Jewelry Chest

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Project by Dave Owen posted 12-27-2011 05:11 PM 2339 views 14 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a jewelry chest I made for my daughter-in-law. The plan is from “Wood Magazine”, and the wood is Philippine mahogany having a fairly unusual grain. I managed to find enough similar color and grain in a half-dozen or so ‘shorts’ I’ve had for a number of years. Since there are several differences from the original plan, I’ll note them below.

The most obvious difference is that the original plan called for a book-matched door. That would have been beautiful, but since I had nothing suitable for that, a friend carved the initial in my one-piece door with his CNC router. When the initial didn’t have as much contrast with the door as I had hoped, I used Cordovan shoe polish to ‘snap it out’.

Many table-top items like this chest are placed with a mirror behind them, so I changed the back design to make it a little more presentable.

Rather than reduce the door height for clearance, as originally called for, I decided to insert ‘spacers’ between the main body and the top and bottom pieces.

I wanted to minimize the look of the door ‘catch’, so I decided to try a pair of 1/8” x ¼” rare earth magnets. This was one of those times when an experiment worked out well. One of the magnets can be seen in the photo of the necklace retainers; the other in the photo of the open drawers.

Finally, all hardware is different. I used Soss ‘invisible hinges’, rather than butt hinges, and Brusso hanging pins and drawer pulls. The necklace retainers were originally brass bars, rather than the wood strips I used.

The finish (which doesn’t show well in the photos) is several coats of wipe-on Poly.

-- Dave O.

13 comments so far

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3270 days

#1 posted 12-27-2011 05:30 PM

hello there Dave!! good to see you here, and of coarse when i saw the notice in my email, i knew i would not be disappointed, and i wasn’t, this is beautiful, the wood choice is just perfect, and the way you made her initial pop out worked great, im sure she will love it, thanks for sharing it with us, hope your doing great…grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Matt W5MIX's profile

Matt W5MIX

32 posts in 2351 days

#2 posted 12-27-2011 05:31 PM

Really nice attention to detail, Dave. You can tell you were thoughtful at every step of the build.

-- Matt in Dripping Springs

View majeagle1's profile


1426 posts in 3462 days

#3 posted 12-27-2011 07:54 PM

The mahogany is a beautiful and classic choice and the design is sleek and elegant! I love the personal touch with the inlayed initial and the magnets for the closure/catch leave the front nice and clean.

Another well done project Dave, thanks for posting

-- Gene, Majestic Eagle Woodworks,,

View Maveric777's profile


2693 posts in 3043 days

#4 posted 12-27-2011 08:05 PM

Very nice!

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View CaptainSkully's profile


1590 posts in 3525 days

#5 posted 12-27-2011 09:33 PM

Wow, that’s really very lovely. Nicely done sir.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View Roger's profile


20923 posts in 2770 days

#6 posted 12-27-2011 10:08 PM

that looks fantastic with that beautiful grain. it’s too bad CNC machines are so expensive. the letter looks deluxe on that nice jb

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

View a1Jim's profile


117063 posts in 3543 days

#7 posted 12-28-2011 02:34 AM

A wonderful chest Dave

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View HallTree's profile


5664 posts in 3734 days

#8 posted 12-28-2011 02:40 AM

Very nice! I’m sure when someone ask her about it she will say, with a big smile, “My father-in-law made it”.

-- "Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life" Solomon

View Dave Owen's profile

Dave Owen

254 posts in 3040 days

#9 posted 12-28-2011 03:35 AM

Thanks everyone – I do appreciate the great comments. After many mistakes along the way, it was fun to finally see it come together.

-- Dave O.

View maraziukas's profile


71 posts in 3246 days

#10 posted 12-28-2011 02:26 PM

Beauty !

-- Maraziukas, Lithuania,

View MontanaBob's profile


830 posts in 2650 days

#11 posted 12-28-2011 04:19 PM

Very Nice

View superstretch's profile


1531 posts in 2659 days

#12 posted 01-03-2012 06:24 AM

Nice job.. Fantastic looking chest!

-- Dan, Rochester, NY

View grosa's profile


1003 posts in 2795 days

#13 posted 01-04-2012 01:59 PM

Great build. I think you did a great job.I really like all the fine detail and effort you put heart into this piece and it shows.

-- Have a great day.

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