Quilted Maple and Wenge Jewelry Box

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Project by JayG46 posted 12-24-2013 11:21 AM 3272 views 10 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This box was a Christmas gift for my girlfriend. It’s made out of some beautiful 5/4 quilted/blister/bubble maple that I resawed into 5/16” slices. The approximate dimensions are 12” x 8” x 6” high. My box maxing skills are starting to improve, mostly due to tips and techniques that I’m picking up from here, and this represents my best work to date.

A few details: – I used a small piece of leather for the catch that prevents the top from going too far back. I tried to experiment with a piece of wood with a slot cut into it, but the lower row of maple that the small tray slides across prevented that from working.

- The top for the pull was pretty straight forward, I rough cut it on the bandsaw, sanded it to final shape and mortised the area for it with a router. Just below that, there is a recess to ease access to the pull. I started that with a hand saw, chiseled and filed away most of the waste and sanded it smooth.

- I’ve got splines pretty much down at this point. I found a melamine/laminate blade that cuts flat grooves and last time I made a few boxes and I batched out a bunch of spline stock that fits that blade exactly in bloodwood, maple and ebony. My spline sled could use a little tuning up, but it works fine for now.

- The hinges were difficult for me and they still don’t line up dead perfect. Next time I think I will do my mortising, get everything perfectly aligned, then clamp, then install. I did not clamp this time and I think that was the issue.

Thanks to the fine box making extraordinaires who exhibit their work here for all of the tips, tricks and inspiration. And thanks for checking it out.

-- Jay Gargiulo, Naples, FL "Once you understand the way broadly, you can see it in all things."- Miyamoto Musashi

16 comments so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29879 posts in 2487 days

#1 posted 12-24-2013 11:26 AM

Nice looking box. Did you have any reactions to the Wenge?

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View JayG46's profile


139 posts in 2007 days

#2 posted 12-24-2013 11:47 AM

Thanks, Monte.

No, I didn’t. I always wear a dust mask, and I haven’t worked with anything yet that my skin reacts to. And that includes cocobolo, which I know many people are sensitive to.

-- Jay Gargiulo, Naples, FL "Once you understand the way broadly, you can see it in all things."- Miyamoto Musashi

View aussiedave's profile


3114 posts in 1973 days

#3 posted 12-24-2013 11:51 AM

Very nice jewelry box Jay, beautiful wood and nicely made…well done and thanks for sharing.

-- Dave.......If at first you don’t succeed redefine success....

View CalgaryGeoff's profile


937 posts in 2630 days

#4 posted 12-24-2013 12:03 PM

Wow, really like the color combinations the woods provide. Great finish.

Mortising the hinges in is best accomplished on a router table and done with a pattern and stop blocks. Very easy and accurate technique once you know it. How are you doing it ?

-- If you believe you can or can not do a thing, you are correct.

View poospleasures's profile


775 posts in 2633 days

#5 posted 12-24-2013 12:23 PM

Looks like your box skills are working pretty well to me. Nice combination of wood. If I am only doing one box I usually cut the hinge mortise with regular chisels held by hand. Much faster than the set up for jigs (maybe just my thinking). Keep up the good work.

-- I,ve had amnesia for as long as I can remember. Vernon

View JayG46's profile


139 posts in 2007 days

#6 posted 12-24-2013 01:12 PM

Geoff – I’m doing it freehand with a trim router and cleaning up with a chisel. That part seems to go well but the alignment when it is assembled tends to be off a bit.

-- Jay Gargiulo, Naples, FL "Once you understand the way broadly, you can see it in all things."- Miyamoto Musashi

View SPalm's profile


5322 posts in 4031 days

#7 posted 12-24-2013 01:39 PM

Very very nice.
Good contrast with the woods. And I love the handle and routed edge of the top.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View kdc68's profile


2689 posts in 2425 days

#8 posted 12-24-2013 02:16 PM

Your girlfriend will be very happy at Christmas time !..... Excellent work done here.

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View Bobsboxes's profile


1369 posts in 2812 days

#9 posted 12-24-2013 02:47 PM

Very nice box, great choice of woods. I checked out your website, it is very professional, very nicely done. Great job on the box, I’m sure it will be appreciated.

-- Bob in Montana. Kindness is the Language the blind can see and deaf can hear. - Mark Twain

View justoneofme's profile


652 posts in 2629 days

#10 posted 12-24-2013 03:07 PM

You seem to be handling the ‘learning curve’ of box-making with finesse Jay … this is a beautiful!!

-- Elaine in Duncan

View JayG46's profile


139 posts in 2007 days

#11 posted 12-24-2013 03:32 PM

Thanks for the kind words as always, folks.

Steve – I messed up on the routed top a bit. Should have done before cutting into separate sides, because you cant get all the way up to the mitered edge. Had to do a little blending once it was all together.

Forgot to mention that the finish is Danish oil wet sanded on application with 400 then 1000 grit. That’s one way I’ve found to get it perfectly soft and silky to the touch. The top, bottom and insides were finished prior to assembly.

-- Jay Gargiulo, Naples, FL "Once you understand the way broadly, you can see it in all things."- Miyamoto Musashi

View Maveric777's profile


2693 posts in 3225 days

#12 posted 12-24-2013 04:33 PM

Handsome box!

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 2441 days

#13 posted 12-24-2013 04:36 PM

Very attractive box!

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

View Mean_Dean's profile


6881 posts in 3296 days

#14 posted 12-25-2013 01:19 AM

Beautiful box! I love the combination of the maple and the wenge—really highlight each other. I’m sure she’s going to love it!

As Geoff said, setting up stop-blocks on the router table is the most accurate way to mortise the hinges (it’s the way I learned to do them.) Also, you can clamp the side of the top to the side of the box, in an box-open position, and then rout the mortises at the same time.

Whatever technique you use, you seem to be on the right track!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2839 days

#15 posted 12-25-2013 01:30 AM

Beautiful wood combination and skillfully executed box.

Hinges are the bane of a boxmaker’s existence! Probably why I went to all shop made wooden hinges for all of my boxes.

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

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