Mesquite Jewelry box

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Project by splintergroup posted 01-04-2021 03:48 PM 1198 views 4 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is another one of those “experiments” I like to try.

The box just happened because I wanted to find a home for the lid.

A tip o’ the hat to Brian who posted the web link to MXC Design.

This artist incorporates glass into their boxes and that is something I wanted to try out (just to see if it really works 8^)

The main hurdle is joining the wood to the glass. I figured a slot in the wood could work so I chose a 1/8” kerf slotting bit for the router table.

SWMBO is a glass fuser so I have access to a room full of nice grinders and other devices to shape glass. I ask her if she wants diamonds for her birthday and she says “220 and 600 grit please!”. Cringe at the price of a carbide tipped bandsaw blade and you will feel weak in the knees at the price of a diamond coated wet belt sander belt!

Anyhoo, I found a piece of transparent green and a slice of 0.4” mesquite I had as part of a scrounging operation I went on a long time ago. A template was shaped to follow the edge of the wood and guide the bearing of the slotting bit. I went completely around the piece. The fit of the glass was refined and I cut some spline material for the other three sides to join it all into a frame (walnut)

Nothing particularly interesting about the wood, but I assembled it together with the glass and black-dyed splines.

The glass was rather dark (experimenting remember!) so next time I pay more attention.

Edit: I realized I should have included a back lit picture from the top!

Here is a back lit view from the inside.

The rest of the box is basic slab sides cut with slight contours and some chunky walnut hinge work.

The interior has the requisite apricot tray with ring holders.

Finish is amber shellac covered by poly and wax.

Another thing I learned is to finish the wood first before installing the glass!

Removing finish from a tiny, curvy piece of glass would not be fun and masking it off after assembly would also be a pain. Fortunately I had an idea of putting a small glob of paste wax on the glass and melting it with a hair dryer until it started to pool. I pushed it around a tad with a toothpick, then heated again until it flowed out to the edges.

This side of the lid was then finished and the wax/finish on the glass came off fairly easily. Repeat for the other side…

A real pain! Prefinish next time and choose the glass more carefully!

Thanks for stopping by 8^)

20 comments so far

View EugdOT's profile


331 posts in 1609 days

#1 posted 01-04-2021 04:01 PM

Great looking box. Love the slab looking top in black epoxy.

View Andre's profile


4455 posts in 2860 days

#2 posted 01-04-2021 04:08 PM

Well that is different, you have way more Patience then me :) Good looking Box!

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View MrWolfe's profile


1517 posts in 1177 days

#3 posted 01-04-2021 04:13 PM

Beautiful work Bruce!
Another very successful experiment. The mesquite looks fantastic and the glass border really sets it off.
The hinge is super cool too.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26062 posts in 4159 days

#4 posted 01-04-2021 04:15 PM

Nice work, Bruce. Love that mesquite!!!!!!!!!!!

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Dave Polaschek's profile (online now)

Dave Polaschek

7254 posts in 1636 days

#5 posted 01-04-2021 04:30 PM

Well! That came out dang pretty, Splint! I’d call that a successful experiment.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View BB1's profile


2074 posts in 1902 days

#6 posted 01-04-2021 04:33 PM

Wow. So many neat details. Thanks for sharing all the background on the project. Gorgeous.

View recycle1943's profile


5291 posts in 2676 days

#7 posted 01-04-2021 05:21 PM

Yes – very nice – ALL of it
I espescially like the front and the hinge

-- 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


4973 posts in 2276 days

#8 posted 01-04-2021 05:35 PM

Thanks people!

I’m jealous of you Arizonians and your available mesquite planks, you can see the yellow sapwood on the sides of this box and tell that the stuff I use comes from a shrub. I get excited when I find a “massive” 6” diameter mesquite trunk in the arroyo!

View James E McIntyre's profile

James E McIntyre

1193 posts in 2346 days

#9 posted 01-04-2021 07:21 PM

I thought I saw Brian somewhere in the design. The mesquite and one of my favorite colors in that glass work well together.
The back looks as good as the front.

Did you ever buy the diamond belts?

-- James E McIntyre

View jjoe's profile


35 posts in 2388 days

#10 posted 01-04-2021 07:29 PM

My experiments usually wind up in the trash. Yours is amazing!

-- Just a Joe

View OzarkSawdust's profile


124 posts in 852 days

#11 posted 01-04-2021 07:40 PM

Awesome work!! I wouldn’t even know where to start that project.

-- Gary -

View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile


2758 posts in 601 days

#12 posted 01-04-2021 08:26 PM

Now youre talking, Bud! Came out really terrific. That top is so so fine, thought it was an epoxy cast at first(your first commenter did too). You are breaking new ground, always good.

But you beat me to the punch! Oh well, no bigie. You see, I just got in an order of various shades/colours of a kind a glass-looking plastics they use for guitar inlays, but Its been busy couple weeks building a fishpond for Wife´s christmas present; and then some days ago I suffered an eye injury while chopping firewood so am down for the count for some days. A one-eyed guy at a tablesaw is a definite no-no. Boxing will have to wait.

Seeing your backlit photos, I am wondering how one might have the inside of the box lit when/while the lid is closed, but subtly, and with minimum power usage, and no cable. Could be a cool effect…............

+10 on this one.

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

View splintergroup's profile


4973 posts in 2276 days

#13 posted 01-04-2021 09:14 PM

James, thanks, the wife got her grits, though I did point out that she can get 25 silicon carbide belts for the price of one diamond belt (she can be impatient when grinding/smoothing 8^)

Joe, Ozark, thanks for the look-see!

Brian, I wish I had chosen something more interesting for the lid. Maybe ideal for someone who really likes Montana?

The spline is just 1/8” maple dyed with India ink. It really blends in with the glass in the photos. I like your idea of the non-glass glass! Doing corner splines will be a lot less hazardous 8^)

Great for the fish pond, I did the same thing as a gift a number of years ago. Of course she left it to me to muck it out yearly. I ran out of firewood (shop heat) a few weeks back, my injuries are splinters from busting up all the left over pallets in the yard to burn. Nothing quite like being beaned in the peeper with a chunk of wood, ouch! Hope you heal up 100%

The interior light would be what makes this all work, but it seems only some ample side-glass area would stand a chance of helping out. Next time I’m going for some very lightly tinted glass, enough so one can see the interior with the lid closed.

View doubleDD's profile


10266 posts in 3097 days

#14 posted 01-04-2021 09:45 PM

Wow, you grabbed the bull and layed him flat with this one. The top is just plain super, the front has a lot going on with the grain orientation, and some beautiful wood. Excellent work.

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

View Skylark53's profile


2862 posts in 4114 days

#15 posted 01-04-2021 11:56 PM

Very nice. I especially like the hinge and the wood selection. Great work!

-- Rick, Tennessee, John 3:16

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