Bar Mitzvah Box

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Project by maxomatic posted 03-27-2012 01:43 PM 1589 views 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

A box I made for a relative’s Bar Mitzvah. My first mitered corner box and my first inlay. The sides are cherry, top is walnut, inlay is cherry and splines are walnut. The bottom is baltic birch ply. My mother burned the hebrew lettering into the top (it says “mazel tov”, meaning congratulations or good luck). Finished with Enduro Var.

It was one of those projects that kind of designed itself as it went, meaning mistakes dictated the design. It was supposed to be simple. (Hey, I think I just found my tag line!) The top is made of a solid piece of walnut with rabbits around the bottom edges to fit into the box. I had intended that the top would just sit on top of the box, but it was hard to lift off, so I put on a handle. Because of where I placed the handle, the top had a tendency to just fall off when it was lifted, so hinges went on. However, because I had beveled the edges of the top, there was only about 1/4” of material for the screws to go in. I ended up having to dremel the tips off some brass screws so they wouldn’t come through.

The inlay went much the same way. I had intended to just router out the lines of a star, but as I was routing the base of the router bumped up against my clamp, causing it to make a slightly curved line. So I cursed, and then routed out the entire star. I was just using a triangle shaped template, flipping it over to make a full star, so when I had to cut out the inlay piece I didn’t have a full star-shaped template. I made two triangles and cut the corners off of one. In the end I was really pleased, as I think it looks more interesting. There were some slight gaps that I filled with superglue and sawdust.

Finally, the box wobbled a bit when sitting on a flat surface. So it got some feet. Small walnut squares, mitered edges to look like the top, mounted to the bottom of the ply bottom.

Happy accidents. Thanks for looking.

-- I cut it three times and it's STILL too short!

6 comments so far

View Betsy's profile


3394 posts in 4911 days

#1 posted 03-27-2012 05:13 PM

I think the box came out nicely. I’m sure it will be a treasured possession.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View Martyroc's profile


2712 posts in 3321 days

#2 posted 03-27-2012 09:14 PM

Nice box, that will be treasured gift. Mazel tov!

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View Woodenwizard's profile


1368 posts in 4058 days

#3 posted 03-28-2012 02:10 AM

Looks like it was all planed out. Nice job the inlay turned out great.

-- John, Colorado's (Wooden Wizard)

View Ian Hawthorne's profile

Ian Hawthorne

297 posts in 3664 days

#4 posted 03-28-2012 05:27 AM

Very clean and uncluttered.

-- Worlds Best Box Hardware!

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4349 days

#5 posted 03-28-2012 11:39 AM

Good looking box and well done too Max. I learn a lot from my own mistakes, but I seem to always find new ones to make anyway. Maybe it is the nature of woodworking. Mozel Tov on a great result.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Knothead62's profile


2600 posts in 3976 days

#6 posted 03-30-2012 04:45 PM

A fine box for a very special time in a young man’s life. L’chaim!

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