Mesquite Box

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Project by SawdustTX posted 10-23-2012 11:35 PM 2477 views 7 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Made this about 20 years ago, one of my favorite projects ever. Wish I had better pictures. It was a gift for my brother-in-law, intended as a man’s jewelry box for stashing his watch, rings, wallet etc. It’s about 5” x 7”, and 2.5” tall.

The trick on this one was keeping every piece exactly where it came out of the original block, so the diagonal strips line up everywhere. If you get off just a little, it shows a lot at the other end.

1. Glued up a few mesquite slabs into a solid block 3×6 x 8, then sliced it through twice diagonally and glued in the Imbuia strips. Milled it square and to final size. Routed all the edge roundovers and sanded everything.
2. Sliced off the lid and bottom, sanded
3. Cut out the center of the body, and then cut the ring tray out of the waste. Sanded the box insides and ring tray.
4. Cut rebates in the bottom inside edges of the body, cut the bottom piece down to match, sanded the bottom, and glued the bottom in, inset in the rebates.
5. Cut a dovetail slot in the side of the ring tray, all the way through.
6. Cut a dovetail key out of imbuia, with a small lip on the bottom to support the ring tray. Pinned the dovetail key to the box side with brass rod sanded flush.
7. Routed a recess inside the lid so it wasn’t just a flat slab, sanded it.
8. Mortised the lid and body for hinges, and attached the lid with brass hinges. When it closes, there is no air gap. I installed the hinges slightly angled toward each other, so they create friction and hold the lid up with no supports.

Total build time was 23 hours. (I’m slow).

12 comments so far

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2493 days

#1 posted 10-23-2012 11:59 PM

Great design, very nicely done. Definetly a manly box.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View BTKS's profile


1989 posts in 3665 days

#2 posted 10-24-2012 12:40 AM

That is just plane COOL!

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2891 days

#3 posted 10-24-2012 12:52 AM

Very cool design from my favorite wood. Kind of a bandsaw/router box. Great job on the build.

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

View mloy365's profile


444 posts in 3331 days

#4 posted 10-24-2012 02:36 AM

That is just fine work and clever!

-- Mike - Northern Upper Michigan

View robert triplett's profile

robert triplett

1566 posts in 3305 days

#5 posted 10-24-2012 04:14 AM

Beautiful wood and nicely executed design. 23 hours isn’t too bad for such a nice project.

-- Robert, so much inspiration here, and now time to work!!!

View Boxguy's profile


2761 posts in 2468 days

#6 posted 10-24-2012 07:42 AM

TX, nice job. I always like to try to dissect the build before I read the write-up. You had me fooled at first, but once I noticed there were not mitered edges I was on the right track. This is a very deceptive band saw box. The routed top and the matching stripe on the tray are great ideas. It is difficult to tell from the photo, but my guess is that the tray slides down on a wedge-shaped holder screwed to the side. Did I get that right? Beautiful work and thanks for sharing it with us. Keep boxing and keep posting.

-- Big Al in IN

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30058 posts in 2539 days

#7 posted 10-24-2012 08:32 AM

Great work

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Roger's profile


20952 posts in 3005 days

#8 posted 10-24-2012 01:37 PM

Way kool. I really like the way that little box is stable, and removable. Gr8 design, and gr8 wood combos

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 2376 days

#9 posted 10-24-2012 09:56 PM

Screaming of class and simplicity.

View BlueStingrayBoots's profile


856 posts in 4203 days

#10 posted 10-26-2012 07:22 AM

Awesome! Thanks for posting. I am a wantin to make one of dose. Gonna take me some days though, there is just so much to appreciate during the process…. 8)

View Craig Havran's profile

Craig Havran

346 posts in 2812 days

#11 posted 10-26-2012 01:38 PM

I REALLY like that! I would love to have something like that for my stuff.

-- "There's plenty of time to read the instruction manual when you're laying in the hospital bed". - Dad

View webegone's profile


12 posts in 1929 days

#12 posted 10-08-2013 04:44 AM

I can see why this is one of your favorite projects ever. This is one fine box.

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