Jewel Chest

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Project by AndyPitts posted 09-04-2015 04:29 PM 2045 views 10 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was one of my early pieces after leaving the Navy and going “pro”. It has a lot of bent laminating in it. The door and back are laminations of ambrosia maple, all the grain vertical, and bent around the same form. The back is attached to the base in such a manner that it can move seasonally, so as to minimize the chance of any cracking. The drawers are similarly bent laminated of holly, but in those cases the grain is horizontal so all the drawer movement is in the vertical. The hand cut dovetails on the curved sides turned out to be easier than I had feared. There is a steel rod going up through all the drawer pivot points, and it is removable via a plate on the bottom. The walnut knobs were shaped to mimic the shape of the top/bottom. The drawer dividers are through mortise and tenon jointed to the side. The piece is finished in shellac polish.

I think the stability of the bent laminations has a lot to do with the glue I used, Unibond 800, which is as stiff as peanut brittle!

This piece and it’s mate, made of cherry, are still in my shop and home, and after nine years look just as they did when I built them. They have been all over in exhibitions, thus seeing various climates, but the wood movement compensation design worked and there is no sign of damage from wood movement and the lamations are the same curvature as when I made them. The cherry version is my wife’s, but if I could only find a buyer for this maple version…

Ambrosia Maple, Cherry, Holly, Walnut, Red Cedar, and Shellac Polish with Brass Hardware

14”H x 14”W x 8”D

-- Andy Pitts, Heathsville, Virginia,, YouTube AndyPitts1000

13 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


115177 posts in 2998 days

#1 posted 09-04-2015 04:38 PM

I like this Andy,a very interesting design and a very fine build

-- Custom furniture

View Hammerthumb's profile


2513 posts in 1396 days

#2 posted 09-04-2015 05:22 PM

Very nice Andy!

-- Paul, Las Vegas

View CFrye's profile


8575 posts in 1260 days

#3 posted 09-04-2015 05:39 PM

Beautiful, Andy! The pivoting drawers are a pleasant surprise. Thanks for sharing.

-- God bless, Candy

View Derek Oliver's profile

Derek Oliver

155 posts in 1572 days

#4 posted 09-04-2015 06:38 PM

That is an awesome piece!

View Bud_3's profile


663 posts in 645 days

#5 posted 09-04-2015 07:44 PM

One of the best jewelry box i have seen lately.

View BenR's profile


319 posts in 2049 days

#6 posted 09-04-2015 11:43 PM

Fantstatic. There is no much new in the jewelry box section, but you came up with it. Nice build.

-- Ben in Va

View Roger's profile


19714 posts in 2225 days

#7 posted 09-05-2015 12:51 PM

Super nice, finely designed chest. Wood combos go gr8 together as well. I do like the swing out door and drawers.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View rtbrmb's profile


458 posts in 1809 days

#8 posted 09-05-2015 02:53 PM

Very original=the design & build are awesome.

Thanks for sharing.

Bill in MI

View helluvawreck's profile


22677 posts in 2287 days

#9 posted 09-05-2015 08:18 PM

Andy, this is a real beauty. I like the design.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View JADobson's profile


656 posts in 1532 days

#10 posted 09-06-2015 12:08 AM

Really well done.

-- James

View LeslieC's profile


149 posts in 1519 days

#11 posted 09-06-2015 06:35 AM

Great job!

-- There is nothing like a Grateful Dead concert.

View AndyPitts's profile


122 posts in 498 days

#12 posted 09-06-2015 12:03 PM

Thanks for all the nice comments!

-- Andy Pitts, Heathsville, Virginia,, YouTube AndyPitts1000

View MikeSpanky's profile


177 posts in 784 days

#13 posted 09-07-2015 03:39 AM

Love this. You’ve done a really nice job.

-- There's no crying in woodworking. Just measure and cut again.

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