Clamshell jewelry and what-not box

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Project by GnarlyErik posted 535 days ago 1672 views 1 time favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This little item was made for my daughter’s recent birthday. It is a simple hinged clamshell, lined with ‘spray-on flocking’ – my first attempt at that, which was really quick and easy.

Each half of the clamshell is made of five ‘lifts’ of varied woods, each about 5/16” thick. Beginning on the outside is mahogany, then butternut, cherry, maple and padauk. Each lift except the outer one, were first rough ‘hollowed’ by removing the centers with a scroll saw to save on chisel work, then glued together. The lifts were kept in proper alignment for glueing with a pair of nails in holes drilled through excess material deliberately left on the hinge sides. When the glue set, each half was then rounded with a plane and spoke shave and finished by rounding and hollowing with a Dremel flex-router tool and chisels by hand – which took far more time than I had figured, especially the hollowing part. The rounded shape was a real challenge to clamp in position and special wooden chocks were needed to grip things.

The two pieces were then finish sanded and received five coats of varnish, then assembled with a simple 2-1/4” hinge. A small foot was added under the hinge under the bottom half to steady the clamshell when opened. The clamshells end up about 1/4” thick, and the entire assembly is surprisingly light in weight.

This was a bigger challenge and took far more time than I anticipated, but my daughter loved it in the end! I don’t think I will do another.

-- Candy is dandy and rum sure is fun, but wood working is the best high for me!

11 comments so far

View WoodenFrog's profile


2737 posts in 1547 days

#1 posted 535 days ago

I love it! Nice work!
Very nice gift.

-- Robert B. Sabina, Ohio.....

View jap's profile


1226 posts in 687 days

#2 posted 535 days ago


-- Joel

View helluvawreck's profile


15623 posts in 1500 days

#3 posted 535 days ago

It’s really a beautiful piece. I haven’t seen anything like this. Congratulations.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

11329 posts in 1739 days

#4 posted 535 days ago

That is really a sweet little box! I love it!!. What girl would not want that??

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View MasterSergeant's profile (online now)


1285 posts in 1322 days

#5 posted 535 days ago

Very nice, I like the idea a great deal.

-- Kelly, woodworker under construction

View Ken90712's profile


14878 posts in 1822 days

#6 posted 535 days ago

That is really nice, I’m sure she loves it.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View simmothewoodturner's profile


41 posts in 579 days

#7 posted 535 days ago

Love the contrast of the different woods!


View cajunpen's profile


14379 posts in 2699 days

#8 posted 534 days ago

Good looking little box – well done.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View ldl's profile


1135 posts in 999 days

#9 posted 534 days ago

Beautiful clam shell box. I’m sure the look on your daughter’s face was worth the time.

-- Dewayne in Bainbridge, Ga. - - No one can make you mad. Only you decide when you get mad - -

View Fishinbo's profile


11217 posts in 809 days

#10 posted 533 days ago

Cool clam box! Like the shape and the wood combo. Very creative making it and worth every effort because it turned out really beautiful.

View GnarlyErik's profile


205 posts in 768 days

#11 posted 533 days ago

In retrospect, I know if I ever do another one of these I will leave the rounding of the outside of the shells till last, since that will make gripping and holding the pieces much easier and more secure when gouging and chiseling out the interior of the shells.

Anyway, onward and upward!

I am currently building my wife another four-poster bed to match one I built last year. She’s a ‘solid wood’ kind of gal and refuses anything like veneers or composites like almost all store boughten furniture is today. It’s another unplanned ‘honey-do’, but I don’t mind – being retired I like having projects to make me feel like I am being ‘productive’. Actually, I’ve got a whole host of projects I want to do on the drawling board, so it is really a matter of just finding the time to do everything I want to do.

-- Candy is dandy and rum sure is fun, but wood working is the best high for me!

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