Hand Cut Dovetail Jewelry Box - Mahogany and Maple

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Project by MAO posted 04-25-2017 01:38 AM 1168 views 4 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Okay, Here is my last project that I have finished. This is a jewelry box that I made for my wife. It is constructed of mahogany and maple. With the exception of dimensioning, all work was performed with hand tools. I bought my first veritas dovetail saw about this time last year at one of the Wood Shows. Since then I have assembled a small collections of user hand tools that I absolutely love to use! Every project is a completely new learning opportunity for me and I just strive to do my absolute best at developing my skill. I know that I take WAY too much time on my projects, but I just figure that if I can develop the skill, the efficiency and speed with follow…

Plenty of firsts for me on this project. First time using Mahogany. First time cutting grooves with my stanley plow plane, First time cutting a half-lap miter joint (thanks youtube). I’ve have cut a few dovetails in the past, but only on drawer carcasses – this is the first time that they are displayed front and center. First time fitting a mortise hinge. First time raising a panel with a handplane.

My finishing schedule includes:

transtint amber dye on the maple
50/50 BLO and mineral spirits
couple coats of blonde shellac for seal coat
Old Masters dark walnut glaze on the mahogany to color strike the pores
four coats of garnet shellac
final rub with steel wool and johnson paste wax

Thanks for all of the support guys. It really means a lot to a new guy like me. Please feel free to point out on what you change or recommend for improvements to this box (private email is fine if you don’t want to post publicly). I plan to build a few more of these for Christmas presents for some family members and I really value the expertise and opinions of this forum.


MAO (Indiana)

-- MAO (Indiana)

8 comments so far

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

1951 posts in 524 days

#1 posted 04-25-2017 11:15 AM

Good job! I like the dovetail work … especially on the base! This jewelry box looks like a miniature English tool chest … awesome!

You wrote, ”... can develop the skill, the efficiency and speed …” Don’t worry about the speed. That takes all the joy out of woodworking!

-- Ron in Lilburn, Georgia.  Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself.

View MrLaughingbrook's profile


114 posts in 1844 days

#2 posted 04-25-2017 02:32 PM

Beautiful work. I too know that I take WAY too much time on my projects, but I just figure that if I can develop the skill, the efficiency and speed with follow… Boxes are fun.

-- MrLaughingbrook

View helluvawreck's profile


29804 posts in 2743 days

#3 posted 04-25-2017 03:36 PM

This jewelry box is very nice. Congratulations.

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 builtinbkyn's profile


1957 posts in 817 days

#4 posted 04-25-2017 04:08 PM

Beautiful jewelry box. Lots of detail and the joinery is perfect. Love the dovetails on the base!

-- Bill, Yo! Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View groland's profile


181 posts in 3288 days

#5 posted 04-25-2017 05:10 PM

You have “arrived” as a pro-level woodworker as far as I’m concerned. Beautiful box!

View Andybb's profile


650 posts in 480 days

#6 posted 10-08-2017 03:28 AM

How did you get the pins and tails darker than the rest, or is that just how the end grain finished?

Box looks “pro level” awesome to me especially with hand cut dove tails. Looks flawless. We are always our own worst critic.

View splintergroup's profile


1826 posts in 1099 days

#7 posted 10-08-2017 02:48 PM

Fantastic DTs!

That finish is also excellent, really brings out the grain in that mahogany.

View Kelster58's profile


332 posts in 416 days

#8 posted 12-29-2017 01:34 AM

GREAT job!!! Very nice!

-- K. Stone “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin

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