Jewellery/Trinket Boxes

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Project by rilanda posted 07-28-2012 07:07 PM 1919 views 2 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

These are 2 – Jewellery/Trinket boxes made for two female members of the family. Both boxes were made alike apart from the external veneering. The boxes were made from Brazilian Mahogany and all external corners were through dovetailed (see drawing at photo six). The internal surfaces of the box were cleaned up before the box were assembled, assembly being completed with the use of PVA adhesive; the top and bottom were simply glued into place and clamped until the glue had cured. Once cured the outside surfaces of the box can then be cleaned up ensuring that the surfaces remain flat and true to avoid any telegraphing of substrate imperfections through the veneers, no veneer is applied to the underside of the bottom. Prepare the veneers by matching and jointing with joint tape prior to application. The inlays I made myself using Marquetry techniques, but inlay can be bought ready made but that takes half the fun out of making the box. Start by applying veneer to the ends first, followed by the back and front. Veneer for the top is prepared with the inlay laid central into a piece of veneer that is just larger than the box, this is inserted and glued and taped into position before being applied to the top of the box. Application of the veneers can be achieved using the traditional method of hot animal glue and a veneer hammer but my favoured method for small areas of veneer such as this is glue film and a hot iron. Temporarily clean up the box removing veneer overhangs etc but avoid removing a lot of material. Using a cutting gauge remove the area of veneer around the outside edges of the top face to provide space for the cross banding and inlay. The inlays were Banding I had bought in they were mitred on the corners and glue into place using the same glue film, once these were fixed the cross bands were treated exactly the same with mitred corners. Leave for 24 hours for the glue to harden and clean of any veneer overhang. The box is now split to produce the lid, the drawing at photo six shows the position of this split and it is also closely related to the position of the dovetails, I use a 1/16” splitting saw in my router table for this purpose but avoid going all the way through the thickness of the box sides. The final split away from the box is carried out with a fine saw; these meeting surfaces are then cleaned up.
Check the inside of the box for any glue seep from the first assembly and clean up as required, two supports are glued into each end of the box to support the tray. The tray are built very lightly from 4mm thick material, all corners are dovetailed, the centre divider and lift is housed into the sides on a stopped housing and the bottom is glued directly on. This tray should be made a tight fit and then fitted with a small tolerance so the tray just sinks into the box on a cushion of displaced air.
The outside of the box is finally cleaned up and a small 45deg chamfer is applied around the top edge, this is to avoid problems later on in the boxes life when the veneer has become damaged on a sharp corner, The feet are made and glued and doweled into place, hinges and clasp are fitted then removed before the box is finished with 1 coat sander sealer and 2 coats melamine lacquer. Finally made a similar box to these for a very good friend who kept horses but the top of this box had a marquetry picture of a horses head, but sadly I never kept a photographic record of this box. The interior of the boxes were finished natural the bottom and u/side of the lids were lined with silk on a 1/4” thick foam rubber pad and glued into place using a strong fabric adhesive.
Photo 1- 2 boxes closed; 2- Box with floral inlay and Makore veneer; 3- Box with swan inlay and American Black Walnut veneer; 4- 2 boxes open; 5- 2 boxes closed end view; 6- Orthographic projection of the boxes, sorry about the quality of the drawing unfortunately converting to jpeg to download onto this site destroys the definition of the drawing, but it could still be read and I think followed.

-- Bill, Nottingham. Remember its not waiting for the storm to end, but learning to dance in the rain that counts. If you dont make mistakes, you make nothing at all.

11 comments so far

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2386 days

#1 posted 07-28-2012 07:50 PM

Handsome boxes !

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View majeagle1's profile


1426 posts in 3694 days

#2 posted 07-29-2012 12:28 AM

Beautiful little boxes Bill, great job on the marquetry!!! Love the finish as well…..

What kind of hinges are on the box, they look a little different than I am used to seeing….?
Very subtle….

-- Gene, Majestic Eagle Woodworks,,

View peteg's profile


4423 posts in 3021 days

#3 posted 07-29-2012 12:48 AM

very nice work Bill, well done

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View shipwright's profile


8163 posts in 2996 days

#4 posted 07-29-2012 01:37 AM

Nice boxes.
I’m a marquetry fan so you attracted my attention withe these.
Your marquetry is very nice and I like the veneer matches you chose as well.
All in all, two thumbs up !!

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View a1Jim's profile


117328 posts in 3775 days

#5 posted 07-29-2012 04:39 AM


-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4168 posts in 3054 days

#6 posted 07-29-2012 07:29 AM


Bill those boxes are great

The inlays are really fine

Great drawing also

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View rilanda's profile


172 posts in 2353 days

#7 posted 07-29-2012 09:48 AM

The hinges are a solid brass butterfly hinge with a built in stop to prevent the lid from going beyond 95 degrees. If you look at photo 4 you can see that the hinge is let in slightly from the back buti in the centre of that housing is another small recess for the hinge stop. the hinges are polished and the face fixed on the back of the box.

-- Bill, Nottingham. Remember its not waiting for the storm to end, but learning to dance in the rain that counts. If you dont make mistakes, you make nothing at all.

View helluvawreck's profile


32087 posts in 3064 days

#8 posted 07-29-2012 01:35 PM

These are absolutely beautiful boxes. Very well done. Congratulations.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View michelletwo's profile


2767 posts in 3213 days

#9 posted 07-29-2012 04:01 PM

well done! love the swan..beautifully crafted

View BenR's profile


340 posts in 2826 days

#10 posted 07-30-2012 03:33 AM

I was going to say exactly what shipwright said! So, I will second that. The one with the flowers is especially nice.

-- Ben in Va

View Tom Godfrey's profile

Tom Godfrey

488 posts in 2374 days

#11 posted 07-30-2012 11:54 AM

great job, as always. Hope you and family have a great week.

-- Tom Godfrey Landrum South Carolina (

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