Amboyna burl box

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Project by RogerBean posted 12-27-2010 06:10 PM 4987 views 12 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

his small box was created around the small gold inlay that was given to me by the 92 year old lady who ultimately received the box. She’s a retired museum director, active photographer, artist, and regularly makes the three hour drive to see her grandchildren. A really remarkable lady.

The box is not large, at 5 7/8” x 6 7/8” x 3 1/8” h. The exterior is veneered with amboyna burl and the interior is veneered with very curly maple. The lift is ebony, as is the border around the inlay. I first inlayed the ebony four way match as a background, then inlayed the gold piece into the ebony.

The trays are figured Asian satinwood, and are a bit overkill in this size box, but seemed to look like they belonged there. The base and the trays are lined with chocolate brown leather. I prefer the look and feel of a fully lined box whether leather or contrasting veneer. The lining keeps the box from seeming hard and unfinished. There is a small white/black/white line to accent the edges when the lid is open.

It is desirable, I think, to make the inside of the box as interesting, or more so, than the outside. It’s a disappointment to open an inviting box only to find …well, nothing. I also like to veneer the bottoms of the trays and the box itself, so that when you turn a piece over, there is a pleasant little surprise.

The machined side-rail hinges are from The box seemed a bit small for a lock, so I just added the shaped lift. The finish is French polish. I originally planned to add more lines and decoration to the outside, but once it was veneered, it seemed complete just it as it was.

Thanks for looking in. If you have any questions, I’ll be happy to try to answer them.


-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

18 comments so far

View dustyal's profile


1260 posts in 2509 days

#1 posted 12-27-2010 06:16 PM

Really nice. I like what you said about making the inside look good… a surprise when opened. Choice of hinges adds to that feeling.

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

View bigike's profile


4040 posts in 2322 days

#2 posted 12-27-2010 06:58 PM

great work, was the wood for the sides of the box bought from a online store?

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View Maveric777's profile


2692 posts in 2110 days

#3 posted 12-27-2010 06:59 PM

Wow Roger! Where do we begin? There is so much about this piece I absolutely love. The amboyna burl matches the crowned jewel on the top perfectly. Simply eye candy bud…

I also love the treat you find once opening this up. I really like how you broke up the outside & the inside wood with the small thin boarder. (I am assuming that is ebony as well?) I also love the lining chosen for this piece. Spot on bud!

Good stuff Roger…. I am definitely laking notes on this piece. Classy!

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View stefang's profile


14699 posts in 2368 days

#4 posted 12-27-2010 07:28 PM

Elegant, well made and tastefully understated Roger. I totally agree with you about the importance of the inside being nice. I like to think of the outside as the gateway to something interesting inside (even though my boxes don’t always reflect this philosophy).

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Chip's profile


1904 posts in 3126 days

#5 posted 12-27-2010 08:06 PM

Stunning in every way Roger… as always… design, execution… exceptional. I could look at your work all day.

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

View Randy63's profile


238 posts in 1926 days

#6 posted 12-27-2010 08:12 PM

I totally agree with the others. A elegant and beautifully veneered box. A box like this is difficult to do well and you nandle it easily. Love the softness and color of the leather lining. Your inlay work is perfect and like the outline of the gold piece with the ebony. The hinges are beautiful as well and still provide a stop for the lid. The photos of the project including the closeups are very good too. Another top notch project well presented.

-- Randy, Oakdale, Ca.

View dub560's profile


606 posts in 1947 days

#7 posted 12-27-2010 08:53 PM

simple…understated elegance is displayed in this box roger. very nice

-- Life is enjoyable especially when you borrow from people

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4570 posts in 2070 days

#8 posted 12-27-2010 08:56 PM

Well chosen wood and lining combination. Good proportions. Veneering the trays as well is definitely a good move. Overall a splendid box, Roger

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View SPalm's profile


5173 posts in 2916 days

#9 posted 12-27-2010 09:23 PM

Fantastic Roger.
It looks complete to me too.

Thanks for the inspiration,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View rowdy's profile


373 posts in 2476 days

#10 posted 12-27-2010 09:55 PM

Great looking box. The use of burl is really effective.

-- Rowdy in Kechi, Kansas

View TJ65's profile


1358 posts in 2083 days

#11 posted 12-28-2010 01:05 AM

What a great looking box and what you have said going to a great lady too.
I tell you some of these oldies are just fantastic in what they do and how they carry themselves. I swear if I am half as good as these people at thier age it will be a miracle!

-- Theresa,

View CharlieM1958's profile


16090 posts in 3252 days

#12 posted 12-28-2010 01:09 AM

Fantastic little details all over the place. Another winner.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View fernandoindia's profile


1079 posts in 1977 days

#13 posted 12-28-2010 05:32 AM

I like this too Roger.
Very elegant. Good point on interiors.

-- Back home. Fernando

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 2808 days

#14 posted 12-28-2010 05:36 AM

Great looking box as always. Beautiful detail and very nicely done. Thanks for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View tomd's profile


1930 posts in 2804 days

#15 posted 12-28-2010 08:02 AM

Great box Roger, the veneer looks terrific nice color and well constructed. These boxes are becoming more and more complex, the interor is so delightful. another wonderful project, congradulations.

-- Tom D

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