Marquetry Box featuring Shipwright Hinge

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Project by Mathew Nedeljko posted 02-08-2013 05:07 AM 2340 views 4 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was commissioned by a client to build a box for her daughter as a Christmas gift. Her daughter is really into horses, and she came back from a recent trip to Kentucky with an ornamental horse motif that she really loved. My client asked if I could incorporate this motif into the design, and this is what I came up with.

Dimensions are based on the golden ratio: 10×6 x 3.75”. The sides of the box are made from a single board of locally harvested urban black walnut, re-sawn to about .375” thick with perfect grain match at all four mitered corners. Hot hide glue used throughout. The hinge is Shipwright’s design and the client was very impressed with how nicely it works. Thanks for the blog on this Paul!

The outside lid features Boulle marquetry of the horse motif cut in walnut veneer on a field of maple burl, and the daughters initials cut in maple and walnut veneer on the inside. A single sliding tray is inside, and both the tray and the box bottom are lined with black leather which imparts a wonderfully luxuriant aroma upon opening.

Finish is traditional french polish which I built to a high gloss.

I got this done just in time for Christmas delivery, and both the client and her daughter were very happy!

Thanks for looking!

-- Aim high. Ride easy. Trust God. Neale Donald Walsch

9 comments so far

View Woodenwizard's profile


1347 posts in 3241 days

#1 posted 02-08-2013 05:49 AM

Great Job. I like the simple outline of the horse. I am impressed with the letters. I find them much harder to get to look right than a design. Any tricks you have on the lettering?

-- John, Colorado's (Wooden Wizard)

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30050 posts in 2536 days

#2 posted 02-08-2013 07:45 AM

Very beautiful. Great job on the hinge.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View stefang's profile


16123 posts in 3532 days

#3 posted 02-08-2013 10:43 AM

Beautiful work Mathew. I like that horse head a lot. It is quite striking as a marquetry motif.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View shipwright's profile


8163 posts in 2996 days

#4 posted 02-08-2013 04:14 PM

Well done Mat.
The cuts look really good and the lettering just about … well , perfect.
Good choices on the veneer and polish as well and the hinge is just right.

Simple and elegant.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2888 days

#5 posted 02-09-2013 02:35 AM

That is an awesome box. The woods work so well together, the finish is flawless, the marquetry so accurate, and of course the HINGES! Great job and I’ll promise you made some horse crazy girl very happy.

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

View SailorMan's profile


4 posts in 2149 days

#6 posted 02-09-2013 11:56 AM


What an awesome piece of woodworking skill. Attention to detail is perfection.

Thanks for sharing.

View Mathew Nedeljko's profile

Mathew Nedeljko

715 posts in 4028 days

#7 posted 02-11-2013 12:08 AM

Thanks for all the positive feedback everyone.

John I spent a long time looking through fonts trying to find one that I felt confident I could cut, and in the end came back to plain old Times Roman. I cut the initials using Boulle method on the chevalet, and the only advice I can give is take it slow and keep it straight :)

I need a lot more practice cutting lettering, but I am getting better.

-- Aim high. Ride easy. Trust God. Neale Donald Walsch

View justoneofme's profile


665 posts in 2678 days

#8 posted 02-11-2013 03:58 AM

Wow Mathew!! That is a most beautiful keepsake for your client’s daughter. The simplified lines in the Marquetry motif enhance its elegance. Stunning!!

-- Elaine in Duncan

View Patricelejeune's profile


381 posts in 2118 days

#9 posted 02-27-2013 02:58 AM

I really like those hinges on top of a nicely done marquetry.

-- Patrice lejeune

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