Jock in the Box, a Marquetry Puzzle Box

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Project by shipwright posted 904 days ago 6213 views 7 times favorited 76 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Man, this one took a lot of hours !! All is well though as I got it done in time…. just.

A video is worth a few thousand words here so please watch and I hope I make you smile.

This is obviously a toy to be used with some degree of parental supervision, but should keep any child (and maybe some parents too) amused watching, manipulating the panels, finding matches in different ways.

On the simplest level it’s just a Jack (Jock) in the Box with some parts you can move around. The ribbons will always line up. Then you (sorry, your child) can try to get all the colors to match, or all the grains, or both.

There are only two ways to assemble the panels where all the background grains and colors will match and no picture will be showing twice. I think that means that there are 30 ways to get it wrong, but I’m not a mathematician.

All gluing is done with hide glue (edible if not tasty) and the finish is shellac (same) so when the child tires of playing with it he / she can eat it.

Photo #2 shows the eight marquetry pieces used for the side panels. They are set in four different backgrounds with two identical backgrounds of each type, made from adjacent sequenced veneers.

The last photo shows why the hinge is offset, to allow removal of the back panel.

My wife, Elinor gets credit for the monogrammed Lumberjock outfit and also for pointing out to me as I was painting the puppet head that it seemed to be a self portrait.

I’ll let you be the judge…............. It wasn’t intentional.

There’s a Picasa web album here if you want the whole story.

Thanks for looking in. I hope I made you smile.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees.

76 comments so far

View Greg The Cajun Box Sculptor's profile

Greg The Cajun Box Sculptor

4928 posts in 1904 days

#1 posted 904 days ago

Unbelievable! When you said it took alot of hours it is obvious. Great work and I do mean great..
It reminds me of a Jack in the Box I had as a kid back in the 50’s…but mine was metal and not as classic as yours.
I definitely see the resemblance in the photos.

-- Every step of each project is considered my masterpiece because I want the finished product to reflect the quality of my work.

View ohwoodeye's profile


990 posts in 1749 days

#2 posted 904 days ago

Wow, incredible work.
However, I’m not sure what scares me more…....the picture of the clown on the box or the crazy grin on the jock in the box’s face.

-- Directions are just the Manufacturer's opinion on how something should be assembled. ----Mike, Waukesha, WI

View a1Jim's profile


111999 posts in 2173 days

#3 posted 904 days ago

Wow Paul this is an unbelievable project outstanding and amazing work.

-- Custom furniture

View stefang's profile (online now)


12537 posts in 1930 days

#4 posted 904 days ago

A tour de force Paul! A work of art, a toy, a puzzle and last but not least, a treasure. Your projects are always very special. I hope you will be with LJ a long long time.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View SPalm's profile


4740 posts in 2478 days

#5 posted 904 days ago

You should see my grin. My cheeks hurt.
You are a one in a million. Or at least two in a million.

Very nice Paul, sure to please the little ones too.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View SteviePete's profile


224 posts in 1899 days

#6 posted 904 days ago

Godfrey Daniels!! Wonderful project—looks like the guy on the left has a few open joints. Party on.

On Wisconsin, Steve

-- Steve, 'Sconie Great White North

View Mathew Nedeljko's profile

Mathew Nedeljko

583 posts in 2426 days

#7 posted 904 days ago

Paul, you have really outdone yourself on this one! Your imagination has gone wild!

The resemblence to yourself is uncanny, and I am still laughing at the video :) Nice tune that it plays too by the way.

You got my vote for the winter challenge. Hope you win! Good luck!

-- Aim high. Ride easy. Trust God. Neale Donald Walsch

View rance's profile


4125 posts in 1756 days

#8 posted 904 days ago

My! What big lips you have. All the better to smile with? Great job on this one Paul. It makes me laugh.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View cathyb's profile


757 posts in 1840 days

#9 posted 904 days ago

You always amaze me and in a good way. Love the box and your sense of humor! Great fun. Keep those boxes coming…....

-- cathyb, Hawaii,

View orionoriginals's profile


37 posts in 1154 days

#10 posted 904 days ago

Elinor is right – it is a self-portrait! Mind you, I’ve not seen you grin quite like that yet!

-- Jamie

View grizzman's profile


6766 posts in 1899 days

#11 posted 904 days ago

i shake my head in disbelief , i shake my head in amazement, i shake my head in the beauty and craftsmanship, Paul this toy, this is an unbelievable wooden piece of art…im just blown away with this. this is wood work at its sir are amazing, and im smiling from ear to ear….grizz

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

View boatworkstoday's profile


20 posts in 906 days

#12 posted 904 days ago

Wow! That’s awesome! Excellent job on the detail :-) Without a doubt some of the best I’ve ever seen. Wondering who the lucky person is to receive this?

-- Andy Miller,; Twitter:@BoatworksToday

View Karson's profile


34852 posts in 2996 days

#13 posted 904 days ago

That is an amazing piece of art/toy.

Great job in the design and execution.

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

View lanwater's profile


3072 posts in 1530 days

#14 posted 904 days ago

That’s a beautifull piece!

I love the marquetry. All the panel borders match too.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View Heidi Neely's profile

Heidi Neely

550 posts in 1770 days

#15 posted 904 days ago

Outstanding! Very special….so much so that I’d be scared to let a child play with it for fear of damage! lol!

-- Heidi :) “The only source of knowledge is experience”

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