Sapele jewelry box

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Project by Sawdust4Blood posted 04-28-2012 07:08 PM 1905 views 2 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Jewelry box that I just completed this morning for my niece’s birthday early next month. It’s from an old Wood Magazine plan slightly modified.

The construction is 100% sapele with a BLO, shellac, lacquer finish. The biggest change I made to the original plan was on the back. I’m a big believer that if you’re going to make small boxes that will sit on dressers, cabinets, or tables that you need to build them so the appearance is okay even if viewed from the back. The original plan called for a 1/4 inch birch plywood back and left the through dadoes for the interior shelves open at the back. That look at the back just wasn’t going to work for me. I needed to either cut stop dadoes for the shelves or plug the dadoes on the back with something. Since the back panel was kind of plain, I decided that applying the ribs across the back added some character and creates the illusion that maybe the shelves go all the way through the back with the back panel being done in sections. The back panel is actually a single piece of 1/4 inch thick sapele floating to allow for wood movement (sapele moves significantly with humidity changes). Most of the box is made of 1/2 inch stock that I re-sawed from 4/4 lumber. That left me with a lot of off-cuts that I was able to plane down to 1/4 inch thick stock. Since I had the 1/4 inch sapele left over anyhow, I opted to use it in lieu of the plywood even though I knew that it would make me take care to accommodate the wood movement.

The wood was easy to work though the interlocking grain that creates the ribbon appearance is prone to chip out on the router or dado blades so it’s important to have a sacrificial backing to support it during milling. It finishes nicely and easily and I love the character of the grain.

-- Greg, Severn MD

7 comments so far

View Jorge Velez's profile

Jorge Velez

356 posts in 2827 days

#1 posted 04-28-2012 07:52 PM

nice work!

-- Jorge Velez, Guadalajara, Mexico.

View doncutlip's profile


2832 posts in 3797 days

#2 posted 04-28-2012 08:00 PM

Wow that is impressive

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View itsmic's profile


1419 posts in 3359 days

#3 posted 04-28-2012 08:30 PM

Nice Jewelry Box, dimensions?, looks to have plenty of room and has a very majestic style, Your added design changes are a real plus, Great job, thanks for sharing

-- It's Mic Keep working and sharing

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14179 posts in 4223 days

#4 posted 04-28-2012 09:03 PM

Beautiful grain.
Nicely balanced. Very precise work.
Green matches perfectly.

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Sawdust4Blood's profile


408 posts in 3262 days

#5 posted 04-28-2012 09:37 PM

@itsmic: the overall dimensions are 18 inches tall, 10 inches wide, and 8 inches deep.

Thanks to all for the comments.

The basic plans can be found in the July 2009 issue (issue 191) of WOOD magazine. The overall cost for my build was about $100. I bought about 10 BF of Sapele at about $5.50 from my local lumber guy, and the hardware, ring cushion, and adhesive backed felt was about another $40.

-- Greg, Severn MD

View Boxguy's profile


2779 posts in 2508 days

#6 posted 04-29-2012 03:24 AM


Great job. This is a clean design, has a nice balance, and will hold tons of stuff. Your niece, I’m sure, will treasure this gift. Sapele is a wonderful wood to work with. I agree with your assessment about the back. Many bedroom dressers have a mirror and that makes the back likely to be seen.

Thanks for sharing and keep boxing.

-- Big Al in IN

View enurdat1's profile


100 posts in 2487 days

#7 posted 04-29-2012 11:32 PM

VEry nice. Sapele is one of my favorite woods.

-- It is what it is...

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