inlayed toy box

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Project by donaldcox posted 10-25-2010 01:47 AM 3187 views 4 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my first furniture project, created for my daughter. I started this project late last year after obtaining beautiful curly cherry and maple from Scott Porosky (poroskywood). I initially started with the armadillo inlay. All inlay pieces, both open armadillo on the top of lid and closed on the bottom of lid were made using 1/4 inch thick pieces of wood. I purchased about 20x the amount of exotics, searching for particular grain patterns. Corners, braces, and penguin inlays on the bottom were gabon ebony. 20 species in all used. All inlays cut on my scroll saw. I drew them first on paper then tried the template thing (3 different times)...but found free hand was more accurate. BLO applied (1:4 ratio with mineral spirits) and immediately wiped off. CA glue over inlay then finished with french polish using clear shellac flakes in a 2# cut over a 2 month period. Still have to rub out in a couple weeks. Inspiration was semi-dark with the penguins heads down towards a sun nearing its end. The armodillo being a symbol of humility. Chose curly cherry to represent movement in water.

26 comments so far

View jim1953's profile


2736 posts in 4080 days

#1 posted 10-25-2010 02:03 AM

Great Lookin Toy Box

-- Jim, Kentucky

View Roger's profile


20965 posts in 3042 days

#2 posted 10-25-2010 02:08 AM

that’s one hell-of-a-storybehind this build. Awesome job. Your daughter will love it. The finish is spectacular. Oh, and welcome to LJ’s…. This is a great place for all sorts of woodin info and inspirations, and knowledge from all sorts of folks/jocks all over the world. Have fun, and keep on makin dust

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

View Chip's profile


1904 posts in 4330 days

#3 posted 10-25-2010 02:08 AM

Great piece of woodworking Donald. That wood is beautiful and you really did a wonderful job on that inlay… it looks terrific. Thanks for sharing this with us.

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

View TheGravedigger's profile


963 posts in 4262 days

#4 posted 10-25-2010 03:26 AM

For a first furniture project, you’re off to a great start. The BLO really brought out the grain of the wood. Good job!

-- Robert - Visit my woodworking blog:

View Alan's profile


443 posts in 3642 days

#5 posted 10-25-2010 03:57 AM

Wow, what a great project.

-- Alan, Prince George

View Dusty56's profile


11830 posts in 3926 days

#6 posted 10-25-2010 04:09 AM

Not everyone gets to have a museum quality toy box while they’re growing up…..Your daughter is very lucky : )
Congratulations on such a wonderful project. I noticed the penguins right away….such an awesome detail in addition to the Armadillo . Your wood choices were excellent and I’ve also been lucky enough to get some prime porosky wood pieces from Scott : )
Where did you find those hinges ?

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View RS Woodworks's profile

RS Woodworks

533 posts in 3489 days

#7 posted 10-25-2010 04:51 AM

WOW!!! Amazing heirloom piece that I’m sure will be treasured for many many years. Great work!!

-- I restore the finest vintage tools! If you need a nice plane, saw, marking tool or brace, please let me know!

View OutPutter's profile


1199 posts in 4228 days

#8 posted 10-25-2010 05:06 AM

Very nice toy box. How did you come up with the idea for armadillos? Do they even have armadillos in Washington or Connecticut? I can see the penguins cause what kid doesn’t like penguins? But, it’s the armadillo that makes it so special. And who puts a French polish job on a toy box? You’re one crazy dad!


-- Jim

View HerbC's profile


1792 posts in 3097 days

#9 posted 10-25-2010 05:30 AM


I saw the penguins and thought “Another Linux user…”


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View Richard 's profile


394 posts in 3359 days

#10 posted 10-25-2010 05:35 AM

Nice toy chest, I like the armadillo. The idea of the penquins are very unique.

-- Richard Boise, Idaho

View Neil Rokos's profile

Neil Rokos

6 posts in 3011 days

#11 posted 10-25-2010 05:52 AM

Sorry about the way your toy box turned out, cause you have set the bar pretty high on every project after this!!!!!!!
Great box, looking forward to seeing the next project

View JAGWAH's profile


929 posts in 3322 days

#12 posted 10-25-2010 05:55 AM

Very fun! I really like the Armadillo, nice piece.

-- ~Just A Guy With A Hammer~

View dorran's profile


140 posts in 3472 days

#13 posted 10-25-2010 07:46 AM

Great Build. Very unique. That beautiful cherry grain will be admired for generations to come.

-- Life is about choices. You can spend a lot of money on furniture and have really nice furniture; Or you can spend a lot on tools and have even more expensive, crappy furniture. I made my choice.

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3094 days

#14 posted 10-25-2010 07:50 AM

That is really nice.

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 3302 days

#15 posted 10-25-2010 10:44 AM

WOW!!! Your daughter will cherish it for years. And probably her kid’s also. Great piece to hand down thru the family.

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

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