Clamshell jewelry and what-not box

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Project by GnarlyErik posted 03-12-2013 03:06 PM 2394 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.

-- "Never let your dogma be run over by your karma!"

11 comments so far

View WoodenFrog's profile


2737 posts in 3148 days

#1 posted 03-12-2013 03:09 PM

I love it! Nice work!
Very nice gift.

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

View jap's profile


1251 posts in 2289 days

#2 posted 03-12-2013 03:13 PM


-- Joel

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3102 days

#3 posted 03-12-2013 03:16 PM

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

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

21953 posts in 3341 days

#4 posted 03-12-2013 03:49 PM

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


1373 posts in 2923 days

#5 posted 03-12-2013 04:31 PM

Very nice, I like the idea a great deal.

-- Kelly, woodworker under construction

View Ken90712's profile


17614 posts in 3424 days

#6 posted 03-12-2013 05:28 PM

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 2181 days

#7 posted 03-12-2013 09:25 PM

Love the contrast of the different woods!


View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 4301 days

#8 posted 03-13-2013 01:02 AM

Good looking little box – well done.

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

View ldl's profile


1135 posts in 2600 days

#9 posted 03-13-2013 02:13 AM

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


11362 posts in 2411 days

#10 posted 03-14-2013 04:24 PM

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


315 posts in 2369 days

#11 posted 03-14-2013 04:50 PM

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.

-- "Never let your dogma be run over by your karma!"

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