“Keys to My Heart” & “Music for My Ears”

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Project by Triumph1 posted 01-22-2013 04:22 PM 5090 views 11 times favorited 42 comments Add to Favorites Watch

For Christmas I received the documentary “Note by Note – The Making of Steinway L1037”. If you have not seen it I highly recommend it. As a woodworker you will greatly appreciate the work that goes into one of these beautiful concert pianos. I had flashbacks of the documentary when I read that the Winter Awards theme was jewelry. I really wanted to design a piano theme into a jewelry piece. “Keys to My Heart” is the necklace design I came up with. I also came up with a pair of earrings that are called “Music for My Ears”. I know…I like naming things.

The necklace is made from African Blackwood and Holly. The keys are laid out and shaped exactly like a real keyboard. The “beads” where made from taking 10 pieces of African Blackwood. First drill a hole through the length of the part. Second, cut them in half on the scroll saw splitting them into two grand piano shaped beads. That makes them lock together perfectly. Third I tape them to a fixture and round over the tops on a belt sander. After that it is all rasps and sandpaper to round all the edges. All the individual pieces of “Keys to My Heart” were polished using a Beall polishing system. As a pretreatment I soaked the Holly in Minwax Wood hardener and let it dry to give it a clear sealer. I didn’t want to use anything that would yellow it.

I started the earrings by making a glue up of 11 alternating layers of Black Walnut veneer and creating a ¼” thick custom plywood. I then cut out the Treble Clef design on the scroll saw. I made a fixture to hold the earrings so I could create a radius on both sides of the earrings on the belt sander…basically making them fat in the middle and thin on the edges. After that I curved all the sharp edges using a rotary carving tool, rasps and sandpaper. I ebonized the earrings using India ink. Finish on “Music for My Ears” is hand wiped poly. They are actually very light and comfortable to wear.

I wanted something nice to display the necklace on so I picked up a black neck/torso stand from a craft store. I reupholstered it in gray fabric and made the Black Walnut cap to hold the earrings.

I need to thank three people who helped me during this process:

Joel Alonzo for taking beautiful pictures once again!

My sister-in-law Lynn for showing me the finer points of necklace and earring assembly!

The beautiful Olivia for posing with my creations….simmer down gents…she is like a daughter to me:-) She is now the new owner of both pieces. It makes me very happy that she loves them.

I took a couple pics while making the two pieces and inserted them below.

Now lets make some more sawdust!

-- Jeff , Wisconsin Please...can I stay in the basement a little longer, please!

42 comments so far

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2822 posts in 4362 days

#1 posted 01-22-2013 04:28 PM

WOW!! Very Beautiful! You did a great job on the design and the craftsmanship.

-- Dennis Zongker

View shipwright's profile


8554 posts in 3568 days

#2 posted 01-22-2013 04:33 PM

OK Jeff this already has my vote.
An excellent idea, great design and your usual attention to detail leave me with no further words.

Except…. Amazing!

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

View CharlieM1958's profile


16286 posts in 4989 days

#3 posted 01-22-2013 04:34 PM

Cancel the contest…. we already have the winner!

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

View Mark Blomster's profile

Mark Blomster

107 posts in 3755 days

#4 posted 01-22-2013 04:37 PM

Very cool designs, Jeff. I think you have a winner. Great photography and a beautiful model, too.

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4074 days

#5 posted 01-22-2013 04:41 PM

yea a sister to me, like a daughter…uh huh..yea right…lol…just yanking your chain…this is some beautiful work and i really like the ear rings, good theme….i dont know if i can do anything with this contest, but i might try…fantastic work here….grizz

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

View a1Jim's profile


118065 posts in 4347 days

#6 posted 01-22-2013 05:12 PM

Great design and a super build


View Maveric777's profile


2694 posts in 3847 days

#7 posted 01-22-2013 05:41 PM

Very VERY cool!

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3637 days

#8 posted 01-22-2013 05:44 PM

You’re very creative. Those are beautiful.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 4104 days

#9 posted 01-22-2013 06:19 PM

Another highly successful creative endeavor Jeff and the sweet Olivia makes them look even better! I am in awe of your creative designs and these earrings and necklace are no exception. Good luck with the contest.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View WoodenFrog's profile


2737 posts in 3683 days

#10 posted 01-22-2013 07:35 PM

Wow! Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner!
I think this gets my vote! I am working on a Ring, necklace and earring set not sure if I will even try now.
Great job!

-- Robert B. Sabina, Ohio.....

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3806 days

#11 posted 01-22-2013 08:05 PM

Beautiful designs, Jeff

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View doordude's profile


1085 posts in 3753 days

#12 posted 01-22-2013 08:21 PM

this is great, she actualy has music dangling from her ears

View Mathew Nedeljko's profile

Mathew Nedeljko

715 posts in 4600 days

#13 posted 01-22-2013 08:28 PM

Great design and superb execution. Love the interlocking piano shapes in the necklace.
Photograhpy is excellent too. What a huge difference that makes.

You got my vote Jeff!

-- Aim high. Ride easy. Trust God. Neale Donald Walsch

View Andy's profile


1713 posts in 4678 days

#14 posted 01-22-2013 09:06 PM

You hit the high notes with this one Jeff, well done in every aspect.

-- If I can do it, so can you.

View SPalm's profile


5335 posts in 4652 days

#15 posted 01-22-2013 09:07 PM

Very well done Jeff.
And Man, do you have an eye for design. Please please keep posting and inspiring.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

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