Hand cut dovetail box

  • Advertise with us
Project by Tony Strupulis posted 12-27-2010 08:36 PM 7332 views 12 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

In October, our local woodworking club hosted a class by Texas furnituremaker Frank Strazza. I put the last coat of finish on it late on Christmas eve, and gave it to my wife as a gift.

The class was to build a dovetailed jewelry box entirely by hand. I’m ashamed to say I have never cut dovetails by hand. In addition to the dovetails, the frame and panel lid was also made by hand – grooves, mortise and tenon, raised panel. The box is made from curly maple and walnut. The finish is shellac.

The last photo shows one of the ten Moxon twin screw vise I built for the club.

-- Tony -

18 comments so far

View dub560's profile


615 posts in 2334 days

#1 posted 12-27-2010 08:49 PM

handsome looking box..nice choice of woods

-- Life is enjoyable especially when you borrow from people

View bvdon's profile


481 posts in 2436 days

#2 posted 12-27-2010 08:55 PM

Looks nice… try out a Japanese Pull Saw sometime—you might prefer that over the saw you’re using.


View stefang's profile


15512 posts in 2755 days

#3 posted 12-27-2010 09:08 PM

What a great job you did on this box. The design really sets off the wood. You also did a fine job on the dovetails and the panels. I find that work done with handtools is not necessarily better, but I do find the process more satisfying when I do it that way.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View NBeener's profile


4808 posts in 2595 days

#4 posted 12-27-2010 09:42 PM

Beautiful job !

My wife loves her folding Ott light (looks like that’s what you’ve got, there). I think the high-CRI lighting is great for shop use.

But … yeah … love your handcut DTs, and the box, generally !

-- -- Neil

View Chip's profile


1904 posts in 3513 days

#5 posted 12-27-2010 09:45 PM

Beautiful in oh so many ways Tony… the wood, the joinery, the design… wonderful piece.

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

View Tony Strupulis's profile

Tony Strupulis

257 posts in 2544 days

#6 posted 12-27-2010 09:48 PM

Thanks, all!

Yeah, the Ott light came in really handy. My wife used to have an Ott light.

-- Tony -

View helluvawreck's profile


22679 posts in 2288 days

#7 posted 12-27-2010 10:10 PM

That’s a beautiful box, Tony. You did a fine job on it.

-- 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 blackcherry's profile


3292 posts in 3244 days

#8 posted 12-27-2010 11:46 PM

Nice looking box, the hand work came out wonderful.

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 3667 days

#9 posted 12-27-2010 11:49 PM


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

View mtkate's profile


2049 posts in 2746 days

#10 posted 12-27-2010 11:51 PM

Great choice of woods and how it’s put together. The tone on tone dovetail effect is beautiful.

View a1Jim's profile


115177 posts in 2998 days

#11 posted 12-27-2010 11:55 PM

She zammm
This is one cool box Tony . I never would have guessed these were among the first hand cut dovetails you had done. Nice work and great choices of wood too.

-- Custom furniture

View bigike's profile


4048 posts in 2709 days

#12 posted 12-28-2010 12:47 AM

good work on the handcut dovetails the contrasting woods are great too.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View Richard 's profile


394 posts in 2542 days

#13 posted 12-28-2010 03:55 AM

Tony, what size is your box, it almost looks like a chest. I been wanting to build something like this for a friend’s wedding but a tad bigger as a wedding chest.

I like the contrast between the walnut and maple, the striping of the maple really stands out, I really like your design.

-- Richard Boise, Idaho

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


17577 posts in 3097 days

#14 posted 12-28-2010 04:17 AM

Awesome box! I love curly maple :-)

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Triumph1's profile


856 posts in 2500 days

#15 posted 12-28-2010 02:58 PM

Hand cut dovetails…I am jealous. It loks beautiful. Thank you for posting.

-- Jeff , Wisconsin Please...can I stay in the basement a little longer, please!

showing 1 through 15 of 18 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics