stacked jewelry box

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Project by cathyb posted 05-10-2012 03:37 AM 2569 views 9 times favorited 32 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This jewelry box was a commission for Mother’s Day. I wanted to make a unique but practical box. The construction was a bit tricky. I glued a 1/2” piece of curly koa to the face pieces of each board prior to the construction of the boxes. I made the bottom box with standard miter joints and the next day added the inlay. I also cut the dados for the sides and back of the next box. You might note that the boxes shared a wall. The top of the bottom box was the bottom of the next box, and so on… I repeated that process for all five boxes. Cutting the dados got trickier with each box. Patience is key!
The drawers are made of tropical ash, just 5/16” thick. The dividers are also ash though a bit thinner. I selected ash because of it’s strength and flexibility. In my opinion, it is a great wood that doesn’t get enough credit for what it can add for a piece. In addition to cutting the dividers, I also shaped them with a scalloped edge for looks and function. You have to get your fingers into those spaces!

The piece stands 13” tall by 13” wide by 9 1/2” deep. The steps are a one inch indent on each box to create the steps. It took a long time to make this box, because of all the waiting between steps. I really like and someday I will do a variation on this theme.


-- cathyb, Hawaii,

32 comments so far

View majeagle1's profile


1423 posts in 2583 days

#1 posted 05-10-2012 03:52 AM

Absolutely Stunning Cathy….. love the unique design and of course the wonderful curly Koa….. one of my
favorites to work with.
Everything here is just meticulously done and it is a work of art!
The stepped design is just perfect and you have inspired me to try something “similar” I believe!!!

Thanks for sharing…..

-- Gene, Majestic Eagle Woodworks,,

View SantaPaulaCraftsman's profile


71 posts in 2191 days

#2 posted 05-10-2012 04:32 AM

u n b e l i e v a b l e. So attractive. Thanks for sharing!

-- Life so short, the craft so long to learn

View MarkR's profile


312 posts in 1715 days

#3 posted 05-10-2012 04:38 AM

Understated and beautiful jewerly chest. It sort of reminds me of a tansu step chest. I imagine it was alot harder to construct than it looks at first glance. Nice contrast of woods and the koa is just beautiful. Fabulous craftmanship.

-- Mark in Va

View nadabula's profile


165 posts in 1562 days

#4 posted 05-10-2012 05:16 AM

View Bob Collins's profile

Bob Collins

1867 posts in 2770 days

#5 posted 05-10-2012 08:02 AM

Great looking box and beautiful work, like the look of the curly koa.

-- Bob C, Australia. I love sharing as long as it is not my tools

View stefang's profile


14926 posts in 2421 days

#6 posted 05-10-2012 09:34 AM

Great looking project Cathy. I think the wood is beautiful too. I really like your idea about the scalloped edges inside which really look good and are functional as well.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View ruddy's profile


484 posts in 2025 days

#7 posted 05-10-2012 09:35 AM

Cathy, that is outstanding. The figure in the koa is stunning and the accents you have on the mitres add to the appeal.
Beautiful work. The bar has been raised again…..

-- And my head I'd be a scratchin'

View Ken90712's profile


16034 posts in 2275 days

#8 posted 05-10-2012 09:52 AM

Very nice a real Beauty!!!!!!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Roger's profile


17850 posts in 1890 days

#9 posted 05-10-2012 11:32 AM

Very beautiful Cathy. Lotsa gr8 detail, and wood combos. I really like how you did the dividers in the drawers, giving them a little more of a “bling” cut. Very nicely done. Those face boards are super! Those splines are a nice touch also.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

View Martyroc's profile


2708 posts in 1392 days

#10 posted 05-10-2012 12:05 PM

Very nice, looks like you could hold a lot of Jewlery with this one. The corner splines add a lot of depth to this piece.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View RogerBean's profile


1512 posts in 2040 days

#11 posted 05-10-2012 12:22 PM

Striking design hints of old Tansu, and I really like it. It’s easy to be distracted by the beautiful Koa, but this box would be lovely in plain cedar. I have no doubt that it took a long time to build… All fine boxes do (which is probably why more pros don’t build them). I hope the time doesn’t keep you from building more.

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

View mmh's profile


3649 posts in 2809 days

#12 posted 05-10-2012 01:10 PM

Beautifully designed and executed! What a wonderful jewelry box to store one’s treasures!

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View helluvawreck's profile


19499 posts in 1953 days

#13 posted 05-10-2012 02:55 PM

Cathy, this is beautiful just like all your other pieces that I’ve seen. Your very creative.


-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View TomTinkerSum's profile


225 posts in 2921 days

#14 posted 05-10-2012 03:30 PM

An absolutely beautiful and functional piece – you outdid yourself once again.
Thank you again for helping Tom and I – I have enjoyed meeting you so much.
May your day unfold with as much beauty as you bring into this world and more – blessings

-- Sawdust and shavings are therapeutic.... :)

View BTimmons's profile


2284 posts in 1571 days

#15 posted 05-10-2012 03:41 PM

Great work! I really need to get my hands on some of that koa someday. Hard to come by here in Texas.

-- Brian Timmons -

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