Pentagonal Jewelry Box

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Project by MrWolfe posted 05-03-2020 12:51 AM 830 views 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Box number 26 in my recent box series. This is number 11 in my Adventures into Shape.

This box is built from poplar with hickory, cedar and mesquite for some of the parts. It is the 1st build with five sides that are dovetailed. It was meant as a prototype of sorts as I had a hard time visualizing the joinery. Even though it was more rough than I wanted it to be I decided to finish it out with some shaping and the addition of five legs and a five faceted lid.

I used machines to mill the wood and to cut the angles and dimensions. Almost all of the shaping was accomplished with rasps. There was a lot of hand sanding along with use of turners foam backed sanding discs on ¼ inch mandrels. I also used a set of mini cabinet scrapers that were especially useful in the tight spots around the legs and the dished out areas of the lid. I really recommend them if detailing like this is part of a build.

The feet and the pull were fun and I pushed some of the techniques I’ve been using to make them to a new level (for me). They are laminated pieces of wood.

The lid and the pull were a bit challenging because I wanted them to have splines in addition to the mitered edges. On the end of the lid that was easy enough. In the center I used a forstner bit to create flats on the top of the lid and the bottom.

This allowed me to glue a cap on the bottom of the lid and the pull on the top. Almost like two nuts on a bolt. That created a very strong joint. I used a very thin kerf on a keyhole saw to create the long mesquite inlays/splines on the lid.

Also the different panels of the lid were shaped and dished out with gouges and smoothed with the small cabinet scraper I’ve already mentioned. Its a very subtle detail that is hard to see in photos but here is a pic with some good lighting to show this detail.

The jewelry box has two removable trays. One has no bottom but reveals the felt lining on the actual box. The second rests on top of the first and has a bottom. They are finger/box jointed together.

Dimensions are as follows…
Outside dimensions of the “Pentagonal Dovetailed Box” are roughly 8 inches across at the widest point by 11 ½ inches tall. The actual box is 5 ½ inches tall. The legs are about 3 ½ inches tall and the lid and pull are about 3 ½ inches tall each. The two jewelry trays are around 2 1/4” deep.

There was a surprise on this build. Because it was a prototype, the dovetails were a bit more loose than I had planned. I used a wood filler to solve that issue but I knew that the stain-able filler would probably not match the finish on the rest of the box. I was pleasantly surprised at the resulting contrast. It seems to accentuate the shaped dovetail feature.

Finish is an oil based fruitwood stain and a wipe on mixture of oil based poly and mineral spirits. That was followed by a thin coat of shellac. I used Trewax brand paste wax for the matte sheen that it can be buffed out to reveal.

Thanks for looking.

I hope everyone is staying safe and productive in these strange Covid 19 lockdown times.
Those of us with shops are probably used to social distancing and face masks. Stay safe everyone.

12 comments so far

View leafherder's profile


1979 posts in 3027 days

#1 posted 05-03-2020 02:05 AM

The legs are very organic, almost crab-like. The curves are reminiscent of Art Nouveau. The overall geometry shows elements of Cubism. I like it!. Testing your limits and learning new skills are always fun and useful. Congratulations on a job well done. You stay safe and healthy also.

-- Leafherder

View Dave Polaschek's profile (online now)

Dave Polaschek

7417 posts in 1657 days

#2 posted 05-03-2020 02:30 AM

Getting tight dovetails at something other than a right angle is a challenge. Glad the filler worked out well for you! It’s a good looking box!

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View pottz's profile


16758 posts in 2059 days

#3 posted 05-03-2020 02:42 AM

not bad mr wolfe pretty damn cool.

-- 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 LeeRoyMan's profile


1765 posts in 802 days

#4 posted 05-03-2020 02:49 AM

Nice work MrWolfe,
I really like the “inlay” you did around the dovetails. ;)
Another original out of the park.

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

8046 posts in 4428 days

#5 posted 05-03-2020 03:53 AM

A great looking box! It’s like you made an antique! High value work of art!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View therealSteveN's profile (online now)


7639 posts in 1649 days

#6 posted 05-03-2020 04:39 AM

Another crazy wonderful creation, well done buddy. Those DTs are da bomb. It’s so sculpted, and yet it has octagonal trays inside. Magic?

Keep makin.

-- Think safe, be safe

View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile


2758 posts in 622 days

#7 posted 05-03-2020 08:00 AM

Seriously upping your game, Jon. Pentangonal dovetails, Wow factor!

Tre bien.

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

View Andrek's profile


617 posts in 2985 days

#8 posted 05-03-2020 09:56 AM

very beautiful piece of art, you are showing serious skills no questions.

-- andrek

View splintergroup's profile


5096 posts in 2297 days

#9 posted 05-03-2020 02:47 PM

Entering the world of odd-number-sided objects smells like insanity, but you seem totally comfortable in there!

There will never be any copies of your work shown cup on Etsy 8^)

Keep them coming! I’m waiting for the compound angled sides and helical features next 8^)

Creativity with the drive to make it physical!

View MrWolfe's profile


1545 posts in 1198 days

#10 posted 05-03-2020 03:27 PM

Thanks Everyone.
This box sat around for a couple of weeks before I finished from the original five sided box in the pics above.
I wasn’t sure I want to finish it out with shaping and legs but I’m happy now that I decided to do so.

Thanks for your comments and once again I have some new subjects to study. In another comment you wrote to a different Lumberjock you mentioned Orr and I had forgotten him. I usually don’t set out create something in a certain style but at some point I will do a piece in his style. He is great!

Thank you Dave,
Man I struggled with it and somehow ended up a different angle for the dovetails (- 1 degree) than on the boxjoints.
That and being out of practice with my chisels and dozuki made them very sloppy. I’m just happy they worked out.
Hows your shop, are you all settled in now?

Thanks man, I’ll take that. It was one of those projects that I didn’t know if it was going to work til the end.
Thanks again.

Thanks LeeRoyMan,
Yeah, even this morning trying to figure out the angles for the dovetails makes my brain hurt =)
Math is not my strong point.
Hope this qualifies as another Wolfe Box.

Thanks Tony,
The finishing process is always so touch and go with me…. more like stain and see. Its a bit nerve wracking for me and someday I will switch to richer toned woods so that I don’t use stain at all. The antiquing is a result of the hickory and poplar being splotchy I think but the shellac helped pull it all together.

Thanks Steven!
Your comments got me hooked on legs… I’m a leg guy now.
I do like shaping the wood to reveal a form inside of it.

Hey Brian,
Thank you man. I’ve slowed down this year (about half as much) but I enjoy it and pushing into an unknown territory for me is exciting. I hope to get motivated back to where I was in the fall/winter. Honestly tho, been spending more time making jigs, putting in a dust collector and maintenance on my tablesaw. Thanks for the kind words.

Thanks for the compliment. I really strive for art and I feel like I’m getting there. Your comment is MUCH appreciated.

Thanks. I always appreciate your perspective along with your insane challenges. All mesquite and ironwood compounded angle sided and helical form coming up! That would probably push me over the end but then I don’t have far to go!

Thanks everyone.

View Dave Polaschek's profile (online now)

Dave Polaschek

7417 posts in 1657 days

#11 posted 05-03-2020 05:27 PM

Yeah, and a degree off doesn’t seem like much until you’re trying to put the dovetail together and it’s flopping around like Joe Theismann’s leg.

I’m in the shop, thanks. Still building the brace till (today’s a day off, but I’ll get back to it tomorrow), and then I think I can hang up the peg board and finish unpacking. I hope. I hope to be “settled” some time yet this year. ;-)

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View LeeRoyMan's profile


1765 posts in 802 days

#12 posted 05-05-2020 12:06 AM

Thanks LeeRoyMan,
Hope this qualifies as another Wolfe Box.

Thanks everyone.

- MrWolfe

Yes Sir, It definitely qualifies as a “Wolfe” Box
add it to the catalog for sure.

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