Quarter-sawn sycamore jewelry chest

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Project by Ben posted 10-19-2010 06:04 AM 4060 views 7 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my second quarter-sawn sycamore project. I crafted this jewlery chest for my niece’s birthday.

The chest stands about 14 inches high.

I started with full 1 inch stock and resawed the wood to the approximate dimension. I then ran it through the drum sander to remove the bandsaw marks and get it to the exact 3/8 thickness.

There are a total of twelve drawers lined with self-adhesive beige velvet.

I dovetailed the drawers with a tiny router bit and used walnut for the drawer sides.

When I started this project, I thought it would go pretty quickly. I soon found that building and fitting this many drawers takes a considerable amount of time. Believe it or not, I have close to 40 hours in this project. However, I wouldn’t trade a minute of it. I love to build projects for my family.

I am really pumped about giving this to my niece. The dovetails and wild grain may go unnoticed but, I hope it is something she will cherish.

I am still debating on the style and color of knobs/pulls….waiting for inspiration to hit me. Any and all suggestions are welcome.

Thanks for looking and have a great day.



I took the easy route on the knobs. I searched almost every corner of the worldwide web and could not find small jewelry box knobs in any color other than brass. I would have preferred a contrasting color. I settled on some 5/16” brass knobs from the Rockler store.

I wish I could have made some knobs from walnut but could not come up with a decent design and had a deadline approaching.

17 comments so far

View Brandon's profile


4151 posts in 2791 days

#1 posted 10-19-2010 06:10 AM

It looks beautiful. I can’t imagine how long it must have taken you to cut all those dovetails!

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View NBeener's profile


4816 posts in 3013 days

#2 posted 10-19-2010 06:28 AM

Brandon hit it.

GREAT job, and a whole lotta’ time on the dovetails.

The sycamore is elegant. The whole box is just great !

-- -- Neil

View rkoorman's profile


381 posts in 2664 days

#3 posted 10-19-2010 01:37 PM

i like it. what kind of dovetail jig do you use?



View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 4086 days

#4 posted 10-19-2010 01:49 PM

Gorgeous, love the grain and tails. I think some kind of black iron knobs would look cool, but that’s me.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View 489tad's profile


3259 posts in 2851 days

#5 posted 10-19-2010 02:26 PM

Very nice. Any dark color would work for the knobs. Maybe the walnut?

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View Napaman's profile


5526 posts in 3917 days

#6 posted 10-19-2010 04:27 PM

very nice! black iron sounds good…or some dark contrasting wood…any walnut left?

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View CiscoKid's profile


338 posts in 2713 days

#7 posted 10-19-2010 08:41 PM

Amazing workmanship! Your neice should be thrilled at such a thoughtful gift. I vote for small ebony pulls.

-- Al, Culpeper VA

View matt garcia's profile

matt garcia

1882 posts in 3511 days

#8 posted 10-20-2010 03:25 AM

That’s a beauty!! Great job!!!

-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX

View a1Jim's profile


116592 posts in 3417 days

#9 posted 10-20-2010 03:41 AM

Great piece Ben,beautiful work

-- Custom furniture

View Ben 's profile


163 posts in 3204 days

#10 posted 10-21-2010 05:50 AM

Thanks for the kind comments guys.

I used an incra jig for the dovetails.

Also, thanks for the input on the knobs.

View Chip's profile


1904 posts in 3932 days

#11 posted 10-22-2010 05:49 AM

Terrific piece of woodworking Ben. I’m sure your niece will cherish it and appreciate the details more and more as she grows older. A family heirloom for sure. Wonderful work and thanks for the post.

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View Greg's profile


328 posts in 2713 days

#12 posted 10-24-2010 01:08 AM

Wow! Great looking box. Holy crap on all the dovetrails! Ouch! I happen to be working on a QS Sycamore box right now myself. Thanks for some added inspiration.


-- You don't have a custom made heirloom fly fishing Net?

View Gator's profile


382 posts in 3516 days

#13 posted 11-16-2010 04:30 AM

Awesome job… the dovetails have me shaking my head.. someone throw a net over this guy.. he has to be crazy after that..

Nice work.


-- Master designer of precision sawdust and one of a kind slivers.

View Albert's profile


491 posts in 3429 days

#14 posted 12-13-2010 09:30 PM

Excellent post, very high quality workmanship. Thanks for sharing I’ve added it to my favorites and someday will attempt to make one for my granddaughter. Can you let me know approximately what the overall dimensions are? Width Height Length?

View juniorjock's profile


1930 posts in 3605 days

#15 posted 12-13-2010 10:43 PM

It really surprised me when I saw how big this piece was in your description. Looking at the photo, I thought it was a great looking chest of draws (the big stuff). That’s some beautiful wood and a very beautiful piece for you to share with your niece. Be sure to sign and date it. She’ll appreciate it for a looong time.
- JJ

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