Jewelry Box

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Project by MattinCincy posted 02-12-2011 04:35 AM 3807 views 45 times favorited 33 comments Add to Favorites Watch

One of my sisters’ boyfriends commissioned me to build her a jewelry box for her birthday and this is the result. Quartersawn sycamore with a solid walnut bookmatched top sliced from a small scrap that I almost threw away with some other offcuts I had laying around – glad I didn’t! The removable tray is walnut and the box is lined with black velvet.

The inspiration for the shape of the finger lift cutout and the curved friction fit dividers (thanks, Andy!) came from the “V” shape formed by the bookmatched top – I think it all works pretty well together.

The finishing was a little challenging. I always experiment with scraps while I’m working on a box to work out a finishing technique – for me, it’s important to not have any surprises when I put down a finish on a piece – I have too much invested to make a mistake at that point. In this case, I’m glad I did. I wanted to maintain the contrast between the light (sapwood?) and dark (heartwood?) stripe running around the body of the box. But when i put a coat of oil on to highlight the figure, it darkened the lighter part so much that it almost totally blended in with the dark part. To solve that, I applied a coat of shellac first and then sanded thoroughly with 320 grit back to bare wood. This effectively sealed the sapwood grain so it was similar to the heartwood but still allowed oil to penetrate. I followed that with a coat of BLO, then several more coats of shellac. Finally, after sanding with 600 to level the surface and going over the whole thing with 0000 steel wool, I applied 2 coats of Renaissance Wax. A silky, lustrous finish.

-- Wag more, bark less.

33 comments so far

View christopheralan's profile


1126 posts in 4605 days

#1 posted 02-12-2011 04:39 AM

WOW! Amazing box with great attention do detail on the theme and shape! Well done! Thanks for posting!

-- christopheralan

View jeepturner's profile


946 posts in 3677 days

#2 posted 02-12-2011 05:01 AM

Great Box, I like the relief for the finger, the shape does go with the top. I also like the continuous grain on that convex surface.

I have seen lots of sycamore used and I think I need to find a couple of pieces of it.

-- Mel,

View David175's profile


101 posts in 3574 days

#3 posted 02-12-2011 05:12 AM

thats just beautiful

-- Dave..Pensacola Fl.........In GOD we trust

View WWilson's profile


106 posts in 3947 days

#4 posted 02-12-2011 05:21 AM

You sir, are a true craftsman. Your work speaks for itself! Thanks for posting!


View Popsnsons's profile


440 posts in 3866 days

#5 posted 02-12-2011 05:26 AM

Nice detail. Great work!

-- Pops ~ In So Cal...

View CharlieM1958's profile


16289 posts in 5103 days

#6 posted 02-12-2011 05:42 AM


-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View blackcherry's profile


3344 posts in 4708 days

#7 posted 02-12-2011 05:45 AM

Bravo on this one, it just a wonderful build.

View matt garcia's profile

matt garcia

1919 posts in 4556 days

#8 posted 02-12-2011 05:49 AM


-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX

View ChuckC's profile


844 posts in 3820 days

#9 posted 02-12-2011 05:56 AM

Awesome box!

View Dedvw's profile


176 posts in 3766 days

#10 posted 02-12-2011 06:59 AM

Awesome work. I would love to make something close your box. How did you make the miter joints curve on the sides? Did you miter, then curve with hand planes, or something different?

View TJ65's profile


1395 posts in 3934 days

#11 posted 02-12-2011 07:33 AM

nice lines inside and out

-- Theresa,

View tomd's profile


2218 posts in 4655 days

#12 posted 02-12-2011 07:49 AM

Very nicely done, great box.

-- Tom D

View davegalesr's profile


31 posts in 3549 days

#13 posted 02-12-2011 11:50 AM

Great design and excellent choice of woods. Quartersawn sycamore is beautiful stuff – I have several sycamore trees in the back 40 and there is a fairly large one that will be coming down soon. I will try quartersawing some of it.

-- Dave Gale, Grover, NC

View Ken90712's profile


17909 posts in 4073 days

#14 posted 02-12-2011 11:57 AM

This is one great box! Love the “V” notches and the book match is perfect. The shape of this is so soft that anyone who recieves this as a gift will be thrilled.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4219 days

#15 posted 02-12-2011 01:03 PM

Fantastic box Martin. Great design and build.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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