Son's Mahogany & Walnut Box

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Project by shopmania posted 10-12-2011 09:16 PM 1532 views 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My son Marcelo from Argentina came to visit us for a few weeks. He was our exchange student 11 yeas ago in HS, came back to do an exchange year at Clemson University, (He is now a Mechanical Engineer, with a masters in metallurgy) and comes to visit whenever he can. He was her for a few weeks, and he was remarking about the projects he had seen me post on Facebook and Lumberjocks, and I asked him if her would like to build something with me while her was here. He is very mechanically inclined, and has worked on his families farm all his life, fixing equipment, etc. “Yes!” was his immediate reply.

I found the plans for this box in a recent issue of Woodsmith. I don’t have the number, but it was this year. It used some techniques for shaping both the box and the lid that I had not tried before, and I had a piece of mahogany that was the perfect size to build this project with virtually no waste. The spine keys are African Wenge, and the lid panel is 1/4 birch ply with walnut veneers inside and out.

Overall, the plans were excellent. I would suggest making the lid the same size as the box (8×12”) instead of the 11 3/4×7 3/4” that they recommend, so that the lid meets up with the top of the box when you are done. The techniques for slanting the box sides was a little scary, as I did not want to mess up what was shaping up to be a nice box. The slant cut for the box and for the top of the lid need to be “eyeballed” to make them come out correctly, and it is a little nerve wracking to put a completed box thru the table saw, not knowing for sure how it will come out. I was VERY pleased with the results on both the box and the lid. It is my personal favorite box that i have made to date.

The inside of the box is flocked with material from Donjer, and it is finished with gloss lacquer, spayed on, about 5-6 coats. I wanted a chain to limit the travel of the lid, and was unable to find something that was made specifically for the task, but used just a short piece of brass chain with a brass screw through each end to secure it to the box and lid. Be careful where you put the screw in the lid so you don’t prevent the lid from closing fully.

Marcelo and I had a great time building and sanding the box together, starting from one 40” – 1” x 6” of rough cut mahogany. We managed to use most of the tools n the shop. He will be taking it back to Argentina to use on his desk. I am glad that he will have something to remember this trip by, and hope we see him again before too long. Thanks for looking!

-- Tim, Myrtle Beach, Just one more tool, that's all I need! :)

4 comments so far

View Gary's profile


9331 posts in 3433 days

#1 posted 10-12-2011 10:42 PM

Nice job, Tim. I did a few of these a couple of months ago. You can find that chain as well as the ends at Lee Valley. Get the screws that go with it while you are getting the chain. They are small screws, not easy to find elsewhere.
Again, nice job. Looks really good.

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

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20489 posts in 3105 days

#2 posted 10-13-2011 12:50 AM

Tell Marcello, that is one beautiful box!!!!!!!!!.............Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Ian Hawthorne's profile

Ian Hawthorne

297 posts in 2649 days

#3 posted 10-13-2011 07:31 AM

Nice looking box Tim – very clean lines thanks for sharing.


-- Worlds Best Box Hardware!

View Tommy's profile


138 posts in 2828 days

#4 posted 10-13-2011 11:47 PM

I was lucky enough to see this sucker before it flew back to Argentina and I have to say that the details really made the box. This box is well thought out and the execution was nearly flawless. It’s a very neat combination of techniques.

-- Tommy, ---- It's Never Crowded On the Extra Mile.

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