Mesquite Box

  • Advertise with us
Project by SawdustTX posted 10-23-2012 11:35 PM 1642 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


4894 posts in 1044 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


1971 posts in 2216 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


11543 posts in 1442 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


435 posts in 1882 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

1482 posts in 1857 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 so little time!

View Boxguy's profile


1543 posts in 1019 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

15504 posts in 1090 days

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

Great work

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Roger's profile


15362 posts in 1556 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.

View Fishinbo's profile


11353 posts in 928 days

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

Screaming of class and simplicity.

View BlueStingrayBoots's profile


748 posts in 2754 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

343 posts in 1363 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 481 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.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics :: gardening showcase