Ring boxes

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Project by Ian Hawthorne posted 03-13-2011 09:20 AM 3386 views 11 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hi all

These are images of some ring boxes I have made – again drawing inspiration from art deco and of course attention to detail being paramount.
The first ones are made from native yew and yew burr – sycamore with a ripple syc for the lid. Both are bordered in acetal and have polyester inlays. The interior is lamb nappa with a sunken area for the ring.

The last was inspired by something closer to home the Titanic’s interior which had walls panelled in oak and then into the belly of the ship was the furnace room with the furnace door that opened to the fire which was fed with coal. Made from white oak with a milled aluminium grill and lined in black suede. This box will be featured in Good woodworking magazine in April (I think).



-- Worlds Best Box Hardware!

24 comments so far

View rance's profile


4258 posts in 3182 days

#1 posted 03-13-2011 10:14 AM

Very nice work. You should do a blog on how to do the part that holds the ring. I’d bet many folks would like that.

Box #2: I’m curious as to how you split that metal emblem on the front. Care to share? I’d have to start with two and sacrifice half of each one. Again, wonderful job on both of them.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View HawkDriver's profile


447 posts in 2654 days

#2 posted 03-13-2011 11:08 AM

Beautiful boxes!

-- Patrick, Helicopters don't fly. They beat the air into submission.

View Ian Hawthorne's profile

Ian Hawthorne

297 posts in 2670 days

#3 posted 03-13-2011 11:41 AM

Thanks guys.

The metal grill was turned and inlayed before I split the box. It does move away from the circle but very little.

The insert was MDF with a hole drilled in it and the edges rounded over, it was then put into my frame press and covered in lamb nappa and pressed for an hour – it works great.



-- Worlds Best Box Hardware!

View jason434's profile


18 posts in 3298 days

#4 posted 03-13-2011 02:05 PM

As always great work. I was going to email you a while back and ask you how you make your engraved lines on the emblems and on the front of the boxes? Do you do that on your milling machine? And what do you fill the black in with? You do a lot of this type of artistic work around the top of your boxes and i can figure out how you carve those triple lines.

I look forward to more new work. And will keep you in touch with my project.


View Ian Hawthorne's profile

Ian Hawthorne

297 posts in 2670 days

#5 posted 03-13-2011 02:14 PM

Hi Jason thanks.

Yes on my milling machine.

The black is tinted polyester resin.

keep me posted on your project I look forward to seeing it :)



-- Worlds Best Box Hardware!

View SPalm's profile


5320 posts in 3903 days

#6 posted 03-13-2011 02:19 PM

Wow Ian, I really like your stuff. Just enough deco to really make the piece without taking away. I am still studying your pics to try to decide how you did it. It looks like shop cut veneers mitered over butt joints. There are still a few tricks in there. The triple inlaid lines are a treat.

Anyway, very very nice.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4240 days

#7 posted 03-13-2011 03:45 PM

Some people have a great eye for design, and others are masters of execution. You, sir, have the complete package!

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

View Spoontaneous's profile


1334 posts in 3351 days

#8 posted 03-13-2011 03:53 PM

Sometimes when work is so clean, crisp and exact it looks sterile…. but somehow, you manage to nurture the ‘warmth’ of the piece. I’ve had a small box collection for many years, but none are this well done. Btw, “bespoke” is one of my favorite words.

-- I just got done cutting three boards and all four of them were too short. (true story)

View Maveric777's profile


2693 posts in 3098 days

#9 posted 03-13-2011 03:54 PM

Good stuff Ian! Thanks for sharing! I’m in agreement with the others… You got a great eye for design.

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View Bill Szydlo's profile

Bill Szydlo

65 posts in 2709 days

#10 posted 03-13-2011 03:56 PM

Ian, beautiful work. You have an outstanding eye for design. A few days ago I saw your article in “Furniture & Cabinetmaking” regarding your art deco box. I noticed that you inlayed small lines in your edge banding. Similar to what you have done here. Can you share any information on your milling process? I am curious what type of milling machine and bits you use. I must admit I know very little about milling machines so any information would be greatly appreciated.
Keep up the outstanding work and I look forward to reading more of your articles in the future,

View Ian Hawthorne's profile

Ian Hawthorne

297 posts in 2670 days

#11 posted 03-13-2011 04:14 PM

Hi guys many thanks.

Bill was the article images from the forum?

Well the bit I use is a 1.6mm bit and I always layout in sketchup first, then I cut to a depth of 1mm on my mill.

The good thing with the mill is the box gets clamped in place and the table moves, I have tried other methods but nothing comes close to the accuracy and control of the mill.

Then I fill these with polyester resin tinted with white pigment

When dry it gets scraped flush and the sander.



-- Worlds Best Box Hardware!

View Bill Szydlo's profile

Bill Szydlo

65 posts in 2709 days

#12 posted 03-13-2011 04:31 PM

Ian, I remember seeing the box in the projects section but have not investigated the forum for additional information. I believe the article was in last months F & C magazine, here in US the magazine arrives on bookshelves about a month late.

Can I ask, what type of mill are you using? I just began a search for mills and, just like every other type of tool, there seems to be a wide variety. I noticed that Grizzly & MicroMark sell a mini mill but do not know what style is appropriate for detail work in woodworking.

Thanks again for writing back,

View Ian Hawthorne's profile

Ian Hawthorne

297 posts in 2670 days

#13 posted 03-13-2011 04:41 PM

Hi Bill

When you say projects section did they run a project article on it or was it just a photo?

As for mills I went for a warco wm18 – I think it comes from the same stable as the grizzly

Its great for woodworking – What I like most is the workpiece is secured and the table does the moving.



-- Worlds Best Box Hardware!

View Roger's profile


20928 posts in 2825 days

#14 posted 03-13-2011 05:09 PM

very nice. both of em

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

View Bill Szydlo's profile

Bill Szydlo

65 posts in 2709 days

#15 posted 03-13-2011 05:25 PM

Ian, I just looked at your website and the box that was in F & C was your “Steps Box”. The article was about 5-6 pages long with construction details. I hope more of your work is going to be featured in up coming issues.

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