Rocket Bombe Ring Box

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Project by MrWolfe posted 11-17-2019 08:32 PM 1080 views 3 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Box number 20 in my recent box series.
This is number 6 in my Adventures into Shape.

This box is built from poplar and the splines and beads are mesquite. There are small pieces of cedar in the feet and the pull. The poplar is two different boards, the darker toned piece is a great chocolate and green toned board that may be the “rainbow” poplar I have read about and the grain seems tighter and less prone to blotching. Not so much with the lighter piece. I originally liked the contrast but staining the lighter piece was a little problematic.

I used a planer and a jointer to mill the wood, tablesaw and mitergauge to cut the angles and dimensions and used chisels and gouges to carve the basic form. A few files and rasps were used in shaping also. There was a lot of sanding involved in this piece though maybe not enough in some areas. I wanted to get away from the typical 6 sided cube/box form that I have been making lately and this seems to work for the most part. There were “bands” of the rainbow poplar on the vertical joints of the triangular form. These were carved away to a very small amount from the original bands. I used a short butt chisel to carve/shave most of the convex shapes. I really like these chisels for that task. I used gouges for the concave shapes. I had some issues with gouging and cut marks using the gouges. I’m still learning to use gouges.

The interior is very narrow, too small to reach into with a hand so I had to come up with a creative solution. That is the ring box or pill box design with the pull that is easily removed. This seven tray felt lined “box” has a brass rod axle that I threaded and made brass nuts for, they are captured in the bottom tray and the lid. There are magnets also embedded in the walls of the trays that keep the different trays aligned. I bought a tap and die to do this and its was fun. I’ve never worked with brass or magnets before.

Dimensions are hard to nail down but are roughly as follows…
Outside dimensions of the “Rocket” are 7” at the widest on each side x 15 ½” tall.
The inner core ring tray box is 2 ½” on each side x 8” tall and each tray is 5/8” deep.

Finish is an oil based fruitwood stain (blotched) and a wipe on mixture of oil based poly, mineral spirits and the same fruitwood stain. Followed with thinned shellac and Johnson’s Paste Wax. The blotching on this piece is making me reconsider the finishing process I’ve been using. It might be time to use nicer quality wood that requires no staining, just sealing and finishing.

Thanks for looking.
As always, comments and suggestions are welcome.

17 comments so far

View jcees's profile


1079 posts in 4811 days

#1 posted 11-17-2019 08:35 PM


-- When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. -- John Muir

View leafherder's profile


1977 posts in 2964 days

#2 posted 11-17-2019 09:32 PM

OMG that is AMAZING! I love it! Very creative re-imagining of a ring box. Don’t know how you will top this design but I’m sure you will. I’m seeing design influences from Art Deco, Art Nouveau, and Mughal India. Thanks for sharing.

-- Leafherder

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

6884 posts in 1594 days

#3 posted 11-17-2019 09:58 PM

Wow! Crazy! I like it!

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View awsum55's profile


895 posts in 1521 days

#4 posted 11-17-2019 10:05 PM

Another extremely interesting box Jon. Your designs keep getting better and more unique. I’m glad you posted the rough glue up, because I can never figure out how some of your projects are made without showing us.

I also started playing with magnets lately and made a completely useless project the other day that I’ll post later.

-- John D, OP, KS

View MrWolfe's profile


1471 posts in 1135 days

#5 posted 11-18-2019 12:45 AM

Thank you Jcees and Dave! I had a lot of fun with this one.
Thank you Leafherder. I appreciate the comments and references. I don’t usually have a specific style in mind but your referrences to Bombe got me looking at that style after I started this series. And now today I am looking Mughal furniture and architecture online. I still try not to model my pieces after any certain period style but thanks for the education on some of the different styles.

John, Thank you man! You were one of the first people to comment on the mesquite and hickory box I made that began this whole “adventure into shape” that I seem to be on. I appreciate your kind words. I tend to “play” with techniques and materials/tools that I’ve never used before and sometimes they work or sometimes not so much but its all part of the learning process.
Thanks everyone.

View Jim Sellers's profile

Jim Sellers

514 posts in 3347 days

#6 posted 11-18-2019 12:45 AM

very interesting and creative design. Nice work!!

-- J.C.Sellers, Norcross, Ga. Just cut it right the first time. The best carpenters make the fewest chips.

View recycle1943's profile


5061 posts in 2634 days

#7 posted 11-18-2019 01:24 AM

Well, not having made it up to a novice woodworker yet ( comparatively speaking ) I have nothing to offer except my deepest admiration for a supremely well thought out and completed project by an obvious master craftsman.
Thanks for sharing

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View Dark_Lightning's profile


4447 posts in 4121 days

#8 posted 11-18-2019 01:36 AM

WOW! We’re going to see your stuff in a book on different styles of boxes, one of these days. Very cool.

-- Steven.......Random Orbital Nailer

View BurlyBob's profile (online now)


8501 posts in 3278 days

#9 posted 11-18-2019 01:58 AM

That is some seriously intense woodworking.

View EarlS's profile


4309 posts in 3360 days

#10 posted 11-18-2019 03:10 AM

Brilliant and creative. I keep saying “huh?” followed by “huh”, and them more “huhs” as I figure out what you did. I spent some time looking at this one.

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

View Andre's profile


4300 posts in 2818 days

#11 posted 11-18-2019 04:59 AM

Another WOW! Kind of makes me wonder were your mind is when making something like that?

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View therealSteveN's profile


7243 posts in 1586 days

#12 posted 11-18-2019 06:07 AM

Nice box within a box, all masquerading as a Buck Rogers 1950’s space ship :-)

Love those knobby knees with the round feet. That inner box is a 10 by itself, the way it twists and turns as it opens, Awesome.

Jon you are tearing it up, keep making.

-- Think safe, be safe

View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile


2664 posts in 559 days

#13 posted 11-18-2019 07:11 AM

I spent some time looking at this one also, then went back and looked it over again. Outstanding, Jon! Really takes some foresight to glue a bunch of blocks together and then end up with what youve done here on those legs, etc., they are certainly eye-catching, very organic and leaf-like.

How did the threading of the brass go? I also bought a tap and die to do the same but havent needed to use it yet, and worry some about the softness of brass.

-- WWBBJ: It is better to be interesting and wrong, than boring and right.

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4346 days

#14 posted 11-18-2019 12:25 PM

Very interesting and innovative work and very well done too. Refreshing to see something unusual and creative like this wonderful box.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View swirt's profile


6027 posts in 3984 days

#15 posted 11-18-2019 02:00 PM

Clever experimentation definitely pays off. Gorgeous and cool.

-- Galootish log blog,

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