Walnut Jewelry Box

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Project by Blair Helgason posted 05-30-2009 06:06 AM 2544 views 23 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This jewelry box was my first commissioned piece as well as my first venture into solid-wood, woodworking. In spite of this, the project went very well, aside from a few set backs and mistakes.

The box was made for a friend, and fellow designer’s, wife. I was given complete design control so I started with some rough sketches and eventually completed a digital rendering. After that was approved we discussed price. Since this was my first piece and I couldn’t give the customer much of a guarantee on the quality we started fairly low. This was fine with me since I figured he was taking a bit of a chance.

I started with approx. 9’ of walnut and a half sheet of 1/8” baltic birch. I rough cut all of the pieces and milled them to their final thickness. I then moved on to the joinery using keyed mitres for the back corners and mortise and tennons for the front. The drawer was made with simple rabbets on the back and stopped dadoes on the front.

I sanded the whole box down to 180 grit and finished with Tung Oil, rubbing with fine steel wool between coats.

Both my friend and his wife couldn’t be happier with the box, so I guess it was a success. Thanks for reading!

P.S. I’d just like to thank James for taking a chance on me with this project and I hope it lasts for years.

-- Blair

15 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


113148 posts in 2420 days

#1 posted 05-30-2009 06:08 AM

Hey Blair
very nice jewelry box clean design and nice walnut

-- Custom furniture

View patron's profile


13320 posts in 2184 days

#2 posted 05-30-2009 06:13 AM

very nice , easy to look at , majestic !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View rrlumber's profile


25 posts in 2166 days

#3 posted 05-30-2009 06:17 AM

Very nice… I like the flow of the grain around the piece. I also like the false drawer front and how you worked the lid into it.

-- Darrell, Round Rock

View Ben 's profile


158 posts in 2208 days

#4 posted 05-30-2009 06:48 AM

Great piece. It looks very sturdy. I am sure your customer’s great grandchildren will still be enjoying it a century from now.

View cobbler's profile


350 posts in 2634 days

#5 posted 05-30-2009 12:28 PM

Nice box!

-- ''Carry on my wayward son''

View Bradford's profile


1434 posts in 2666 days

#6 posted 05-30-2009 01:10 PM

Beautiful results. Very accurate.

-- so much wood, so little time. Bradford. Wood-a-holics unanimous president

View odie's profile


1682 posts in 2683 days

#7 posted 05-30-2009 03:20 PM

Simple and elegant at the same time.

-- Odie, Confucius say, "He who laughs at one's self is BUTT of joke". (my funny blog)

View CharlieM1958's profile


15909 posts in 3062 days

#8 posted 05-30-2009 03:22 PM

Nice and tight. Well done!

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

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

3975 posts in 2907 days

#9 posted 05-30-2009 05:15 PM

Super clean design with all the internal bells and whistles. Great job!

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6759 posts in 2823 days

#10 posted 05-30-2009 05:20 PM

Hi Blair;

This is a nice box. I like the lines.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Ronnie Jackson 's profile

Ronnie Jackson

44 posts in 2124 days

#11 posted 06-03-2009 11:51 PM

very cool design, nice work


View Jay Neale III's profile

Jay Neale III

171 posts in 2178 days

#12 posted 06-04-2009 02:30 AM

Excellent design! It should, indeed, last for years.

-- Read my amazingly insightful blog at

View lou's profile


340 posts in 2286 days

#13 posted 09-02-2010 02:36 AM

good show,time for another.

View NBeener's profile


4806 posts in 2017 days

#14 posted 09-02-2010 02:39 AM

Missed THIS one, first time around.

Wow !


I asked my mom if I could make her a tea box, but … her house has very little counter space. What she WOULD like is a jewelry box. This one is a real inspiration for me.

Well done !

-- -- Neil

View LeslieC's profile


147 posts in 941 days

#15 posted 01-11-2013 05:18 AM

This is beautiful. I love the design and the wood you used.

-- There is nothing like a Grateful Dead concert.

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