Atomic Bombe Jewelry Box

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Project by MrWolfe posted 12-09-2019 01:48 AM 1174 views 2 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Box number 21 in my recent box series. This is number 7 in my Adventures into Shape.

This box is built from pine and poplar and the splines and beads are mesquite and pine. There are also small accents of walnut and cedar in the feet, the lid and the pull.

I used machines to mill the wood and to cut the angles and dimensions and used chisels and gouges to carve the basic form. Hand sanded most of the form and tried a die grinder with 3m roloc 1 inch discs. The bands of the poplar on this box run horizontally along the bottom of the triangular form. These were carved away to reveal the exaggerated rounded bottom of the main piece.

The jewelry box core has a pull that makes it easy to lift out of the larger box This five tray felt lined “box” has a brass rod axle which allows each tray to swivel open. There are magnets also embedded in the walls of the trays that keep the different trays aligned.

Dimensions are as follows…
Outside dimensions of the “Atomic Bombe” are 11” at the widest on each side x 17 1/2” tall.
The inner core ring tray box is 4” on each side x 8” tall and each tray is 1” deep.

During the build I wanted the bottom of the box to extend lower than it actually did so I added some more wood and created a secret compartment on the bottom. The box must be emptied and then flipped over to access the compartment. The bottom lid swivels on a brass screw and has two rare earth magnets that help keep it closed in the right position.

Finish is an oil based fruitwood stain and a wipe on mixture of oil based poly and mineral spirits. Followed with Johnson’s Paste Wax. I skipped using shellac on this one and the overall finish is a little clearer and more of a satin sheen.

I felt like this box was very similar to the last one Rocket Bombe Ring Box but I wanted to post a couple of pics of both for comparison.

The inner tray box on this one is much larger and the actual curvature of the outer box is much more extreme. I seem to do a couple of versions of each of the last few boxes with some changes. They are definitely related and they also have some major differences.

Any thoughts on the actual finish without the shellac? The matte finish is a little more natural but I am not sure what to think.

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

15 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118162 posts in 4653 days

#1 posted 12-09-2019 02:17 AM

Wow, Jon, that must be the most unique jewelry box I’ve ever seen, that’s quite a remarkable design and not an easy project by anyone’s measure , great build, and design.


View LeeRoyMan's profile


1770 posts in 803 days

#2 posted 12-09-2019 02:23 AM

Well, you’re dancing to your own tune,
And I like it.
Very creative, keep up the cool work.

View swirt's profile


6181 posts in 4048 days

#3 posted 12-09-2019 02:31 AM

A fascinating study of wood combination and shapes. Very artistic.

-- Galootish log blog,

View leafherder's profile


1979 posts in 3028 days

#4 posted 12-09-2019 03:15 AM

Wow, you made the wood look like it’s melting. Very cool, kind of a Gaudi meets Deco style or Art Nouveau meets Brancusi. Very creative design thanks for sharing and please keep posting – can’t wait to see what you do next.

-- Leafherder

View pottz's profile


16776 posts in 2060 days

#5 posted 12-09-2019 04:50 AM

kaboom! that is an explosion of creativity in wood,nice work.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View Ivan's profile


16785 posts in 3943 days

#6 posted 12-09-2019 06:48 AM

Very unique shape!

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile


2758 posts in 623 days

#7 posted 12-09-2019 08:33 AM

Very cool, Jon. Looks like a lot of work there. I particularly like the handle, the legs, and the dowel inclusions details. And secret compartments are always cool.

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

View awsum55's profile


955 posts in 1584 days

#8 posted 12-09-2019 12:45 PM

Jon, your designs are over the top in this series. I know your profile states you only started woodworking a couple of years ago, but your advancement is remarkable. As far as your finish goes, I think I like the semi gloss better than the matte. To me it looks a little more finished and expensive.

I really like the way the corners on the bottom of the first one form a kind of tulip shape. I don’t know if this was just a happy surprize or if you intended to have the corners look like that. Love your stuff, now go make another one!

-- John D, OP, KS

View recycle1943's profile


5373 posts in 2698 days

#9 posted 12-09-2019 01:43 PM

craftmanship at it’s highest !

-- 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 splintergroup's profile


5097 posts in 2298 days

#10 posted 12-09-2019 02:02 PM

Quite the adventure into more free form design! The coolest thing is you pull it off, the functionality doesn’t ever seem to be compromised and each one is undeniably unique.

The first pic made me immediately think of an old wood/coal stove, then the removal of the “pit” made the whole atomic age come rushing back.

View MrWolfe's profile


1545 posts in 1199 days

#11 posted 12-09-2019 04:16 PM

Good morning everyone,
Thanks for all the comments.

I am having a hard time doing the same thing twice. I do try to make each one unique and there may be a few that are basically the same form but with some variations. Features that I wish I had tried on the first may end up in the second design. Thanks for the kind words.

Thanks Man! You and Patron seem to think I can dance and I’ll take that as a great compliment!!!
I am having a good time.

I always appreciate your perspective and then I go google some of the references you make and get a little more educated. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Thanks Swirt,
I am very happy with the combo of woods and shapes and how they play off each other. I do appreciate the comment about art.

Ha… I almost called it “Fat Boy” or “Acme” but I might use those names in the near future.
Thanks Bud.

Thanks Ivan,
I am trying to make each one as unique as I can, even it it is very similar to the last one.

Thanks. The features you mentioned are the ones I enjoy making the most. They are the most fun.
A couple of months ago I was making two at a time but they were much more simple. I’ve also slowed down a little bit so 4 to 6 hour sessions versus twice that time in the summer. But yah… these take some time and work.
I’m not sure how that will affect any sells or pricing but I am not selling anything at the moment. You know of any rich Sugar Mommas that collect art boxes in Texas?

Thank you John,
I have some experience making things as an artist. I have carved a little about 20 years ago with a dremel. So in some ways woodworking was the next thing for me to do. I appreciate your compliments very much. I am still a little uncertain about the matte versus satin(varnish) finish. I almost want to add more wax and try buffing it out some more but I’ve read that more than one or two layers of wax just starts pulling and removing the previous layers off. I’m not sure but don’t want to mar the finish that is already there. Its slick just not shiney.

Yah… I put the upside down pics and close-up of the corners because I thought “Tulip Bulbs”. Thats so cool that you mentioned that too! Here is a little secret. I can kind of see what I want, sometimes I can just see what I don’t want. So it is a combination of intention with lots of surprises. That is the best part of the process for me.

Thank you Dick!
That is a fantastic compliment and I appreciate it.

Thank you Bruce,
I do enjoy these “Adventures”. It is a strange little dance, functionality drives a big part of it but then the free form carving/shaping takes over, then I have to make it work again… then more free forming. Feels like both sides of my brain get a workout. For the whole “Adventures into Shape” series, I’ve had a pot belly stove or a bulging vase somewhere in my mind as inspiration. That is the form I’ve been chasing. So your comment about an old wood/coal stove is right on target. I smiled when read it. And the core is another cool reference to the Atomic age.

Anyone have thoughts or experience with the layers of wax that I mentioned above? Also, anyone have any experience with other wax products? I am using Johnson’s Paste Wax but I keep hearing about carnauba wax and then some microcrystalline wax. Are these durable and easy to buff out to a higher sheen. I still don’t like semi-gloss or gloss as the final finished look. I am aiming for a matte to satin finish.

Thanks Everyone.
Mornings after I finish a project and post it here are pretty cool.
Coffee and comments are a great way to start a day.

View Tom Regnier's profile

Tom Regnier

509 posts in 3623 days

#12 posted 12-09-2019 05:22 PM

Jon, your design’s are truly unique and very interesting from a woodworking perspective.
I’ve had good luck with Carnauba wax for a satiny sheen…and I’ve seen but not yet tried Rubios monocoat as a really nice matte finish. Its quite expensive but supposed to be very user friendly as a one step finish.
Great work!

View MrWolfe's profile


1545 posts in 1199 days

#13 posted 12-10-2019 12:41 AM

Thank you Tom,
I really like your pieces especially that banksia knife pod handle and your recent boxes. Are those the projects you’ve used carnauba wax on? Which brand or you using 100% c.w.?

I am trying new things with each build and trying to utilize what I’ve learned from the last.
I started looking at waxes after your comment and it was a toss up between “Beaumont’s Trewax” and “STAPLES Carnauba Paste Wax”. I went with the Trewax. If I like it (carnauba) then I may play around with making my own mix with turpentine, carnauba, beeswax and paraffin, maybe some orange oil. There have to be some decent d.i.y. recipes online (or please share if you know of any). I did something similar for the last moxon mini bench I built and the paste wax was beeswax, turpentine and boiled linseed oil.

It is great for shop benches and tools but maybe a little too tacky/sticky for these boxes.
I may try to buff it out and see what kind of sheen I can get from it though.
Thanks Tom

View clieb91's profile


4260 posts in 5011 days

#14 posted 01-01-2020 03:43 PM

That is one really cool box!


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View MrWolfe's profile


1545 posts in 1199 days

#15 posted 01-01-2020 04:06 PM

Thanks Chris!
Its been a bit of a journey.
Happy New Year.

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