A Graduation Gift

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Project by jeepturner posted 05-30-2011 05:31 AM 1931 views 1 time favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My next door neighbor girl, who I have known for years, who is one of my daughters good friends, is going to graduate this year. She has always made hand made gifts for us on the holidays, and if it wasn’t a gift it was a hand made card.
For her graduation present, I had to make her something, so I made this jewelry box.
The box is made from mahogany, with ebony splines and handle. the dividers and the top box are made from maple.
This is the first time that I have ever used this type of hinge, and at thirty plus dollars for the set it may be a long time before I use them again. I installed them proud on the back, at first, because I didn’t want to chamfer the back edge. After looking at those hinges sticking out the back as I made the rest of the box, I changed my mind and chamfered the area between the hinges.
The ring holder was made from foam from those sanding sponges. I tried to find a foam that would work, but all the material at the craft shops was too soft. I cut the abrasive away, and was left with a foam that was just right.
She say’s she likes it!

-- Mel,

14 comments so far

View bill merritt's profile

bill merritt

203 posts in 3493 days

#1 posted 05-30-2011 05:52 AM

I like what you have done, don’t understand the hinge problem. It looks like you worked it out just fine. Good looking J.Box.

-- Bill Merritt -Augusta Ga. woodworker

View mafe's profile


11741 posts in 3293 days

#2 posted 05-30-2011 08:25 AM

That is a wonderful box.
So sweet of you to make her this present, and so sweet story of her kindness, no doubt she deserve it.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View peteg's profile


4423 posts in 3027 days

#3 posted 05-30-2011 10:22 AM

Mel, pleased to see you made it from very enduring timber because I think this young Lady will keep this one forever.
Beautiful clean & simple lines, great job, :)))

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View SPalm's profile


5325 posts in 4086 days

#4 posted 05-30-2011 01:23 PM

What a wonderful box and a wonderful story.

You done good,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View RogerBean's profile


1605 posts in 3157 days

#5 posted 05-30-2011 02:49 PM

Attractive box. Sorry to hear of your problems with the hinges. I don’t know any box makers who don’t cringe, at least a little, when it comes time to fit the hinges. I have been using these same hinges in the quadrant and non-quadrant version for all my boxes to date. The non-quadrant version is somewhat problematical in that it is necessary to relieve the lid and base for clearance as the hinge pivots. They are normally mounted so that the pin is centered over the back edge, allowing for a smooth back. The hinges do project a little. They work very well in a 1/2” carcass, and can be used with 3/8” sides as well, leaving the remaining wood on the outside side so the brass doesn’t show on the side. Aside from being among the best looking, they are among the easiest to install perfectly.

The nicest hinge currently available is the SmartHinge recently offered by Andrew Crawford ( It solves nearly all the problems of the above hinges, and offers a cleaner look at the back. I plan to use them in future. However, they are about $60 a pair, so that may scare some off.

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

View jeepturner's profile


939 posts in 2996 days

#6 posted 05-30-2011 04:24 PM

Thanks for all the comments. They are always nice to hear. I have the utmost respect for you guys, and your kind comments mean a lot.

On my other hinged boxes I have always used a butt hinge, and they extend out the back also. The sides of this box are just under3/8ths thick and the hinges are 5/16ths, so the hinge was going to show on the sides. The thickness of the box was determined by the board I used to make it, and that I wanted it to be a continuous grain pattern around the box. The board I used was given to me when I purchased a planer from a Craigslist advertisement. This was my second box from the same stick of wood. It looked like the original plan for the mahogany was, an arched header about three feet long, because there was an arch drawn on it, and nail holes at the ends and the acme of the arch.

I looked at the SmartHinge, Roger. I looks similar to the hinge I used, except the corners on the hinge barrel are rounded. They are pricey, and I probably would not be using them, mostly because of the price. The thing about them is that they still extend out the back of the box. I would be left with the same dilemma, either the hinges stick out, or the edges are chamfered.

I write for a living, not what most folks think of writing, more data entry than,, highbrow stuff. But it takes me a long time to write out my thoughts to you all, kinda funny. Now I am on my way out to the shop to work on a router plane.

-- Mel,

View RogerBean's profile


1605 posts in 3157 days

#7 posted 05-30-2011 04:39 PM

Hope to see more of your boxes, with whatever hinge you choose. We can use all the good box makers we can get, and I like yours.

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

View Bertha's profile


13551 posts in 2897 days

#8 posted 05-30-2011 04:47 PM

It’s spectacular, sure to become an instant heirloom. Congratulations to your graduate!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Gary's profile


9386 posts in 3637 days

#9 posted 05-30-2011 07:37 PM

Beautiful box…great gift

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View Roger's profile


20952 posts in 3008 days

#10 posted 05-30-2011 09:52 PM

that is a beautiful box and a great gift. very nice. really like the splines and wood combo/s

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

View mtkate's profile


2049 posts in 3529 days

#11 posted 05-31-2011 12:28 AM

Wonderful looking box. I need to try flocking. It really gives the inside look a kick.

View itsmic's profile


1419 posts in 3322 days

#12 posted 05-31-2011 12:52 AM

Wonderful Jewelry Box, elegant and sophisticated with fine craftsmanship, fine gesture to Your Neighbor, Thanks for sharing

-- It's Mic Keep working and sharing

View jeepturner's profile


939 posts in 2996 days

#13 posted 05-31-2011 04:33 AM

Thanks again for the kind comments.
mtkate, the lining in the box is not flocked. I thought about flocking it, and went to the local craft store to find some. I read the instructions and was disappointed because it only included instructions for spray application. I don’t have a sprayer, so that was out. But thank you for mentioning it, because it brings up another point.
I neglected to thank GaryK. After doing a little search on lining a box, I found several solutions. I had on hand all the material required to line it with felt, 3M spray adhesive, and thin cardboard. You can read Gary’s solution here.
I did intend to thank him in my narrative above, it was an oversight on my part.

-- Mel,

View sedcokid's profile


2735 posts in 3802 days

#14 posted 06-05-2011 11:13 PM

What a Wonderful jewelry box! I know how she must have been elated with this beauty. Great Job!

Thanks for sharing

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

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