2012 Graduation Gift

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Project by DrDirt posted 05-14-2012 02:16 PM 1813 views 4 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well, Spring has sprung and it is graduation time.
My neice is finishing highschool, and so for a gift I built a box.
It is based on the design from and older issue of Wood magazine.

The material is Cherry with these burl/bark pockets. the base and handle for the lid are mahoghany.
There is a “secret” compartment held by Rare Earth Magnets to hold the base to the box. and a small removable tray with a felt lined bottom. The tray is also splined. I found that with my Japanese dozuki saw, the kerf is a perfect match to the mahoghany veneer I had on hand.

To level the surface, I used sanding dust from the wood mixed with the Deft Brushing Lacquer that is the final finish. I would make a heavy putty and apply with a putty knife.

The final finish was the Deft gloss brushing lacquer, but thinned with ~30% lacquer thinner and sprayed.


-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

11 comments so far

View jim C's profile

jim C

1472 posts in 3303 days

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

Nicely done Dr.
The niece will love it!

View degoose's profile


7245 posts in 3559 days

#2 posted 05-14-2012 08:14 PM

i am impressed with both the choice of timber and the execution of the build…

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14179 posts in 4188 days

#3 posted 05-14-2012 09:02 PM

That is some nice grain on the lid. Spectacular.

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

View DrDirt's profile


4511 posts in 3947 days

#4 posted 05-14-2012 10:23 PM

Thanks guys –
@Dan – - One think with wild grain like that is you keep adding finish and it absorbs really unevenly – so you spray thick….sand down w/320 grit then spray again, til you get a level surface.

Nice that the wood was quite stable – and stayed flat

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View doncutlip's profile


2832 posts in 3761 days

#5 posted 05-14-2012 10:38 PM

What a great gift. looks really nice

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 2613 days

#6 posted 05-14-2012 10:52 PM

Very nice piece. A lucky graduate indeed!

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2895 days

#7 posted 05-15-2012 01:11 AM

Very nice gift box and some really wild wood. You did a great job taming it.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Boxguy's profile


2766 posts in 2472 days

#8 posted 05-15-2012 04:03 AM


Very nice. I especially like the burl in the top. The secret compartment is a nice addition. Personally, I find that a hinge helps make a box more practically useful. Great job on the finish.

-- Big Al in IN

View DrDirt's profile


4511 posts in 3947 days

#9 posted 05-15-2012 05:21 PM

Hey Big Al – - I agree on hinges versus loose lids, with the design having a 5/8”overhang and the box walls being just 1/2 inch – I thought a Soss hinge could work, but the lip was going to make the lid only open 90 degrees, so it would always flop shut.
Perhaps a barrel hinge or Soss hinge would have the extra throw so that I could get a 95 degree swing. But the lid is pretty heavy, so I am not sure the sides would not split out when the hinge got flexed at the max – open point.

Thanks for the tips – keep em coming – I love new ideas and want to keep getting better at this.

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View Martyroc's profile


2712 posts in 2511 days

#10 posted 05-16-2012 01:46 AM

Great box and and excellent graduation gift.

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

View Jerry's profile


2899 posts in 1853 days

#11 posted 10-30-2015 09:29 PM

Absolutely beautiful! Nicely done.

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be.

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