Cherry and maple keepsake box

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Project by BANick posted 04-13-2008 07:00 PM 2369 views 7 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a keepsake box that I just finished. It is made from cherry and maple, with a walnut veneer panel in the lid. It is inspired by this box from our master box-maker Don, but without the dividers and trays since it’s not for jewelry. Dimensions are 8 1/2” x 11” x 3”, the bottom is lined with black felt.

I was worried at first that the walnut would look funny in the cherry and maple lid but it turned out really nice and I’m now glad I did it, the figure looks great!

The finish is BLO, followed by 5 coats of clear shellac, then hand-rubbed with #0000 steel wool and wax.

This is my first “real” box. Before starting on this one, I made a mock-up from a scrap of redwood 2×4 and some poplar to check the proportions and try out different finish recipes and I’m glad I took the time to do so, I ended up making quite a few changes to my original plans.

-- Nick, Fremont, CA.

21 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3938 days

#1 posted 04-13-2008 07:06 PM


This is a beautiful box. You used a nice selection of woods on this and the mitered keys add visual interest to it.

Thanks for the post.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View CharlieM1958's profile


16276 posts in 4334 days

#2 posted 04-13-2008 07:24 PM

Beautiful box! Remeber….walnut goes with anything! :-)

I especially like the contrasting miter keys.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Callum Kendall's profile

Callum Kendall

1918 posts in 3819 days

#3 posted 04-13-2008 08:47 PM

Beautiful work, love the miter keys!

Thanks for the post


-- For wood working podcasts with a twist check out

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3809 posts in 4137 days

#4 posted 04-13-2008 08:51 PM

Nick that’s a great looking box. I really like the proportions.
Nice mix of colors and wood grains too.


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View BANick's profile


53 posts in 4003 days

#5 posted 04-13-2008 10:30 PM

Thanks all for the nice comments. I wasn’t too sure about the choice of wood but the BLO made a big difference, it really added a nice warm tone to the walnut.

-- Nick, Fremont, CA.

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 3883 days

#6 posted 04-13-2008 11:08 PM

Great looking box.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View jm82435's profile


1285 posts in 3858 days

#7 posted 04-13-2008 11:26 PM

very nice. good looking project thanks for sharing it with us.

-- A thing of beauty is a joy forever...

View davidtheboxmaker's profile


373 posts in 3921 days

#8 posted 04-14-2008 12:30 AM

That’s a great box – the wood tones compliment each other really well.

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6862 posts in 4095 days

#9 posted 04-14-2008 12:56 AM

Hi Nick;

Great job, and I’m glad to hear you made a “mock up” first.

This sometimes is the only difference between a successful project like yours shown above, and one that ends up as a big disappointment.

Beautiful work and choice of woods.


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4104 days

#10 posted 04-14-2008 01:28 AM

That is a fantastic looking box. Great choice of woods.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View USCJeff's profile


1063 posts in 4184 days

#11 posted 04-14-2008 02:00 AM

I’ll second Lee with the Mock up kudos. Pine and poplar have kept my limited “nice” wood out of the fireplace many times. If you’re going to copy a box, Don is the guy as you’re obviously aware. I just finished trying one of his serving trays. This box is much more ambitious. Well done.

-- Jeff, South Carolina

View BANick's profile


53 posts in 4003 days

#12 posted 04-14-2008 02:49 AM

Thanks again for the kind comments, I’m glad you like it.
This was a fun project, I got to try a lot of new things. First time using veneer, first time finishing with BLO and shellac. And at the same time, this was a great project to cut my teeth on since it’s pretty small.

-- Nick, Fremont, CA.

View Joel Tille's profile

Joel Tille

213 posts in 4360 days

#13 posted 04-14-2008 03:35 AM

Nice box Nick, and following Don’s footsteps will lead you in the right direction.

-- Joel Tille

View brianinpa's profile


1812 posts in 3839 days

#14 posted 04-14-2008 03:40 AM

Nick, That is one fine looking box: something that you can be very proud of.

-- Brian, Lebanon PA, If you aren’t having fun doing it, find something else to do.

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 3990 days

#15 posted 04-14-2008 04:10 AM

This is great. I like your unique interpretation of Don’s box a lot. The wide frame around that top panel is really nice. I also like the black undivided bottom. Really nice execution… very tight and clean. All around a really handsome box.

-- Happy woodworking!

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