Purpleheart/Maple Keepsake box

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Project by Jorgearaujo posted 10-10-2013 10:11 PM 4715 views 10 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my second keepsake box I have made. I made this one as a birthday present for my boss…. She loved it. I feel like I am getting better and better at woodworking, but still made a ton of mistakes… LOL! This box has solid Purpleheart sides, plywood top and bottom with Purpleheart veneer (that was something new that I had fun doing) and the edges are Maple. The finish is Formby’s Teak Oil Finish, Probably about 4-5 coats.
Things I learned during this build…
1) Veneering is easier than I thought but I have to get better and have less waste.
2) Purpleheart is heavy and dense, but great wood to use if treated with the respect it deserves.
3) Pre-Drill all screw holes to the final depth of screws in Purpleheart. I broke off 2 screw heads and had to cover them up with the hardware. (Don’t tell anyone)
4) Using paste wax on the screws before driving them into the wood really helps.
5) Purpleheart is not my favorite smelling wood when cut…. That is still Alder at this point. Can’t wait to try more species.

Hope you all like it and I would really love all your thoughts, notes, suggestions and even critisisms.
Thank you.

13 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118153 posts in 4547 days

#1 posted 10-10-2013 10:30 PM

Great looking box good clean lines and fine workmanship.


View GenerationWW's profile


521 posts in 3219 days

#2 posted 10-10-2013 11:02 PM

It looks great! I’m sure you heard this phrase before but what makes a great carpenter is the way they figuring out a way to incorporate a problem or a mistake into the build. Nice job.

-- list your handcrafted treasures @ for free!

View doubleDD's profile


9992 posts in 3013 days

#3 posted 10-11-2013 12:04 AM

Very nice looking box. A beautiful build.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3660 days

#4 posted 10-11-2013 12:12 AM

You did a great job on this box and I love everything about it (except the hinges). Sorry, but you asked!

How cool would this box be with a purpleheart wooden Shipwright hinge?

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View aussiedave's profile


3114 posts in 2794 days

#5 posted 10-11-2013 12:15 AM

Very nice box, the purple heart and maple go well together. Nice simple design and effective in looks… you did a great job.

-- Dave.......If at first you don’t succeed redefine success....

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3262 days

#6 posted 10-11-2013 12:39 AM

Very nicely done; however, you might want to consider 3-way miters on the corner trim and the hinges need upgrading (several versions are available which would improve the looks). JMHO

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View kdc68's profile


2992 posts in 3246 days

#7 posted 10-11-2013 01:05 AM

That’s one beautiful box…the purpleheart and maple look amazing together…thanks for sharing

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View Gary's profile


9416 posts in 4402 days

#8 posted 10-11-2013 02:05 AM

Only one downer from me. I agree with Andy. If you use those hinges, you need to cut them in show only the knuckle shows.
When you are using brass screws, it’s a good idea to run a steel screw of the same size in the hole first. That will help the brass screw more than you would think.

It’s a beautiful box. You did a really great job. The inside looks really good too

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View rackjabbit's profile


53 posts in 2877 days

#9 posted 10-11-2013 10:58 AM

This is nicely done. Thanks for the tips on the Purple Heart tips. The contrast of the wood color is wonderful.

-- Once the dust settles, breath and behold the beauty of the wood.

View RogerBean's profile


1605 posts in 3923 days

#10 posted 10-11-2013 12:17 PM

If your screws are breaking off it’s most likely you are not drilling a large enough hole, and/or not relieving clearance for the upper unthreaded end. The drill must be same or larger than the solid portion of the screw. You can force them a bit in softwood or ply, but in hardwood, the screws will not force, they break. Particularly brass. Wax and Gary’s suggestion of pre threading with steel screws also helps. If they are going too tight, stop and do something else. They should not go in with much difficulty. Hope this helps for next time.

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

View Sanding2day's profile


1016 posts in 2816 days

#11 posted 10-11-2013 01:55 PM

Beautiful box, love the wood selection and clean design… Thanks for sharing…

-- Dan

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 3145 days

#12 posted 10-14-2013 03:25 PM

Wonderful box! Like the attractive wood combo, clean lines and great finish. Excellent job!

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 3482 days

#13 posted 10-15-2013 07:27 PM

That’s a nice looking box, what are the measurements?

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

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