeyer

241 posts in 3289 days

#13 posted 05-17-2019 01:43 PM

Very nice.

-- Bob Kassmeyer, Nebraska

View builtinbkyn's profile


2937 posts in 1304 days

#14 posted 05-17-2019 02:13 PM

Man that’s a beautiful box. The detail and wood combinations are really nice and olive wood is always amazing. Wish I had some around here sitting in a burn pile ;)

-- Bill, Yo! Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View mafe's profile


11979 posts in 3453 days

#15 posted 05-17-2019 04:28 PM

Lovely work and way of using small pieces.
Love the asian touch of style to it.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

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