Big Leaf Maple & Alligator Juniper Burl Jewelry Chest - An LJ Gift

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Project by majeagle1 posted 01-03-2012 07:04 AM 14418 views 96 times favorited 80 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I just finished this project barely in time for Christmas. It was a gift for a wonderful LJ friend Rustfever , well, actually his wife ! Over the past year Ira has been very gracious in providing me with some absolutely wonderful wood such as Claro Walnut, Red Gum Eucalyptus, Pistachio, Maple Burl …... just to name a few. I had mentioned that If his wife would like a jewelry box, you name it and it is yours! Well, he came up with some fantastic Big Leaf Maple and some Alligator Juniper Burl that he got from a trip to Az.
After a few discussions about the actual configuration of the box, this is what we came up with. She had seen some of my other jewelry chests, this is kind of a take off.
As I got into the “rough” lumber, I could truly see just how wonderful the Maple was. Then I started slicing the burl, OMG, what fantastic figure and color! Now this is the first time I have actually used “burl”. It was quite a challenge as if I tried to machine it with the router table ( even with sharp carbide bits) it still wanted to chip. Then as I started to work with it I found out that the actual “structure” of the wood was really not that great, as a solid piece of lumber. I would start sanding and shaping the drawer fronts and “bam” all of a sudden, it cracked. All I can say is “what would I do without CA”. Once I got the insets and drawer fronts stabilized, it all came together rather nicely. Most important, Ira’s wife liked it…............ that is all that counts !

Finished with my favorite Danish Oil and Wax finish.

-- Gene, Majestic Eagle Woodworks,,

80 comments so far

View planeBill's profile


506 posts in 3860 days

#1 posted 01-03-2012 07:10 AM

majeagle1, beautiful chest!!!!! I am not exactly sure what alligator is but I know I’m in love with it. You have a very high level of skill. that is just absolutely stunning work. Has to be one of the prettiest pieces I’ve seen here. Definitely has a place in my favorites list, and many others list as well.

-- I was born at a very young age, as I grew up, I got older.

View scrappy's profile


3507 posts in 4882 days

#2 posted 01-03-2012 07:20 AM

What a wonderful chest! I saw these burls when Ira was in Arizona. (met up with him there) You did a fantastic job on this piece of art!

By the way….......It is ”Alligator Juniper Burl” Beautiful wood. I have some too. Looking forward to turning it.

Keep it up.


-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 4760 days

#3 posted 01-03-2012 07:23 AM

Fantastically awesome…You did such a great job with some beautiful wood.

View shipwright's profile


8816 posts in 4249 days

#4 posted 01-03-2012 07:30 AM

Very nice material, very well presented in a lovely piece.

Well done.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View Trev_Batstone's profile


317 posts in 3944 days

#5 posted 01-03-2012 07:47 AM

Beautiful looking wood and a beautiful looking jewelry box. You did a superb job. I have to agree with planeBill, one of the prettiest boxes I seen here.


View Sam's profile


67 posts in 4143 days

#6 posted 01-03-2012 07:47 AM

Had to add this to my favorites. This looks like a museum piece! One of the most beautiful jewelry boxes I have ever seen. Thanks for sharing.

-- Sam S. - Hebron, KY

View robert triplett's profile

robert triplett

1566 posts in 4556 days

#7 posted 01-03-2012 08:09 AM

This is exceptional! Not just the wood, which I would love to be able to butcher, but the design and workmanship is very fine. One day I might aspire to make something that involved and beautiful. I am putting it in Favorites, but just to look at, not a chance I could attempt it anytime soon. thanks for posting it.

-- Robert, so much inspiration here, and now time to work!!!

View Ian Hawthorne's profile

Ian Hawthorne

297 posts in 4100 days

#8 posted 01-03-2012 08:09 AM

Excellent Gene! great design – great wood selection and of course great craftmanship.

Well done.

-- Worlds Best Box Hardware!

View bobasaurus's profile


3747 posts in 4635 days

#9 posted 01-03-2012 08:31 AM

This made my jaw drop as I was scrolling through the list of new projects. Fantastic work! The burls are incredible and the shape of the box fits the woods perfectly. I like the handle design especially… simple, elegant, and functional.

-- Allen, Colorado (Instagram @bobasaurus_woodworking)

View Froggy's profile


77 posts in 4113 days

#10 posted 01-03-2012 08:40 AM

WOOOWWW! Fabulous piece! Simple but beautiful design, great execution, and the wood is just stunning! Definitely goes to my favs.

View MShort's profile


1798 posts in 4870 days

#11 posted 01-03-2012 09:52 AM

That is some GREAT looking woods that you put together for such a wonderful gift. I bet she did like it.
Same as Froggy, one of my favs now. KUDOS !!!

-- Mike, Missouri --- “A positive life can not happen with a negative mind.” ---

View woodworm's profile


14477 posts in 5042 days

#12 posted 01-03-2012 01:15 PM

Beautiful! Beautiful!

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View Maveric777's profile


2694 posts in 4528 days

#13 posted 01-03-2012 01:28 PM

Gene you did it again my fried. Stunning piece! This is what hapens when you put beautiful stock in the hands of a talented craftsman. I love it and I’m quite sure she did as well….

Thanks for sharing!

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View Ken90712's profile


18113 posts in 4640 days

#14 posted 01-03-2012 01:30 PM

Now that is amazing! the wood and the craftsmanship. Wow!!!! A real beauty, you have done this wood justice!

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

View RogerBean's profile


1605 posts in 4405 days

#15 posted 01-03-2012 01:49 PM

Nicely done. Working with burl in the solid can be very frustrating. Great job.

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

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