First Jewelry Box

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Project by Lenny posted 04-13-2011 01:58 AM 3637 views 10 times favorited 34 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a build of an apparently popular jewelry box from the Dec. 2009/Jan. 2010 issue of Wood magazine. This is a gift for a person who makes my wife’s often stressful job considerably less so by taking actions on her behalf and also for demonstrating understanding and caring. My wife raves about her all the time and I thought I would show my appreciation by making this gift for her.

I have seen several of these posted on LJ. The plans call for bird’s eye maple and cherry as the wood species. I opted for tiger maple and cherry. I also modified the design a bit. The curves of the top and bottom and drawer fronts are what capture the eye in this piece. The curves on the original were asymmetrical and I didn’t care for that design. I designed the top and bottom with three symmetrical curves and repeated this on the draw fronts. When it came to the draw pulls, I wavered between following the profile of the draw front or using one of the patterns in the plans. I opted for the plan pattern since I found it to provide more visual interest. As recommended in the plans, I cut the three draw fronts from the same cherry board to get a continuous grain flow across the front of the unit.

The construction is pretty basic with dadoes and rabbets joining the top/bottom, sides and Baltic birch back. The top two drawers ride on tiger maple runners that sit in dadoes let into the sides. The bottom drawer rides on the bottom. I placed slick/slippery tape on the underside of the bottom draw and on the runners. A ¼” blade in my bandsaw handled the cutting of the curves and I used my bench oscillating spindle sander to clean up the cuts. Adhesive backed felt was used on the draw bottoms.

The finish is 3 coats of Minwax wipe-on satin polyurethane sanded with #0000 steel wool in between coats and one coat of Minwax paste wax.

To use today’s parlance, I’d like to give a shout out to Ellen35 (Ellen), moonls (Lorna) and HarlySoftailDeuce (Paul) for their help in completing this project. Besides allowing me to bounce questions off them and offering their opinion on design changes, we formed an assembly line one day at Ellen’s as we used her drum sander to bring the draw pulls down to the required 1/8”. I’d also like to acknowledge Gerry, another LJ who also built this jewelry box. I contacted Gerry with a few questions on his build and he was very responsive. Thanks for looking.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

34 comments so far

View ellen35's profile


2750 posts in 4712 days

#1 posted 04-13-2011 02:07 AM

Nice job, Lenny. It really turned out nicely. The combination of woods is perfect.
Your willingness to be a little more creative with the handles is a nice design change.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View patron's profile


13722 posts in 4621 days

#2 posted 04-13-2011 02:10 AM

beautiful box
a wonderful gesture

i like the concept of the sweat shop too
traveling LJ’s
can find sanctuary
and get a quick fix
in a shop somewhere

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View bvdon's profile


503 posts in 4295 days

#3 posted 04-13-2011 02:49 AM

It looks great, and I really like all the work on the drawer fronts.

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4583 days

#4 posted 04-13-2011 02:57 AM

what a beautiful jewelry box lenny, as always with your first try at any project you have done a wonderful job, i love the wood you used and all of the design elements you used…its a home run for me and it scores an A+ great job…it really inspires me to change how ive been doing my jewelry boxes..i need to get back to multi levels..the thin wood in your handles really does a great job of balance…well done…grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View a1Jim's profile


118296 posts in 4857 days

#5 posted 04-13-2011 02:57 AM

I really like this very well done


View blackcherry's profile


3349 posts in 5103 days

#6 posted 04-13-2011 03:15 AM

Very nice indeed Lenny and a even nicer gesture in giving as a gift. I really like the flowing form of the box and the finish came out first rate Lenny. I particular like the satin finish on the cherry wood so smooth looking and warming. Nice execution on all front for your first jewelery box , but be careful these box become habit forming. Thanks for posting Wilson

View littlecope's profile


3133 posts in 4782 days

#7 posted 04-13-2011 03:20 AM

Beautiful Lenny, Super Job!!

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View moonls's profile


412 posts in 4266 days

#8 posted 04-13-2011 03:22 AM

Wow Lenny, your “first” jewelry box looks very well done! Your design change on the curve of the drawer fronts are more appealing to me also. Your wife’s co-worker is a very lucky lady!

-- Lorna, Cape Cod

View Lenny's profile


1722 posts in 4807 days

#9 posted 04-13-2011 03:31 AM

Thanks Ellen. It took awhile but I am happy with the final decision on the draw fronts and pulls. Thanks David. Sweat shop indeed. I could try to tell you Ellen made me put in hard labor in return but we all know she’s too sweet for that. Thanks bvdon and 3fingerpat. Grizz, thanks so much for your kind comments and your generous grade. I wish I got some A+ grades in my college days. Thanks A1Jim. Wilson, thank you too. I have always been a fan of satin finish. It’s my favorite. I am hoping I do not yet have the box building bug.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View Lenny's profile


1722 posts in 4807 days

#10 posted 04-13-2011 03:34 AM

Hi Mike. Thank you. Thank you Lorna. As I said that day at Ellen’s: “It took a village to make this jewelry box.”

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View CharlieM1958's profile


16292 posts in 5498 days

#11 posted 04-13-2011 03:45 AM

Outstanding job. I can’t believe it’s your first!

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

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4953 days

#12 posted 04-13-2011 04:07 AM

Nice looking jewelry box, Lenny.

View Napaman's profile


5535 posts in 5357 days

#13 posted 04-13-2011 04:25 AM

Ripples…that was my first thought—-with the drawer fronts…they really add movement to the piece like its alive…and the last picture—-with the drawers all open looks great…she will enjoy it!

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Rxmpo's profile


270 posts in 5025 days

#14 posted 04-13-2011 04:29 AM

WOW! Really no other way to describe this one Lenny! The new shop has taken you to a new level. The wood selection and craftsmanship are wonderful. Great work. Can’t wait to see the next project coming out from the Butler Woodworking Company!

View brianl's profile


108 posts in 4361 days

#15 posted 04-13-2011 05:13 AM

Great job Lenny, I’m sure she’ll love it.

-- Brian - Belmont, Massachusetts

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