Silver Dollar Box

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Project by capsfan posted 02-25-2008 12:43 AM 1170 views 2 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The father-in-law is a coin collecter and he asked for a box to hold some of his silver dollars. This is what I came up with. I used red oak for the box and the dividers. The top is a piece of curly maple veneer I rescued from the scrap bin at work.
This box holds 20 and he liked it so much I ended up making another that holds thirty.

-- We can't all be heroes, somebody has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by. (Will Rogers 1879-1935)

12 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2475 days

#1 posted 02-25-2008 01:05 AM

This is a nice box. If you FIL wanted another he obviously appreciated it, as well he should.

How did you finish the box?

Thanks for the post.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 2813 days

#2 posted 02-25-2008 01:11 AM

that’s wonderful. A keepsake for the keepsakes

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View CharlieM1958's profile


15696 posts in 2871 days

#3 posted 02-25-2008 02:08 AM

Nice job! The quadrant hinges look really good.

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

View capsfan's profile


15 posts in 2398 days

#4 posted 02-25-2008 02:44 AM

I don’t remember what stain I used but it has six coats of tung oil. I let the final coat of tung oil cure for a week then buffed out the top with Butchers wax.

-- We can't all be heroes, somebody has to sit on the curb and clap as they go by. (Will Rogers 1879-1935)

View cajunpen's profile


14389 posts in 2719 days

#5 posted 02-25-2008 06:33 AM

Great looking box and the timing is awesome. I have 4 complete sets of the proof Silver Eagles – one for me and one each for each granddaughter. I have been thinking about making boxes for them, you just pushed my button.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 2527 days

#6 posted 02-25-2008 12:10 PM

I like the box. Looks like rare earth magnets to work as a clasp?

View Hibernicvs's profile


65 posts in 2520 days

#7 posted 02-25-2008 05:55 PM

I hate to be a wet blanket, but this is important. When storing coins with a collector value in a wooden receptacle, you have to protect against something called “outgassing.” All wood emits gas that can have a very damaging effect on coins, especially silver coins. Oak is the absolute worst offender. Cherry or walnut may be somewhat all right, but I have to do some research on that. If I can find my books under the piles of lumber in my living room, I’ll get back on it.

Some authorities believe that the damage can be minimized or eliminated by putting several coats of acrylic “varnish,” on the wood (not the coins!). I think 7 or 9 coats was the number I saw. Evidently polyurethane and natural varnishes aren’t very good for coins, either, since they didn’t mention them, but specified acrylic, but acrylic is presumably more stable or something. Even the long term effects of acrylic were not mentioned in the literature I found, so that is problematical as well.

As I said, I hate to say it, because that is one heck of a box. In woodworking especially, however, it’s not just how good something looks and how well it’s made, but how well it does its job.

-- Hibernicvs

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 2813 days

#8 posted 02-25-2008 10:22 PM

I didn’t know that. Interesting

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View woodtex's profile


14 posts in 2409 days

#9 posted 02-26-2008 12:36 PM

very nice work. i haven’t worked with quadrant hinges- are they as challenging as they look?


View Hibernicvs's profile


65 posts in 2520 days

#10 posted 02-26-2008 06:28 PM

Okay—I found the books (except the one that had most of the information, of course). Oak: Bad. Pine: Bad. Cedar: Crime against humanity (at least in this instance). Evidently the favored wood is (no surprise here) mahogany. Nobody had anything nice to say about cedar, one of my favorite woods. Evidently it does nasty things not only to silver, but absolutely destroys base metal coinage, i.e., copper, bronze, brass. This may be why brass hardware on cedar chests always seems to be coated with shellac or something, and explains why some 19th century coin collectors had the habit of shellacking their copper coins … for which modern coin collectors curse them roundly (and squarely). The books I consulted were published in the 1940s, so there was no information regarding polyurethane (a word unfamiliar to many coin collectors even today), or whether the special mint packaging would protect the coin. My GUESS (and I stress that I am only guessing, consult your coin professional … and then don’t believe anything he or she tells you …) is that an airtight mint packaging would protect the coin—but (again) I’m just guessing. I really need to do more research. I’m supposed to be an expert in numismatic history (I have a monthly column in Krause Publications’ “World Coin News”—free plug!!), and collectors as well as wood workers should be informed of this. I suppose that means I should get busy and write an article on it … as soon as I write all the other stuff they have me working on around here—I’m (unpaid) director of research for a non-profit think tank, the interfaith Center for Economic and Social Justice, and there’s a lot of economic and social injustice to worry about for some reason. (, another free plug).

-- Hibernicvs

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 2813 days

#11 posted 02-27-2008 01:30 AM

fascinating stuff…
My goodness you are busy. Is your brain a big sponge soaking up all this knowledge?

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Hibernicvs's profile


65 posts in 2520 days

#12 posted 02-27-2008 04:43 PM

Well, it’s a sponge, but it’s usually soaking up something with a higher proof ….

Not while working with wood, though. I do enough damage to myself without that. Last night was minimal, though. Finishing off a dovetail, I only jabbed myself with a chisel. Good thing it was ultra sharp, or it would have done more than a minor slice. I’ve been thinking for some time about sending a non-fan letter to Mark Harmon of NCIS, about his character’s habit of drinking whiskey while working on his boat. Not a good idea at all.

-- Hibernicvs

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