I did not like how the handle was looking, it appeared to lack any of the swirling grain that the top inset panel has. That happens sometimes after shaping, the good stuff ends up on the floor.
Also… if you look close, you will notice in the picture below that I sanded too deep into the right corner of the handle and exposed the spline! Oops!
So I made a new one from Black Palm Wood, a first time for me. The black color ties in with the Wenge corner splines, plus I love the weird grain which looks like small straws all bound up together. I want this box to look organic with the shaping, but to have a little class too, since it will be the home of a very nice watch collection.
I think the Black Palm dresses it up. Very cool wood anyway and a perfect place to try it out.
First, I had to cut off the old handle without so much as scratching the edge of the lid or it would change the profile if I had to resand it, meaning there was no way to fix any damage. I cut the handle off close to the edge of the lid and scraped the rest off very slowly with a chisel.
Then I recut the mortise for a new spline.
(I just dont trust edge glueing the handle on a lid this large, the spline ensures it wont snap off.)
Very slow and tedious work.
Then I shaped the bottom of the handle exactly like the old one so it would nestle into the wavy saddle I had already shaped in the body of the box. After that I shaped the top edge of the handle to blend with the waves in the lid.
Here are some additional photos of the box with rough shaping and a smoother sanded surface, one with mineral spirits wiped on. (The wetted surface shows up scratches that I mark out in pencil and sand after its dried.)
I still have a lot of sanding and the dividers to complete.
Thanks for looking
-- If I can do it, so can you.