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Project Information

High School graduation gift for my son. :)

Design was created from random parts of valet tray and boxes that looked most functional as I surfed the internet for plans. Ended up with no plans; started with 12" wide piece of 4/4 walnut, cut finger joints in 12×15x3 box, and then added drawers, trays, cell phone holder, and watch bar. :)

Drawer front is Leopard wood, drawer sides are curly maple scraps, with plywood bottom covered in self adhesive wool felt cloth.
Trays on top were created using template(s) and router with 1.25" OD bowl bit.
Cell phone holder was made from a couple pieces of 8/4 walnut cut to shape on band saw, with watch bar attached to side via mortise & tenon.
Base was made separate from box, and contains a hidden drawer. Sides of base are some scrap 8/4 Tiger wood (ran out of 8/4 Walnut) machined with ogee foot router bit.
Hidden drawer (10wx8dx1H) in the back has touch latch (Photo #5 shows base/latch). Push the draw in 1/4" and it pops out far enough to remove it. Draw fit was not perfect, so it ended up in back instead of front? :)

Made the box several months ago, when I had the box joint blade set up on table saw for some drawers in router cabinet. Walnut box sat idle for several months waiting for other projects to get done. When May arrived and no progress had been made, it became a priority to finish. Have more time invested in 'design as you go' method used, tray templates, and drawer tuning, then actual construction. Box was assembled with 30 min epoxy with 1 drop of Transtint Coffee Brown dye. It helped to hide some less than perfect gaps in the joints.

Finish schedule:
Inside of drawer box was pre-finished with 2 coats of poly before glue up. My klutz hands were to big to fit in that tiny space. :)
Grain fill walnut with Crystalac
All of the Walnut was toned to consistent color with 1:5 dilution of Behlen's American Walnut Solar Lux dye stain
Toned the orange-ish Tiger wood with some Transtint Coffee Brown dye to make it match walnut.
4 coats of Arm-R-Seal semi-gloss
Buffed out finish with some carnauba wax.

My apologies for the less than perfect pictures. It was 99% done when pictures were taken.
Took these pictures before shop scuffs/scratches were buffed out of Arm-R-Seal finish. Immediately after buff out/wax, it disappeared into my son's bedroom before I get some pictures minus the embarrassing Klutz defects. It's full of stuff now, I am not getting it back unless it breaks.

Thanks for looking, and Have a great day!

Here are some more construction and finishing pictures:
Testing size of base against box before assembly:

Can see exacly why I had to tone the different wood shades with dye!

Initial drawer assembly:

Better Picture of top trays and different lighting that shows wood grain more:

The box was made from single board, and grain defects wrap all way around the box. :)



· Registered
1,353 Posts
This is really beautiful, well conceived and executed. Nice Job!!

· Banned
18,919 Posts
beautiful valet,love your wood combo,a great gift for an upcoming young man.nice work cap'n.

· Registered
122 Posts
Everything on it's place and on hand…nice box set

· Registered
29 Posts
Very nice work!
I would have loved one of those when I went to college.

· Registered
6,272 Posts
Capt. Klutz,

Stellar job on the man's valet. Great use of different woods. beautiful job. I figure your son will be very proud of his gift, especially since "dad" made it for him.

· Registered
1,148 Posts
Lovely piece. Well done.

· Registered
6,357 Posts
Thank you all for kind comments! Added some additional construction pictures. :)