Valet Box

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Project by Mean_Dean posted 10-12-2013 01:00 AM 2338 views 22 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I needed a valet box to hold keys, wallet, watch, and other items, instead of leaving them on the kitchen counter, and decided on this box design, which I found in a box-making book.

It’s made of African mahogany and Peruvian walnut, with a frame and panel lid, and a base/carcase out of the contrasting woods. It’s lined with dark brown suede cloth, and is finished with 3 coats of home-made Danish oil.

It’s dimensions are: 13”L x 9 1/2”W x 3 3/4”H.

And now, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly:

The Good: the lid. I glued up the panel, and you can’t see the seam. The frame and panel design really highlights the beauty of the mahogany panel. The walnut keys really accent the carcase. Also, as it turns out, the Freud FTG sawblade, and the 1/8” setting on my planer are in exact alignment—the keys fit perfectly the first time!

Additionally, I used a Wixey digital angle guage to set the 45 degree angle of the sawblade, and the miters on the carcase were airtight the first time.

The Bad: The Peruvian walnut may be a bit dark, with too much contrast between it and the mahogany.

The Ugly: The rear “foot” piece is about 1/32” too long, and you can notice it if you look for it. I think my stop block may not have been clamped down tight enough, and moved when I butted the piece against it.

Thanks for looking, and as always, comments are appreciated!

-- Dean

25 comments so far

View Gary's profile


7751 posts in 2254 days

#1 posted 10-12-2013 01:06 AM

I like it a lot. I think the woods are perfect.
It’s pretty easy to fix that foot problem with a full sheet of sandpaper and a flat surface

Great work

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5103 posts in 1114 days

#2 posted 10-12-2013 01:16 AM

Very attractive box, and I like the contrast between your wood choices.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View kdc68's profile


2249 posts in 1098 days

#3 posted 10-12-2013 01:20 AM

This is a real beauty….+1 Gary & HillbillyShooter…I too think the woods work well with each other….IMO too much criticism in your project post…great design and execution…nicely done !

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View a1Jim's profile


113065 posts in 2398 days

#4 posted 10-12-2013 01:44 AM

A beautiful box and a good clean build.

-- Custom furniture

View garriv777's profile


122 posts in 1686 days

#5 posted 10-12-2013 01:57 AM

There is no ” ugly ”, it’s a beautiful box…....:). Nice work!

View Andy's profile


1586 posts in 2730 days

#6 posted 10-12-2013 01:58 AM

Sweet looking box, looks fine to me.

-- If I can do it, so can you.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

16195 posts in 1159 days

#7 posted 10-12-2013 04:30 AM

I think the contrast is beautiful. Great job.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View WoodenFrog's profile


2737 posts in 1735 days

#8 posted 10-12-2013 05:44 AM

Beautiful box!! Very nice!!!

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

View MisterBill's profile


337 posts in 1073 days

#9 posted 10-12-2013 11:02 AM

I like the stepped keys. It gives you box an added touch of class.

View RogerBean's profile


1350 posts in 1775 days

#10 posted 10-12-2013 12:31 PM

Nicely done! A clean, tasteful design well executed. It’s what we all strive for. Hope to see more boxes from you.

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

View stefang's profile


13936 posts in 2156 days

#11 posted 10-12-2013 01:04 PM

I second all the above comments. I can’t find anything about it that I don’t like including the wood colors. Great work and a great design too!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Gene Howe's profile

Gene Howe

6389 posts in 2250 days

#12 posted 10-12-2013 01:12 PM

Like mike, there is nothing to dislike about that box. Clean, unadorned, not gaudy, the contrasts are tasteful and it displays excellent workmanship. And, hey. What’s a mere 1/32 among friends?
Great job!

-- Gene 'The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.' G. K. Chesterton

View BrentKistner's profile


26 posts in 756 days

#13 posted 10-12-2013 01:29 PM

I really like the whole thing. Excellent design and execution. The woods contrast very nicely, in my humble opinion. Really clean and classy looking. :)

-- "Out of the darkness back into the darkness- affairs of the cat."

View BTimmons's profile


2259 posts in 1306 days

#14 posted 10-12-2013 03:37 PM

Looks pretty great to me. Nice wood choice and proportions.

-- Brian Timmons -

View aussiedave's profile


3046 posts in 646 days

#15 posted 10-12-2013 06:15 PM

Beautiful box Dean. I think the two woods go together well, there is no problem of contrast for me…Great job.

-- Dave.......Keep calm and make more sawdust....

showing 1 through 15 of 25 comments

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