Jewelry box

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Project by linjay posted 01-16-2021 09:48 PM 637 views 3 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my 3rd jewelry box and is made primarily in walnut. ( The top lid is mounted with Soss invisible hinges. The pockets for the Soss hinges have to be highly accurate. If I was doing this jewelry box again I’d eliminate the Soss hinges and use the same type of hinge used on the doors. The door hinges are Lee Valley piano hinges. A warning though on these, they don’t come with screws and Lee Valley doesn’t sell the required screws. These are impossible to find on the internet at a reasonable price or at any price. I ended up buying 50 hinges for $10 just to get the screws.
For door catches i embedded a magnet in the cabinet wall and a brass plated steel screw in the door. By adjusting the position of the screw head I could precisely adjust the strength of the catch. The doors also have a rubber bumper made from an O-ring for a soft close.
The brass drawer pulls were made from 3/8” brass hex bar on a metal lathe. These are time consuming to make when you’re not really a machinist. The final bright finish was achieved by buffing the brass on a felt wheel embedded with grinding compound (diamond dust). The drawers have a central groove in the bottom for a slide rail in the cabinet which provides a well guided closure.
Jewelry boxes are quite difficult because many of the components have to be built to very exacting tolerances. The drawer faces were slightly oversize and then fine tuned so all the ends lined up and gaps between them were the same. I like somewhat difficult projects and this certainly was fairly difficult. There are a lot of hours in this project – more than I care to admit. Lining the drawers with the blue velvet took considerable time requiring my wife’s patience and my measuring and cutting skills.
One of the concerns I had for this project was the effect of humidity. The drawer bottoms are only attached to the front and back at the center and allowed to float in the side grooves. The back has a sawcut groove up the center so that if it does crack it will crack at that weakest point and the cracking shouldn’t affect function or appearance.
The final finish is a water based urethane and was done by my wife She has developed a very useful technique to eliminate brush strokes. When the urethane has just dried on the surface she burnishes the surface with a rag – very hard – and this seems to smooth out the surface significantly and provide a good generally acceptable finish. The top was given 7 coats (these go on very thin) and then I gave it a French polish for a super mirror quality finish.
To make the 10 pegs for the necklace doors i ground the desired profile into a piece of 1/16” thick tool steel and placed appropriate sized walnut in my metal lathe chuck. Then you advance the profile into the wood very slowly. It took me 15 attempts to get 10 pegs. Sometimes the amount of torque was just too much for the walnut and the peg shattered. It’s a good technique for making exact copies for things like drawer pulls but the small diameter of the pegs seemed to be the extreme limit for this technique.
The mirror was inset into the top. It is held in place with silicone sealant(by the mirror supplier) but I learned you have to use a special silicone. Regular silicone affects/destroys the mirror backing.

-- It's easy when you know how - but that's the hard part. Ontario, Canada

10 comments so far

View Madmark2's profile


2277 posts in 1595 days

#1 posted 01-16-2021 09:53 PM

Very nice. Excellent work.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View RyanGi's profile


24 posts in 44 days

#2 posted 01-17-2021 12:16 AM

Really nice! Did you consider flocking the drawers as opposed to cutting drawer liner velvet?

-- I like chips...and sawdust...but mostly chips...with vinegar

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


7703 posts in 3416 days

#3 posted 01-17-2021 03:34 AM

That is NICE!!!

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View mel52's profile


1967 posts in 1271 days

#4 posted 01-17-2021 05:16 AM

Beautiful, I really like all the drawers and doors. Excellent job !!! Mel

-- MEL, Kansas

View tomsfoolery's profile


31 posts in 120 days

#5 posted 01-17-2021 06:32 AM

Thanks for all the pics plus your insights on it. Great job!

-- Purpose of Life a Life of Purpose

View linjay's profile


115 posts in 3631 days

#6 posted 01-17-2021 06:09 PM

I did not consider flocking but I would look into it next time. We had the velvet and we had used it on previous jewelry boxes so we knew how to do it and we just went with what we knew. Thanks for the idea though.

-- It's easy when you know how - but that's the hard part. Ontario, Canada

View 489tad's profile


3979 posts in 4018 days

#7 posted 01-17-2021 06:59 PM

The jewelry box looks nice. For not being a machinist the pulls are great. I use a drill jig for Soss hinges and have not had a problem with alignment. Don’t give up on them yet.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View Randy M.'s profile

Randy M.

277 posts in 2257 days

#8 posted 01-17-2021 07:12 PM

Very nice build linjay ! Especially like the overview definitely like to build one of these in future

One question is the string or wire coming from the lid in picture 2 and 3.; may be just part f your finish process.

-- Do it with your heart in it.........keep sanding

View BurlyBob's profile


8475 posts in 3272 days

#9 posted 01-18-2021 04:51 AM

That’s really beautiful.

View Steve's profile


2435 posts in 1589 days

#10 posted 01-18-2021 07:14 PM

Where did you find the velvet drawer liner?

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