Keepsake Box

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Project by Mike Gilbert posted 09-08-2012 04:22 AM 1771 views 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made this box for my sister in law as a high school graduation present. At the time I finished it I was in a hurry to get ready for the flight out to Colorado to give it to her and didn’t have time to take a lot of pictures. Now that we live in the same state again I hope to borrow it someday soon to take some better pictures. The box is made from leopard wood with a Purple Heart lid. The inlay is maple and padauk and was left over from my bible box project that I was working on at the same time and I thought it would look good in the lid. This was my first time using leopard wood and I really liked the way the grain looked after applying some varnish. I saw the design for this box in a woodworking magazine article, it may have been woodsmith, but I can’t quite remember. I was very interested in all of the different angles incorporated into the project. The box angles up like a pyramid at its base and the lid is wrapped with angled pieces on leopardwood. To finish the box I used general finishes wiping varnish on the outside and shellac on the inside. So far this is my preferred finishing method as I do not have the tools for spraying. A few firsts for me on this project included the mitered splines (Purple Heart) and the piano hinge. This was also my first time resawing a board on the bandsaw, which I did to make the bottom of the box and the sides out of a single piece. One of the biggest lessons I learned from this piece was the importance of choosing your hardware before you start the box. I ended up picking the piano hinge without thinking about how long the screws would be and when the box was finished the lid was too thin for the screws, it ended up fine but I wasted a lot of time driving around town looking for a hardware store that sold small enough brass screws to make it work. Overall I was very happy with how it turned out and it took significantly less time than my bible box. I hope to make another similar one someday for my wife.

5 comments so far

View venusflytraps's profile


57 posts in 2285 days

#1 posted 09-08-2012 04:28 AM

nice box,,, and nice clamps too ,,,i dog that banding

-- rob

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30047 posts in 2534 days

#2 posted 09-08-2012 09:33 AM

Really nice job.

Welcome to LJ’s

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View helluvawreck's profile


32087 posts in 3063 days

#3 posted 09-08-2012 10:11 AM

That’s a real nice box. You did a good job.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 3119 days

#4 posted 09-08-2012 11:41 AM

Nice work. I like the contrasts.

-- Life is good.

View tomd's profile


2174 posts in 3966 days

#5 posted 09-09-2012 03:54 AM

Very nice box, good color and grain. I have never used leopard wood.

-- Tom D

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