Jewelry Box for Ma

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Project by jamison00 posted 09-17-2008 12:09 AM 3589 views 33 times favorited 29 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was my first major project, which when I look back, am shocked that it turned out as nice as it did. I found a fantastic piece of Quilted Maple at a place in Oregon just off of I-5. I believe the town was Jefferson; the lumber mill was family owned and the folks were happy to show me around and help me pick out a great board. I wish I could remember their name, but maybe someone else can post it if they know. Anyway, its made of Quilted Maple, and Mahogany stained a dark strawberry red. I recall building this thing in my apartment in Chicago. We had a dining room that we weren’t using, so it became my workshop. It was way before I had any idea of the mess involved with seriously milling a lot of wood. A few days later, my roommate confronted me about the thin layer of sawdust covering every inch of the kitchen. I spent I fair amount of time cleaning up the mess, and made the unfortunate decision that this would be my last major project at that residence.

-- James

29 comments so far

View brianinpa's profile


1812 posts in 4259 days

#1 posted 09-17-2008 12:13 AM

That is a wonderful piece. The top hides its beauty. It looks like it is a simple box until it is opened.

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View Dusty56's profile


11852 posts in 4224 days

#2 posted 09-17-2008 12:17 AM

My Goodness , that is certainly a stunning piece of eye candy !!! Is that your own design ? Everything appears to be flawless including the finish : ) Adding to my favorites …thanks for posting this GEM ….I bret Ma was proud to receive such a beautiful gift !!!

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View childress's profile


841 posts in 4077 days

#3 posted 09-17-2008 12:31 AM

THAT….is badass! I love it. Man, I hate it when someone makes something so cool that I want to make it myself, but then I would feel guilty because I basically copied somebody elses work. Don’t worry, I won’t copy….I promise:)

-- Childress Woodworks

View SPalm's profile


5334 posts in 4418 days

#4 posted 09-17-2008 01:08 AM

Hello James.

That is a fine piece. Well done sir. It does show well.

I assume the beveled center section is what keeps the top locked. Very clever.
(Why the cut out in the left hand tray? To allow a finger hold for removal?)


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View CharlieM1958's profile


16284 posts in 4754 days

#5 posted 09-17-2008 01:50 AM

Really beautifully designed and built!

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

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 4410 days

#6 posted 09-17-2008 01:51 AM

Did you design this your self? That is SO cool. I love the way the top opens and locks. Brilliant! I wish you would do more.

-- Happy woodworking!

View jamison00's profile


24 posts in 4076 days

#7 posted 09-17-2008 02:56 AM

Thanks very much everyone.

To Steve—Yes, you’re correct about the design of the lid. The cut out in the hand tray is actually to allow space to operate a vertically mounted bolt lock. When the bolt is down and the lid is closed, the drawer cannot be opened.

To Childress—Man, thanks very much, and certainly go ahead and copy. I’d like to say I completely designed this from scratch but I think I took inspiration from quite a few places. My good friend Roger says that good design is 30% inspiration, 70% theft. Maybe theft is a little strong, but the truth is imitation is the biggest form flattery, so thanks again dude.

-- James

View Napaman's profile


5530 posts in 4613 days

#8 posted 09-17-2008 04:18 AM

great story on the first workshop—-my roommate would have evicted me (my wife) had I tried to do wood working in the diningroom…

BRILLIANT PIECE…how long ago was this?

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 4303 days

#9 posted 09-17-2008 05:00 AM

Great project with some unbelievable timber. Simply gorgeous…

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View Tom Adamski's profile

Tom Adamski

306 posts in 4306 days

#10 posted 09-17-2008 05:40 AM

Exquisite!!! Your craftsmanship is supurb.


-- Anybody can become a woodworker, but only a Craftsman can hide his mistakes.

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4051 posts in 4599 days

#11 posted 09-17-2008 07:43 AM

Absolutely one of my favorite boxes of all time. And this area of woodworking is my area of focus. I follow some heavy-weight box guys both here and on the net (not the least among them being Phillip Weber (, William McDowell ( and the prolific author/artisan Doug Stowe ( I think that you have some heavy mojo here partner!

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over two decades.

View davidtheboxmaker's profile


373 posts in 4341 days

#12 posted 09-17-2008 10:29 AM

Wow. That’s a superb piece of work. Great design very well executed. You certainly got a great piece of wood to work with. I’d be using that supplier again.

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2797 posts in 4128 days

#13 posted 09-17-2008 01:52 PM

Now that’s a box!!! Great job.

-- Dennis Zongker

View ryno101's profile


388 posts in 4200 days

#14 posted 09-17-2008 02:48 PM

That is beautiful… I love the design of the lid, with the center piece dovetailed into the wings, and the top compartments that fit into the wings. Really nice.

It’s an inspiration that you were able to get that level of precision in your first major project. Did you use hand tools for the milling, or did you have a jointer/planer in that first workshop?

Excellent… Fantastic design, flawless execution.

-- Ryno

View Douglas Krueger's profile

Douglas Krueger

416 posts in 4259 days

#15 posted 09-17-2008 04:27 PM


If that had been my first piece, there is a good change I would have quit while ahead. A uniquely designed closure system and the gorgeous wood makes it stand out in a crowd. Can’t wait to see your second project.

Expect some flattery coming your way as the eldest daughter has requested a jewelery box for xmas and your designs will be incorporated.

Where did you get the hardware for it, that sort of thing is next to impossible to find in Thailand so I need to order early to get it here on time.

-- I can so I wood but why are my learning curves always circles

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