First Major Woodworking Project

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Project by Joe_F posted 07-29-2007 01:00 AM 1909 views 3 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I wanted to do something really grand for my wife on our 20th anniversery. I know it would be a woodworking effort, but didn’t know what. A glance around the bedroom proved her need for a really big jewelry chest, but I didn’t want to make just a plain old box! So one day she shows me a picture of a cheapie wardrobe mirror, and she’s all excited about it. Everything clicked, and I knew what the project would be: a combination wardrobe mirror / jewelry case.

Got out the quad paper, ruler, and eraser and started designing. Didn’t reference anything, did the whole thing myself. Figured out my cut list, got my wood (red oak) and began. Wifey was informed that the “shop” (garage) was now off limits, and for once she actually listened! I measured twice (actually more, grin) and began my cutting, planing, rounding of edges, etc. I had it all worked out in my head and on paper and once started this project just came together almost like magic; I was amazed.

The only metal fasteners used in the entire project were three wood screws per arm to insure that the vertical supports were very securely fastened to the base; everything else is assembled with just biscuits and glue. Oh, the door has a piano hinge and the box itself pivots on bolts, but those parts dont count, right?

The front mirror door opens full length and there are miniature drawers and pegs to hold her prized jewelry and show it off in splendor. The one thing that needs to be done is to make up a lock mechanism that keeps the box from trying to rotate on it’s pivot bolts when the door is open; I have the design worked out in my mind but haven’t yet put it into practice. Also not all the drawers are finished yet. But hey – she was very happy and that’s what counts!

The entire project is made of red oak, while the back panel is oak plywood (did use a few brads there). Even the tightening knobs were hand made out of oak and utilize an integral hidden “T” nut and rubber washers. The inlay on the door surrounding the mirror is African Padauk, and the mirror was custom made for the project with a nice beveled edge. Project time was about eight weeks, a couple of hours each evening and at least half of each weekend spent working. I did everything slowly and methodically since I wanted this perfect; I think the project came out nicely. Please let me know what you think!

14 comments so far

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14172 posts in 3979 days

#1 posted 07-29-2007 01:54 AM

very nice piece of work ... your perfectionism came thru

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View VTWoody's profile


95 posts in 4053 days

#2 posted 07-29-2007 02:06 AM

Masterfully done. Can we see a picture of the jewelry box part with the mirror door open?

View Buckskin's profile


486 posts in 3984 days

#3 posted 07-29-2007 04:06 AM

Great project! I am sure it made a hit!

View piper's profile


101 posts in 4073 days

#4 posted 07-29-2007 04:12 AM

great job for a firrst project.

-- piper

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6855 posts in 3975 days

#5 posted 07-29-2007 06:19 AM

Your off to a great start! Now your wife will let you buy more tools.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3984 days

#6 posted 07-29-2007 06:22 AM

Very nice.

I think that I will have to put one of those on my “to make” list.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1804 posts in 4082 days

#7 posted 07-29-2007 07:22 AM

Beautiful job. My wife would love this.

-- Bob, Carver Massachusetts, Sawdust Maker

View Joe_F's profile


5 posts in 3964 days

#8 posted 07-29-2007 07:32 AM

Thanks for the kudos, guys. She did really like it and still uses it for bragging rights if you know what I mean.

Inside, door open pix will have to wait for a while, I’m afraid. We’re performing major remodeling and that has pretty much screwed the pooch mess-wise. Also I know wifey has the inside of the thing crammed to the gills so it won’t make a good pix right now anyway. The ones I posted were taken almost three years ago just after we had our tile put in. I’ll get some good pix ASAP but it’ll be a while, sorry.

View PanamaJack's profile


4483 posts in 4073 days

#9 posted 07-29-2007 08:00 AM

Just a great project this one is. Outstanding woodworking art.

-- Carpe Lignum; Tornare Lignum (Seize the wood, to Turn the wood)

View Don's profile


2603 posts in 4173 days

#10 posted 07-29-2007 01:27 PM

Man, you’ve built a rod for your own back. A jewelery box this large is going to take at least one life-time to fill. I had to look real close to see where the storage compartment was, thinking at first it must be hidden in the base – but no – it’s the whole thing, like a giant jewelery box standing on its end with a mirrored top. Very different.

Very nicely done, the joinery and finish shows through. Great project, Mate!

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

View Sawhorse's profile


281 posts in 4436 days

#11 posted 07-29-2007 01:54 PM

Don’t ‘cha just love the Concept-to-Reality process….very nicely done….

-- Sawhorse - Sulphur Springs, TX -

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 4306 days

#12 posted 07-30-2007 08:09 PM

Great work, fantastic idea to hide the jewelry in the mirror and I love the wooden knobs.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4156 days

#13 posted 07-30-2007 08:20 PM

how wonderful. You sound like a “kid in a candy store”. I can feel your pride and excitement.
Well done.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View mot's profile


4911 posts in 4032 days

#14 posted 07-31-2007 07:17 PM

I think you did a great job with this project! I can see something similar in the corner of our bedroom. Inspiring project!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

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