Son's Keep sake Box

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Project by Rxmpo posted 04-23-2013 04:13 AM 1401 views 2 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My son and daughter wanted me to make them keep sake boxes. Honestly this project took months as I could never find the inspiration as to what they wanted. Finally, I was prepping wood for another project and my son asked me what I was doing? I said, I was prepping the wood, and he looked at me and said. “You haven’t even started our boxes yet?”. Well I knew it was time to really start putting my mind to this project. This is the finished project. A mansuline box to last him a lifetime. African Mahogany (left over wood from previous project) dyed with 7:4:2 combo (wood whisperer) of orange: dark brown, yellow general dye. First for many things in the project:first box, mitered joints, splines, veneer. I got the veneer from woodshow this February and absolutely love veneer now. Joe’s woodworking is an awesome reference for veneering.

4 comments so far

View Boxguy's profile


2756 posts in 2464 days

#1 posted 04-23-2013 05:32 AM

Michael, I like your work here. Looks like you have used mahogany and movingui. Your construction techniques are sound and well done. I usually like to celebrate the corner splines by making them of a contrasting wood. The knob is an interesting idea, but it seems to be a bit out of character with the rest of the piece. Just as something to think about, look at this lift idea done with a spindle sander. All this aside, it is a beautiful set of boxes and will be treasured by your son and daughter…as it should be. Keep boxing and keep posting.

-- Big Al in IN

View robert triplett's profile

robert triplett

1566 posts in 3301 days

#2 posted 04-23-2013 05:38 AM

Beautiful work. Very lucky kids. The veneer work looks pretty good. I have bought veneer in the past, but haven’t attempted to use it. It does open up possibilities for really nice box tops. If you keep these coming, you could inspire me to give it a try.

-- Robert, so much inspiration here, and now time to work!!!

View Lenny's profile


1616 posts in 3724 days

#3 posted 04-23-2013 02:03 PM

This is top-notch Mike. This, like all your projects has that professional look to it…tight and crisp joints and beautiful finish. I might contact you regarding veneering. I assume you do not have a vacuum press and I’d like to know how you applied it.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View Rxmpo's profile


268 posts in 3942 days

#4 posted 04-23-2013 04:52 PM

Thanks guys!
Box guy- your right about the handle. This box was first one completed and I wasn’t as imaginative with the handle. Actually, the handle was an afterthought and it shows. Not very adept with the lathe yet, so I was happy that the dowel I turned at the bottom of the knob actually fit the 3/8” hole perfectly. Gave me confidence for my daughter’s box turning. The splines are actually the curly maple from my daughter’s box but the dye totally blended the color. Live and learn.

Rob and Lenny- I got a bunch of veneer cheap at wood show this year. Never veneered before but wood was amazing so figured it couldn’t be that hard to figure out how to use. It was really simple. The substrate is mdf. Flat and stable. Flattened the veneer with veneer softener. Just wet it and put in between two melamine boards with paper bags with cauls clamped. Changed paper once then reclaimed till dry. Lay down a layer of glue on the MDF, place the veneer on and then IRON it!! Yes, use a regular clothes iron on medium heat to iron out any air bubbles. Takes just a few passes with good pressure then back in the clamps with cauls to dry. Trim the excess, sand it and you are ready. (Read that you have to apply same wood to both sides of the MDF for stability so just repeat process.) opens up a whole new world of possibilities! Thanks for kind words!

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