Prototype Ring Box

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Project by splintergroup posted 07-08-2019 06:33 PM 615 views 2 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’m probably like most LJs and only post a fraction of the items I actually build. Some are just too ‘pedestrian’ like the simple shelf I made to hold the wife’s jars of glass frit or the simple long grain square cutting boards to give to relatives, “just because”. Other items are repeats of things done before with nothing new or different to offer.

When I make items in bulk, usually to get ready for a craft show or just because mass production really makes a difference, I’ll create a prototype. Often I’ll begin cutting wood from a simple sketch or even just an idea, hoping I won’t screw something up. Other times I like to build something and work out the kinks in the design or process before committing time.
The prototype exposes flaws in the design and areas where construction can be simplified greatly. This box is my first go at the final object I had in mind.

I wanted my “standard” hard lines, nothing outside of my comfort zone. I have a variety of wood scraps that would be great for boxes so the size needed to be small.

This box is about 6” x 8” x 2-1/2” (the new version will be a bit wider).

Top is walnut burl so this prototype helped with finish decisions. I used danish oil and pre-cat lacquer.
Exterior is walnut, interior and trim is cherry, sized correctly to hold an integer number of rolls for the ring storage area. The cherry should turn a nice red once it ages a bit.

Construction is simple finger joints with grooves for the top/bottom panels.

So what I found is
1. A little wider.
2. Pre-finish the lid panel since it is easier to smooth without dealing with getting into the corners.
3. Relieve the interior trim a bit further where the lid seals to the base. I had a good fit before finishing, but then the extra thickness from the finish made it all too tight (duh!).

4. A number of “order-of-operations” changes to simplify clamping, hinge mortise routing, and glue-up.
Thanks for looking!

14 comments so far

View Jerry's profile


3237 posts in 2124 days

#1 posted 07-08-2019 07:18 PM

You are one of my favorite craftsmen on LJ. Everything you make is really well conceived and beautifully executed. Your sense of style and tastefulness is obvious in every project. This is no exception. Bravo! 5 Stars.

-- 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


2825 posts in 1699 days

#2 posted 07-08-2019 07:30 PM

Thanks Jerry! (blush 8^) I draw plenty of inspiration from your work as well. Lots of variety to fill my bucket list.

My goal with these boxes is to eventually nail down the subtle details for some quality humidors. Given the prices of the associated “doo-dads” for humidity control, the box has to be worthy 8^)

(your wine rack is also sill on the honey-do list as well)

View drewpy's profile


954 posts in 1833 days

#3 posted 07-08-2019 09:44 PM

This is a beautiful prototype. The design with this is fantastic. The burl is especially spectacular. Thanks for sharing the details.

-- Drew -- "The greatest wealth is health".

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

4111 posts in 1058 days

#4 posted 07-08-2019 11:27 PM

Nice prototype, and it sounds like you have most everything worked out for future boxes. Well done!

-- Dave - Minneapolis

View MrWolfe's profile


287 posts in 600 days

#5 posted 07-09-2019 12:32 AM

Well done!
Beautiful box and nice choice of contrasting woods.

View JimYoung's profile


329 posts in 2063 days

#6 posted 07-09-2019 12:37 AM

Well done!

-- -Jim, "Nothing says poor craftsmanship more than wrinkles in your duck tape"

View Peteybadboy's profile


1003 posts in 2426 days

#7 posted 07-09-2019 10:44 AM

I really appreciate this post. I usually just jump right in. Nice work btw.

-- Petey

View CampD's profile


1789 posts in 3962 days

#8 posted 07-09-2019 11:18 AM

Nicely done “prototype”
Contrasting woods look great and when the cherry ages it should look even better!

-- Doug...

View EarlS's profile


3025 posts in 2824 days

#9 posted 07-09-2019 05:11 PM

Nice work!!! Elegant with clean lines, great details, and contrasting (or complimentary) wood.

I wish my “prototypes” turn out as nice as yours do. I can relate to the need to refine things for the “next” version. Every project has things that would make it look better, function better, or improve the build.

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

View splintergroup's profile


2825 posts in 1699 days

#10 posted 07-09-2019 05:58 PM

Thanks guys!

One thing I’m discovering is not everyone likes the same wood/colors as I do (who wudda thunk? 8^)

Purple Heart/Canary seems ugly to me (purple/yellow), but there are those who like it. A good thing however is not many woodworkers would venture into the complementary color scheme so there are not many such colored wood objects available.

I picked that cherry from a stash I know turns a nice red 8^). It’s tempting to leave it outside to help it along….

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23182 posts in 3582 days

#11 posted 07-09-2019 09:13 PM

Very attractive bon!!!!!!!!!!!

cheers, Jim

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

View James E McIntyre's profile

James E McIntyre

430 posts in 1768 days

#12 posted 07-09-2019 09:39 PM

Beautiful ring box. Love how the end walnut grain on the box joints contrasts nicely with the sides and front.
What type of hinges did you use? They are sharp.
The top is a show stopper.

-- James E McIntyre

View Ivan's profile


14904 posts in 3344 days

#13 posted 07-10-2019 06:49 AM

Beautiful box, especialy the top grain.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View splintergroup's profile


2825 posts in 1699 days

#14 posted 07-11-2019 07:22 PM

Thanks again guys!

The top is from a bundle pack bought from veneering A whole box full of 12”x12” or so sheets for a little over $1 each.

James: the hinges are Brusso JB-203s. I always grab a bunch when they have their 50% off sale, making these just “expensive” hinges versus “extremely high dollar” hinges. Their quality is superb, but for what I sell my boxes for, just too expensive. Horton brasses has similar hinges (though without the 95 degree stop) for the same price as the Brusso’s after their 50% discount. The Horton hinges are also very well made with a choice of finish.

Given my uses, I’d use the Horton hinges every time unless the Brusso hinges are on sale.

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