Jock in the Box, a Marquetry Puzzle Box

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Project by shipwright posted 01-30-2012 09:47 PM 8982 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 ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

76 comments so far

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3450 days

#1 posted 01-30-2012 10:02 PM

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.

View ohwoodeye's profile


2048 posts in 3295 days

#2 posted 01-30-2012 10:12 PM

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


117232 posts in 3719 days

#3 posted 01-30-2012 10:14 PM

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

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View stefang's profile


15940 posts in 3476 days

#4 posted 01-30-2012 10:14 PM

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


5322 posts in 4023 days

#5 posted 01-30-2012 10:17 PM

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


226 posts in 3444 days

#6 posted 01-30-2012 10:25 PM

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

715 posts in 3971 days

#7 posted 01-30-2012 10:34 PM

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


4263 posts in 3302 days

#8 posted 01-30-2012 10:35 PM

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


819 posts in 3386 days

#9 posted 01-30-2012 10:54 PM

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 2700 days

#10 posted 01-30-2012 11:00 PM

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


7836 posts in 3445 days

#11 posted 01-30-2012 11:02 PM

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 2452 days

#12 posted 01-30-2012 11:24 PM

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


35134 posts in 4542 days

#13 posted 01-30-2012 11:25 PM

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 soon moving to Virginia †

View lanwater's profile


3111 posts in 3076 days

#14 posted 01-30-2012 11:54 PM

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 3316 days

#15 posted 01-30-2012 11:59 PM

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”

showing 1 through 15 of 76 comments

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