Mahogany keepsake box

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Project by wildwoodbybrianjohns posted 08-06-2020 10:27 AM 706 views 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Japanese style keepsake box. There is a term in Japanese for this style of box, I just dont remember what it is.

I really like this style of box, and will be doing many more, with lots of interesting inlays and such.

Made entirely of reclaimed Mahogany, with Gabon Ebony and Framire accents.

The pullout tray does have an ergonomic finger-grip, and is lined with velvet.

I again used Splintergroup method of recessed 1cm dia. felt pads as feet.

Dimensions: 20L X 10W X 9D

Finish: Oil and Beeswax.

Thanks for viewing.

And have a great day!

-- Wildwood by Brian Johns: The Big Bang: Nothing - exploded into Everything. Thanks to Nothing.

14 comments so far

View Ivan's profile


16217 posts in 3715 days

#1 posted 08-06-2020 10:39 AM

Those black/white edges look pretty spectacular!

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Redoak49's profile


4869 posts in 2836 days

#2 posted 08-06-2020 10:56 AM


View recycle1943's profile


4694 posts in 2470 days

#3 posted 08-06-2020 11:14 AM

Brian, very interesting box and very optically confusing. It appears to have flush sides (with top and bottom) and also the body look to be 1/2” or so smaller than the top and bottom.
Are the pins the top alignment pins for the top ? Really like the accents

-- 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 Roger Gaborski's profile

Roger Gaborski

337 posts in 4596 days

#4 posted 08-06-2020 11:28 AM

Great looking box. Can you give a few more details concerning how the cover fits on the base of the box?

-- Roger Gaborski,

View doubleDD's profile


9639 posts in 2891 days

#5 posted 08-06-2020 01:10 PM

The accents give off a puzzle looking effect box. A nice mystery to it. Nice work.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile


1974 posts in 395 days

#6 posted 08-06-2020 01:12 PM

Some examples of this type of box design.

In these boxes, you can see what super fine details are common to this type of design.

The 3rd example involves some serious planning and execution, scary almost.

No, Dick, the brass is only there for a highlight/detail/effect. And when I get that walnut you sent, I wll be doing one of these with sterling silver inlays.

The outer body interior dimensions (L X W X H) are just a hair larger than the outer dimensions for the inner box. This is the first one I have done, so I was off on those (lengthwise) by about a millimeter, not a miscalculation but to allow for heavy spray laquer finish, which I ended up not doing. The result is that there is slightly too much play lengthwise, it should be perfect so that the outer box (or lid, really) lines up exactly with the outer edge of the base. You can sorta see that it is off in photo two, but there is enough play that it can be slid a hair to line up. Also, the top and sides are mitred to fit together in that seamless way. Does that make sense?

-- Wildwood by Brian Johns: The Big Bang: Nothing - exploded into Everything. Thanks to Nothing.

View MrWolfe's profile


1055 posts in 971 days

#7 posted 08-06-2020 01:55 PM

Very interesting build Brian!
I like all the details and the gabon and framire accents are SWEET!
All the little details pull together and make this a great design.
Simply beautiful but not simple to make I’m sure.
Great job.

View Jim Rowe's profile

Jim Rowe

1116 posts in 3160 days

#8 posted 08-06-2020 02:22 PM

Very nicely done with great attention to the fit and finish. Very much in the style of Kenji Suda who is a Japanese master at these small boxes.

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

5839 posts in 1430 days

#9 posted 08-06-2020 03:38 PM

Very eye-catching, Brian!

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View splintergroup's profile


3978 posts in 2070 days

#10 posted 08-06-2020 05:23 PM

Nice work Brian! The “chasing dashes” add good optical punch!

I like the corner posts for support of the inner tray. I used to always add a full border ledge until the “duh” moment when seeing corner posts or even splines that intrude inside.

View RCCinNC's profile


268 posts in 1174 days

#11 posted 08-06-2020 09:36 PM

Interesting and beautiful piece Brian! I’m not familiar with this style of box, but I love how you can have “two exteriors”…and so many options…I can see why you plan on making more!

A difficult conundrum, trying to figure in your depth of finish in order to end up with everything flush. I wonder if a slight outward bevel in the box portion where the removable top contacts the base would help with that. Your first example image seems to have something like that going on. Seems like it would keep the inside of the top slightly clear of the inner box, which might not be a bad thing.
“Does that make sense?” ; ) You’ve got me pondering the possibilities now!

You are the man that’s going to get me off my duff and back in the shop!

So enjoy your posts Brian…

-- Live to putter...putter to live!

View Eric's profile


409 posts in 721 days

#12 posted 08-07-2020 01:51 AM

Great looking box, interesting building example, it shows the craftsmanship. Great job

-- Eric, building the dream

View swirt's profile


5458 posts in 3819 days

#13 posted 08-07-2020 02:47 AM

Very impressive work.

-- Galootish log blog,

View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile


1974 posts in 395 days

#14 posted 08-07-2020 09:39 PM

Huge thanks to:

Dick B.
Roger G.
Dave DD
Jon W.
Jim R.
Dave P.

-- Wildwood by Brian Johns: The Big Bang: Nothing - exploded into Everything. Thanks to Nothing.

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