Another Modest Box

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Project by smitty22 posted 02-25-2011 01:42 AM 2165 views 2 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Another box, finished today just in time for daughter’s birthday tomorrow. I guess this could be called a keepsake or jewelry box, although I’m not too sure what the difference is.

A couple of twists in this one… It started as practice for box joints using 11mm ply Baltic birch. Then decided to practice some hinges (not so easy, I found!), and try to come up with a lid that was different than what I’d tried before. Sort of a skill builder project on several fronts. When all done it looked good enough for a gift, so spruced it up a bit and away it goes.

Box is about 6×8x4”, and the lid is ¾” BB ply edged with ½” x ¾” ash ripped from a single board to try to match grain and have it flow around the box. Ply lid is recessed into the box by 3/16” to give a nice tight fit and the ash stands proud of the ply about the same giving a picture frame effect. Handle is a scrap of cocobola with a tenon cut on the backside and glued to a mortise cut in the edge of the lid. The mortise cut was after the lid was finished, and was a bit scary since I hadn’t used my old craftsman router in years! Built a four-compartment tray of birch, and lined the bottom of the box with a nice piece of wine-colored leather.

Finish is 6 coats of sprayed lacquer – anyone notice the slight blue tint? That’s just a pinch of PPG shimrin’ blue powder added to the last coat of lacquer, really shows up in the sunlight and tones down the coarse grain of the ash, sort of helps it blend with the birch.

Anyway I post this with thanks to all of the accomplished craftsman and artists for the boxes they produce that inspire us, and to show that humble beginnings in box building can be fun and sort of pretty, even without $12/bf exotic wood… I think I’ll build another! (However, these things are addictive, and I really need to stop and build a workbench.)

Thanks for looking.

-- Smitty

10 comments so far

View RogerBean's profile


1605 posts in 2953 days

#1 posted 02-25-2011 02:09 AM

Perhaps it’s the builder that is modest. It’s an honest and straightforward box… and there is nothing at all wrong with that. I do hope you build more. Keep ‘em coming.

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

View kalapolo's profile


63 posts in 2689 days

#2 posted 02-25-2011 02:10 AM

You call it modest, but I call it beautiful! Even ‘modest’ materials can make great things.

View jbschutz's profile


539 posts in 2691 days

#3 posted 02-25-2011 04:54 AM

The materials may be modest, but the box is excellent. I rather like the Baltic Birch plies showing on the box joints. Excellent job, it has a sort of Scandinavian Design look.

-- jbschutz

View smitty22's profile


714 posts in 2947 days

#4 posted 02-25-2011 06:06 PM

Thanks everyone, nothing like finishing a project and having it look even better than planned.

JB, Although it was purely accidental, I like the Scandinavian Design thought!


-- Smitty

View bigike's profile


4052 posts in 3288 days

#5 posted 02-25-2011 06:30 PM

nice box

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View Wolffarmer's profile


407 posts in 3238 days

#6 posted 02-25-2011 08:17 PM

Wow, that is a great looking box. Bravo


-- That was not wormy wood when I started working on it.

View smitty22's profile


714 posts in 2947 days

#7 posted 02-26-2011 05:23 AM

thanks Ike, enjoyed looking at the boxes you’ve posted, probably stole an idea or two from ya without even realizing it.

Randy, Also thanks, I built a version of your dado set box a while back, mine just wasn’t as pretty as yours!

-- Smitty

View Wolffarmer's profile


407 posts in 3238 days

#8 posted 02-26-2011 05:33 AM

Smitty, just remember, I was taking the pictures.


Makes me happy I inspired someone


-- That was not wormy wood when I started working on it.

View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2804 days

#9 posted 02-26-2011 01:04 PM

this is a very nice, clean, box. nice handle and contrasting woods

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

View itsmic's profile


1419 posts in 3118 days

#10 posted 03-01-2011 04:37 AM

Very nice looking box, clean and precise, fine craftsmanship, I like the added features, adds interest and style, thanks for sharing

-- It's Mic Keep working and sharing

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