LumberJocks

Keepsake Box - Ebony/Maple

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Project by Woodhacker posted 2169 days ago 2249 views 11 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This box was a gift for my niece (Andrea). The overall dimensions are 9 3/4 inches by 7 inches deep by 3 1/4 high. The top front & back are all “tiger-striped” maple. I was really pleased with the grain in the top. The picture doesn’t show it very well, but as light angles change there is an incredible amout of depth to the stripes. Short of having a one piece top, my one wish though would have been to have bookmatched grain in the top pieces…the glue line is a little too obvious as it is and a little distracting.

The sides and inlay are gaboon ebony. The ebony was actually purcahsed from a luthier’s supply company, and was sold as a blank for a fingerboard…a wide fingerboard. It worked perfectly for this project though, and I was fortunate to have purchased several of these fingerboard blanks which all had nearly zero white streaks in them.

The ebony inlay was a little tricky, with ebony being so brittle, when dealing with such an intricate inlay. It’s all one piece and the font style for the “A” was downloaded from one of those “free font” sets you can get online. The piece I inlaid was actually the second try, since the first one broke apart while I was scrolling it out…it was nearly completed too.

I used a router/jig for the box joints which are 1/4 inch wide and deep. Like several of my other keepsake boxes I strived for a glass-smooth finish on this one. Using two very closed grained woods like this made that a little easier. If I recall correctly I believe I wiped on 8 coats of poly/oil blend after a sealer coat. The final coat was sanded up to 1500 grit and polished with Behlens buffer’s polish after allowing it to cure for a week or so.

The top is rabbeted into the sides. The base is red oak and is also rabbeted into the sides. Black felt covers the base inside and out. An 1/8 inch round over bit was used on my router/table to smooth all the edges. I used a solid brass latch and a 95 degree stop piano style hinge in back. Notice that since the stock is only 1/4 inch thick, and since I mortised the latch into the front, I had to form and glue backing supports for both the upper and lower pieces of the latch to accept the screws that hold the latch in place.

-- Martin, Kansas





14 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27251 posts in 2324 days


#1 posted 2169 days ago

Martin,

This is a beautiful box. I love the contrast between the maple and ebony and you did a good job on the box joint spacing as well. I am sure that your niece loved it.

Very nice!!

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

View teenagewoodworker's profile

teenagewoodworker

2727 posts in 2270 days


#2 posted 2169 days ago

wow that is a beautiful box. the figured maple and the ebony look great together. i love the inlay too. great job!

View SPalm's profile

SPalm

4618 posts in 2384 days


#3 posted 2169 days ago

WOW. Good job and what a finish. That inlay is impressive.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View davidtheboxmaker's profile

davidtheboxmaker

373 posts in 2307 days


#4 posted 2169 days ago

Martin
That’s another very fine box. The ‘extra’ piece of wood to hold the lock screws doesn’t look at all out of place – nice solution to the problem. The inlaid A is really very good.

View trifern's profile

trifern

8132 posts in 2269 days


#5 posted 2169 days ago

Beautiful box with gorgeous grain. Nice job.

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

View GaryK's profile

GaryK

10262 posts in 2490 days


#6 posted 2169 days ago

Great looking box! That must have been a challange not chipping out that ebony!

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View jjohn's profile

jjohn

390 posts in 2216 days


#7 posted 2169 days ago

Truly a great looking box. Well done on all points.

-- JJohn

View Blake's profile

Blake

3432 posts in 2376 days


#8 posted 2169 days ago

Man, this is gorgeous! Great details, great execution… beautiful and flawless. Excellent design too. She will love it, (and so do I!)

-- Happy woodworking! http://www.openarmsphotography.com

View Bradford's profile

Bradford

1434 posts in 2325 days


#9 posted 2169 days ago

Exceptional craftsmanship, execution of design and contrasts, and well explained.

-- so much wood, so little time. Bradford. Wood-a-holics unanimous president

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

3948 posts in 2566 days


#10 posted 2169 days ago

You have that inlay technique down! This box is gorgeous in every way. I was particularly taken with the blocking on the inside that allows you to mount the clasp. The way it was radiused makes it part and parcel of the overall design. I think that is a small flash of genius, still allowing you to use thin woods for the remainder of the project.
Good stuff, Martin.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Billp's profile

Billp

780 posts in 2702 days


#11 posted 2168 days ago

Very nice Martin,thats one great looking box.

-- Billp

View Jon3's profile

Jon3

493 posts in 2607 days


#12 posted 2167 days ago

Who makes that latch? It looks nice.

View Woodhacker's profile

Woodhacker

1139 posts in 2225 days


#13 posted 2167 days ago

Jon3 – I get these latches at Woodcraft, see this link…
http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?familyid=3743

-- Martin, Kansas

View matt garcia's profile

matt garcia

1797 posts in 2174 days


#14 posted 2107 days ago

Blake described it right….......just flawless. Man your finishing technique is perfect, great job!!

-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX

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