Frame/Panel Keepsake Box

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Project by Woodhacker posted 04-22-2008 12:35 AM 4776 views 23 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This box was a birthday gift for one of my four sisters. At the time I wanted to try something with frame/panels, but also wanted to use some gaboon ebony I had on hand. This box was the result. Initially all the ebony corner posts were going to be “proud” of the frames a 1/16 inch, but because of a measurement error they needed to be flush. (always trying to find ways to cover my mistakes) Nearly all the joinery was done on my router table with the help of a hand made jig for the miter key slots. The frames are jatoba, with curly maple panels. The ebony was used to accent the joinery of the miter keys in the frames. The corner posts and frames are joined using mortise/tenons. The bottom is red oak and is rabbeted into the sides. The inlay in the top is ebony. My sister kids me that it looks like the crosses are sitting on a Nike Swoosh!….so much for my “artwork”.

The feet are cocobolo. The ebony handle is fastened by mortise/tenon joinery. For a lid “catch” I embedded a rare earth magnet in the lid and the top of the front of the box using CA glue that I mixed with Jatoba saw dust. All outer edges were beveled 1/8 in. wide at 45 deg. The base inside is overlayed with black non-stretchable felt. It’s finished with four coats of satin poly-blend, followed by hand rubbing with paste wax using 0000 steel wool.

Maybe my woodworking motto should be “Just do it”.

(I have another variation of this box I made for another sister)

-- Martin, Kansas

26 comments so far

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 3732 days

#1 posted 04-22-2008 12:38 AM

Absolutely gorgeous box. That is one lucky sister.

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

View YorkshireStewart's profile


1130 posts in 3866 days

#2 posted 04-22-2008 12:46 AM

You didn’t go for the simple approach with that box did you Martin? There must be more than fifty components to shape and fit. A delightful result! Just two more sisters to please?

-- Res severa verum gaudium - True pleasure is a serious business.

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 3733 days

#3 posted 04-22-2008 01:00 AM

that is a ridiculously amazing box!!!! Its so beautiful. I’m sure that when your sister wakes up to that box everyday all she can do is smile. Thanks for the post!

View Grumpy's profile


23841 posts in 3816 days

#4 posted 04-22-2008 01:03 AM

Excellent job Martin. You will probably make the other sisters envious.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View BobR's profile


136 posts in 3949 days

#5 posted 04-22-2008 01:14 AM

Very nice box. Must go close to taking out the award for a box with the most parts. It works though!

-- Bob

View woodybits's profile


3 posts in 3737 days

#6 posted 04-22-2008 01:23 AM

Lovely box enjoy your timber contrast.dont worry about making small errors being able to cover them is what counts (as you have done) after all only you and the box know about them.Keep up the good work.

-- john,kiwi woody

View Napaman's profile


5526 posts in 4042 days

#7 posted 04-22-2008 01:31 AM

very nice…i love the combination of woods…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View juniorjock's profile


1930 posts in 3730 days

#8 posted 04-22-2008 01:38 AM

You’ve built a great looking box Martin, but for me, I love the keys in the miter joints. I can’t speak for everyone else, but I’d love to hear how you went about building this project….. maybe a blog or something…. (hint, hint)....... Thanks for the post.

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4183 days

#9 posted 04-22-2008 02:17 AM

Very striking design and great craftsmanship.

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

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3787 days

#10 posted 04-22-2008 02:39 AM


You have designed and built a gorgeous box. You chose a nice combination of woods as well.

Thanks for the post.

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

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 3739 days

#11 posted 04-22-2008 03:11 AM

Beautiful box! Great design and craftsmanship. Thanks for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3653 days

#12 posted 04-22-2008 04:39 AM

Totally impressive work of art !!! I must admit though that after looking at the first pic before reading the story , that with those crosses on it , I thought it may have been a box for crematory ashes of a loved one….oooops , my bad !!! The finish is incredible and I wish I could see it in person…..thanks for posting this : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Lip's profile


158 posts in 4014 days

#13 posted 04-22-2008 09:43 AM

Wonderful job Martin … I especially love the crosses on the lid and the knob …

-- Lip's Dysfuncational Firewood Farm, South Bend, IN

View davidtheboxmaker's profile


373 posts in 3770 days

#14 posted 04-22-2008 10:42 AM

Great job Martin. I’m with juniorjock – how about a blog on this one. I’ve recently taken delivery of some of the special bubinga from Rockler and am thinking of making a panel style box to show it off, so I’ve been looking very closely at your box. Thanks for the post.

View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 3764 days

#15 posted 04-22-2008 11:41 AM

looks fantastic

-- making sawdust....

showing 1 through 15 of 26 comments

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