Jewelry Box

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Project by MattinCincy posted 02-12-2011 04:35 AM 2620 views 39 times favorited 33 comments Add to Favorites Watch

One of my sisters’ boyfriends commissioned me to build her a jewelry box for her birthday and this is the result. Quartersawn sycamore with a solid walnut bookmatched top sliced from a small scrap that I almost threw away with some other offcuts I had laying around – glad I didn’t! The removable tray is walnut and the box is lined with black velvet.

The inspiration for the shape of the finger lift cutout and the curved friction fit dividers (thanks, Andy!) came from the “V” shape formed by the bookmatched top – I think it all works pretty well together.

The finishing was a little challenging. I always experiment with scraps while I’m working on a box to work out a finishing technique – for me, it’s important to not have any surprises when I put down a finish on a piece – I have too much invested to make a mistake at that point. In this case, I’m glad I did. I wanted to maintain the contrast between the light (sapwood?) and dark (heartwood?) stripe running around the body of the box. But when i put a coat of oil on to highlight the figure, it darkened the lighter part so much that it almost totally blended in with the dark part. To solve that, I applied a coat of shellac first and then sanded thoroughly with 320 grit back to bare wood. This effectively sealed the sapwood grain so it was similar to the heartwood but still allowed oil to penetrate. I followed that with a coat of BLO, then several more coats of shellac. Finally, after sanding with 600 to level the surface and going over the whole thing with 0000 steel wool, I applied 2 coats of Renaissance Wax. A silky, lustrous finish.

-- Wag more, bark less.

33 comments so far

View christopheralan's profile


1105 posts in 2405 days

#1 posted 02-12-2011 04:39 AM

WOW! Amazing box with great attention do detail on the theme and shape! Well done! Thanks for posting!

-- christopheralan

View jeepturner's profile


924 posts in 1477 days

#2 posted 02-12-2011 05:01 AM

Great Box, I like the relief for the finger, the shape does go with the top. I also like the continuous grain on that convex surface.

I have seen lots of sycamore used and I think I need to find a couple of pieces of it.

-- Mel,

View David175's profile


101 posts in 1374 days

#3 posted 02-12-2011 05:12 AM

thats just beautiful

-- Dave..Pensacola Fl.........In GOD we trust

View WWilson's profile


104 posts in 1748 days

#4 posted 02-12-2011 05:21 AM

You sir, are a true craftsman. Your work speaks for itself! Thanks for posting!


View Popsnsons's profile


327 posts in 1666 days

#5 posted 02-12-2011 05:26 AM

Nice detail. Great work!

-- Pops ~ In So Cal...

View CharlieM1958's profile


15706 posts in 2903 days

#6 posted 02-12-2011 05:42 AM


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

View blackcherry's profile


3169 posts in 2508 days

#7 posted 02-12-2011 05:45 AM

Bravo on this one, it just a wonderful build.

View matt garcia's profile

matt garcia

1832 posts in 2357 days

#8 posted 02-12-2011 05:49 AM


-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX

View ChuckC's profile


696 posts in 1620 days

#9 posted 02-12-2011 05:56 AM

Awesome box!

View Dedvw's profile


84 posts in 1566 days

#10 posted 02-12-2011 06:59 AM

Awesome work. I would love to make something close your box. How did you make the miter joints curve on the sides? Did you miter, then curve with hand planes, or something different?

View TJ65's profile


1354 posts in 1735 days

#11 posted 02-12-2011 07:33 AM

nice lines inside and out

-- Theresa,

View tomd's profile


1770 posts in 2455 days

#12 posted 02-12-2011 07:49 AM

Very nicely done, great box.

-- Tom D

View davegalesr's profile


31 posts in 1350 days

#13 posted 02-12-2011 11:50 AM

Great design and excellent choice of woods. Quartersawn sycamore is beautiful stuff – I have several sycamore trees in the back 40 and there is a fairly large one that will be coming down soon. I will try quartersawing some of it.

-- Dave Gale, Grover, NC

View Ken90712's profile


15078 posts in 1874 days

#14 posted 02-12-2011 11:57 AM

This is one great box! Love the “V” notches and the book match is perfect. The shape of this is so soft that anyone who recieves this as a gift will be thrilled.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View stefang's profile


13244 posts in 2019 days

#15 posted 02-12-2011 01:03 PM

Fantastic box Martin. Great design and build.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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