Dolphin Jewelry Box

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Project by PanamaJack posted 10-24-2011 04:13 AM 4457 views 3 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made two of these Dolphin Jewelry Boxes, nearly identical. Except one was “lefty” and this one was made a “righty”. Made from Aromatic Cedar, they have spray red felt lining to each drawer. Over the entire case, inside and out, plus all sides of each drawer is a finish of sprayed on layers of Lacquer, 4 coats. I gave the “Lefty” to my daughter and this one went to a gentleman celebrating his 40th anniversary…..He made an offer that I could not turn down!

Ever made one of these? They took a really Looooong time to make!


-- Carpe Lignum; Tornare Lignum (Seize the wood, to Turn the wood)

16 comments so far

View tomd's profile


2176 posts in 3976 days

#1 posted 10-24-2011 04:44 AM

Very nice looking box, well done.

-- Tom D

View TDSpade's profile


106 posts in 2622 days

#2 posted 10-24-2011 06:50 AM

Very Cool!

-- For every expert, there is an equal and opposite expert.

View Karson's profile


35149 posts in 4606 days

#3 posted 10-24-2011 06:54 AM

Man that is beautiful.. Now the question is if he had made a really great offer on two, would your daughter be left without a box of her own.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia †

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4185 days

#4 posted 10-24-2011 02:39 PM

Hi Panama,

Very nice work.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

21757 posts in 3311 days

#5 posted 10-24-2011 02:41 PM

Very sweet box. Nice choice of wood,too. Where do you get spray felt?

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

View Ken90712's profile


17594 posts in 3395 days

#6 posted 10-24-2011 04:22 PM

Great job they look great!!!!!

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

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 3270 days

#7 posted 10-24-2011 05:17 PM

Beautiful box I like how you did the base.

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View PanamaJack's profile


4483 posts in 4283 days

#8 posted 10-24-2011 10:11 PM

Jim, I got the Spray Felt at Rockler’s in Indianapolis. They have Black, Red and Green.

-- Carpe Lignum; Tornare Lignum (Seize the wood, to Turn the wood)

View PanamaJack's profile


4483 posts in 4283 days

#9 posted 10-24-2011 10:15 PM

In the bookdirections it calls for it to be flat of the bottom. Made the glue-up a bit taller and added feet/legs. Thought it would sit better and wouldn’t wobble as much as if it were solid on the bottom. Guess I was thinking while I was cutting on the band saw, scary I know!

-- Carpe Lignum; Tornare Lignum (Seize the wood, to Turn the wood)

View PanamaJack's profile


4483 posts in 4283 days

#10 posted 10-24-2011 10:16 PM

That offer could not have possibly been that good!

-- Carpe Lignum; Tornare Lignum (Seize the wood, to Turn the wood)

View SPHinTampa's profile


567 posts in 3891 days

#11 posted 10-25-2011 06:08 PM

Having never made a bandsaw box before, I am curious as to what makes them time consuming.

I am guessing that it is the finishing … lots of irregular curves to remove bandsaw marks from.

Did I get it right?

-- Shawn, I ask in order to learn

View PanamaJack's profile


4483 posts in 4283 days

#12 posted 10-25-2011 09:22 PM


To start with most bandsaw boxes are made from multiple layers of wood, not a single block. You have to cut all to size. It is interesting for the finished product if you put a contrasting wood in the middle somewhere while making the glue-up. You can make however many layers your bandsaw will go. Glue and set aside for up to a few hours. I let mine set up over night as I actually did 6 boxes at this time, but only two of these were dolphin boxes. Come back sand the front and back down. Take this glued block to a good bandsaw and cut about 1/4” off what will be the back side. Set aside. Then draw the pattern for what ever size and how ever many drawers you want for your jewelry box. (You can follow a pattern as I did, for just these two boxes.) Again with a good bandsaw you’ll cut out each drawer. Set drawers aside. You will have to very carefully and neatly sand, preferably with an oscillating spindle sander, each area you’ve cut out for a drawer. Various sized spindles needed. Now you will now have to carefully adjust and glue the back of the block on, this is the only means of support for the entire box. (It had to have an even area around each and every drawer for it to turn out looking right at the end.) Now you have to sand the box on the outside, roughly with again a spindle sander and by hand to finish grade. Now you have to route around all the box with about a quarter inch roundover bit.

Back to the drawers. With your bandsaw you now have to attack the drawers. You will cut 1/2 inch off the front of the piece of wood to make the drawer front. Then cut off 1/4” off what would be the back of the drawer, match up or number lightly with a pencil (or tape) so as not to get confused later, set the fronts and backs aside. Take what remains and cut out the part that will be come the “box” of the drawer, cutting the area out to the configuration you think most desirable for jewelry. The part you cut out of the box is about the only scrap you end up with. Now sand, and sand, and sand…the box of the drawers. and the insides of the front and back parts. Now glue the font and back, back on to the box. After you set aside for an hour or more you now need to champher or route the drawers you just completed. Sand the drawers to finish. Now you have to make pieces for handles or drawer pulls, sand them and carefully glue them on the drawers. Wipe off all wood glue, a.s.a.p.. Then it’s off to the spray booth to lacquer them up. I did 4 layers, set aside then the drawers and so on, 4 times. I did two coats one day and two coats the next day. Then take the drawers back to the shop, paint the glue designed for the spray felt on the insides of the drawer. Careful all the way because it is hard to remove the glue. Spray within a half an hour or so, depending on the humidity, the felt when the glue just becomes tacky to the touch, not too long or you have to start over. You spray the felt in with a device that resembles an old powder bug spray device like my Grandpa had. Let it set as least 24 hours and it’s done.

Is it hard work? NO
Time consuming? YES, YES, YES!
Abour 65% of it is sanding time, I’m guessing.
Make more than one at a time….

I calculated that just making the two Dolphin Boxes alone, that I spent about 42 hours time. Over the space almost two weeks.

When I state: sand neatly or carefully – the neater you, the seams you cut will NOT become the focus of the jewelry box you just completed, reflecting the more on the beauty of the wood and not all the glue joints.

Exciting look (?), make on of these out of Zebra wood. It sold for $300. (Cheap)

Remember you are not cutting with a table saw, but a band saw.

Any other questions, or if I forgot something, let me know! :-)

-- Carpe Lignum; Tornare Lignum (Seize the wood, to Turn the wood)

View SPHinTampa's profile


567 posts in 3891 days

#13 posted 10-25-2011 10:37 PM

Thank you for the detail … end result looks great.

-- Shawn, I ask in order to learn

View ShopTinker's profile


884 posts in 2974 days

#14 posted 10-27-2011 04:22 AM

Love it. Well Done!

-- Dan - Valparaiso, Indiana, "A smart man changes his mind, a fool never does."

View Delkad's profile


8 posts in 2771 days

#15 posted 10-28-2011 10:02 PM

Very well done. I’ve made several Bandsaw boxes and to say it’s time consuming is an understatement. However the results are well worth the time. Again,, Very nice.

-- David Delka

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