Another Keepsake Box

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Project by Tom posted 08-16-2019 02:06 PM 1142 views 1 time favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made a keepsake box for each of my daughter’s when they left for college. This is the third and final box, so it feel’s bitter sweet.

This is a hand tool project. My methods improved a bit with each box. It is loosely based on Roy Underhill’s 11 grooved box with splined mitered corners. The big difference with this box is that I obtained and used a miter jack which allowed planing a perfect 45 degree on each corner. It made the process go much more easily compared to previous versions where I fiddled with the miter joint with a hand plane until it gave a decent fit.

The box is made from 1/2” oak boards from the home center. The lid is glued up from two boards so that it is a bit more stable. I rounded the front and two sides of the lid with a smooth plane and a little bit of sanding by hand. The sides are from one board and the grain wraps around the box. The bottom is rabbeted and set in a groove in the sides.

The lockset is from Horton Brasses and adds a nice look with a pretty key. I lined the bottom with black felt.

The finish is clear poly and waxed with steel wool to get a super smooth feel.

Now it goes to college with my daughter this afternoon. :(

-- Tom

11 comments so far

View Tom's profile


307 posts in 1180 days

#1 posted 08-16-2019 02:09 PM

One more picture of the splined, miter joint…

-- Tom

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

8812 posts in 1871 days

#2 posted 08-16-2019 03:19 PM

Nice! I found that a miter jack was a huge help to me, too. So much easier to make perfect corners every time.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View XrayJay's profile


273 posts in 3268 days

#3 posted 08-16-2019 06:35 PM

WOW! Craftsmanship is impressive.

-- Whatever you find to do with your hands, do it with all your might,... because there is no work in the grave...Ecclesiastes 9:10

View EarlS's profile


4819 posts in 3636 days

#4 posted 08-16-2019 06:59 PM

Great looking box for her to put cherished keepsakes and memories into. Her first cherished memory will be remembering that you made it for her every time she sees the box.

I can certainly relate to your bittersweet feeling. We are taking our youngest daughter to college on Tuesday. Last weekend she asked if I could make her a tea tray for school once the shop is set up in the new house. I promised her I would make one for her as soon as I could.

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

View therealSteveN's profile


9253 posts in 1863 days

#5 posted 08-16-2019 07:49 PM

Nice work, awesome sentiment. Heirloom walking…... Thanks for sharing.

Miter Jack, Half Vise, 1/2 shooting board. clamp em, and work em, some kinda rodeo activity there.

For those who haven't seen one in action, here is Jameel playing with one a neighbor has.

The backstory

-- Think safe, be safe

View Peteybadboy's profile


4167 posts in 3238 days

#6 posted 08-16-2019 09:03 PM

Great box, real good story. Add a tastle to the key and she might melt in front of you.. Nice gift.

-- Petey

View Bob Kassmeyer's profile

Bob Kassmeyer

279 posts in 4214 days

#7 posted 08-16-2019 10:48 PM

Great job, a lot of work with handtools.

-- Bob Kassmeyer, Nebraska

View Grumpy's profile


26812 posts in 5139 days

#8 posted 08-22-2019 02:23 AM

Tom , nice job and congratulations on your ‘Daily Top 3’ award.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

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