Soft Wormy Maple Keepsake Boxes

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Project by Chuck McIntyre posted 12-30-2015 07:10 AM 950 views 6 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My wife, mother-in-law and my wife’s aunt all took a trip to Japan in October. Since we were all going to be together at Christmas I decided (at the last minute) to make these keepsake boxes for all three of them. There have been a few of these posted over the past few months after the plans appeared in a recent issue of Wood Magazine.

I used spalted maple for the sides and top and granadillo for the legs and handle. The granadillo was pretty cool to work with. It was probably the most dense wood any of my saws have ever had the pleasure to meet and the smell when you cut it was great – a lot like caramel.

They were finished with three coats of satin spray lacquer. I probably would have finished them with my go-to, Arm-R-Seal, if I would have given myself more time.

Thanks for looking!


-- Wood is a gift from God that maintains its beauty forever via the hand of a woodworker.

9 comments so far

View recycle1943's profile


1115 posts in 1039 days

#1 posted 12-30-2015 09:58 AM

I have to tell you – the style isn’t really my cup of tea, however they are so attractive I may start drinking tea.

Great job and really nice wood selection

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - Your imagination is your only holdup

View majuvla's profile


8664 posts in 2285 days

#2 posted 12-30-2015 10:27 AM

Some awesome arched legg design. Those pulls are like up side down arch?

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View doubleDD's profile (online now)


5049 posts in 1460 days

#3 posted 12-30-2015 02:13 PM

I suddenly have a taste for McDonalds. Nice work.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View helluvawreck's profile


22669 posts in 2284 days

#4 posted 12-30-2015 04:02 PM

Nice work and a great 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 WoodNSawdust's profile


1417 posts in 594 days

#5 posted 12-30-2015 04:11 PM

Nice looking boxes. Looking at picture 3 I see a small light colored wood at the top of the leg’s arch. Is that a wood dowel? This would imply that the leg arches are away from the wood sides and held in place with dowels.

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

View mkodikan's profile


3 posts in 296 days

#6 posted 12-30-2015 05:44 PM

very nice design

View drewpy's profile


568 posts in 774 days

#7 posted 12-30-2015 10:14 PM

Nicely done.

-- Drew in Ohio -- "The greatest wealth is health".

View Chuck McIntyre's profile

Chuck McIntyre

74 posts in 690 days

#8 posted 12-31-2015 03:49 AM

Thank you for all the great comments.

Dick, always good hearing from you. They weren’t really my cup of tea either but something about the design screamed “Japan” at me!

Ivan, you are right! When I went back and looked after reading your comment it occurred to me that it almost looks like an upside down leg with the center disappearing into the top. Great call!

DD, you, too, are correct. Sort of looks like an old school Mickey D’s!

Charles, great to hear from you again. Thanks for the comment.

WoodNSawdust, good catch on the dowels. I meant to talk about that a little in my narrative. I made a hardboard template for the legs and then marked out three 1/4” holes on the template and then drilled through the hardboard. I used the template on both the legs and sides so that my dowel holes would match up. I cut six pieces of 1/4” oak dowel (only 1/4” dowel I had on hand) 5/8” long. The holes on the legs and sides were all drilled at a depth of 3/16”. That left me with 1/4” of dowel separating the legs from the box. That wasn’t how I had originally planned it but I kind of liked the look once I did my dry-fit.

-- Wood is a gift from God that maintains its beauty forever via the hand of a woodworker.

View WistysWoodWorkingWonders's profile


12504 posts in 2574 days

#9 posted 01-20-2016 05:02 AM

gotta say, that is some very nice wood you’ve used in these, great build…

-- New Project = New Tool... it's just the way it is, don't fight it... :)

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