Maple and Bubinga Keepsake box with Lock in Lid

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Project by Jasonjenkins posted 03-04-2014 02:42 PM 2634 views 4 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My “home shop” is one bay of my two car garage. I have recently reached that magical point where my tools allow for more than just upgrades to the house- and can now do actual woodworking projects! This is the first box I have done since high school (some dozen plus years ago.) It should not have given me as much trouble as it did, but I found I am having to remember much that I have forgotten. I am proud of the idea of mounting the lock upside down in the lid. It works well as a bit of a lift and means I don’t have to mount a knob or something right above it.

I made this project for my wife’s grandmother who passed on some of my wife’s grandfathers tools to me. I have yet to put a divider on the inside, still deciding on exactly what to do there.

It was the first time for me using a trans-tint dye to help the grain really show up, first time using bubinga, and first time mortising in a lock first time using Arm-r-seal. First time buying hardwoods since moving to Salt Lake City- learned a bunch of where to buy and even about lumber grades.

Thanks to the lumberjocks that have helped me with some of the basics. All comments welcome!

-- Growing a full beard is proven to instantly improve your handtool skills...

11 comments so far

View Bobsboxes's profile


798 posts in 1755 days

#1 posted 03-04-2014 03:13 PM

Nice looking box, great finish.

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

View RogerBean's profile


1513 posts in 2044 days

#2 posted 03-04-2014 04:15 PM

A lot to like about this box. I never thought about installing the lock “upside down”. Not at all sure it’s a bad idea. BTW, which lock did you use? Have to give it some thought. Your dovetails work nicely on this box. It’s a box worthy of praise.

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

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 2399 days

#3 posted 03-04-2014 04:40 PM

Your box came out really nice. The maple and bubbabinga always make for a fine wood combination and contrast.
I like the upside down lock idea instead of the traditional position of locating it.

View Jasonjenkins's profile


44 posts in 694 days

#4 posted 03-04-2014 04:48 PM

Thanks! @RogerBean- the lock upside down in this way still locks by turning the key to the right and unlocks to the left like you would expect so it feels pretty natural. The lock i used is in the link below. I have seen it at Rockler also but for about $8 more. Because the escutcheon is round it makes it perfect for this.

-- Growing a full beard is proven to instantly improve your handtool skills...

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

18621 posts in 1429 days

#5 posted 03-04-2014 07:30 PM

Very nice. Hope to see more of your projects.

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

View tomd's profile


1955 posts in 2861 days

#6 posted 03-05-2014 12:58 AM

Great looking box, I like the lock in lid idea. Nice work on the dovetails and the bubinga lid.

-- Tom D

View bygrace's profile


152 posts in 1060 days

#7 posted 03-05-2014 01:34 AM

Great looking box. A lot of good design ideas that came together well.

-- Andy, Waxahachie, Tx.

View ca8920's profile


87 posts in 640 days

#8 posted 03-05-2014 04:46 AM

Great looking box. Very nicely done.

-- Chris, Sparks Nevada,

View Jasonjenkins's profile


44 posts in 694 days

#9 posted 03-05-2014 09:55 AM

Thanks for the comments so far! Anyone have imput on if I should add dividers? If used for jewelry I have read that wool felt is traditional because the lanolin in the wool helps the sliver not tarnish. Anyone have a liner to recommend? Or avoid? Thanks again for the feedback on my first project!

-- Growing a full beard is proven to instantly improve your handtool skills...

View SubVette's profile


65 posts in 636 days

#10 posted 03-05-2014 02:01 PM

Beautiful selection of wood. I like the fact that the lid is raised. Nice job. Thanks for the info on the lock, that is exactly what I was looking for on the box I recently did. Thanks again!

-- John in Florida

View Jitterbugg20's profile


1 post in 372 days

#11 posted 11-23-2014 03:36 AM

Wow this is such a beautiful box. Do you sell boxes like these? I’ve been searching all over the internet for boxes like this because I want to get my boyfriend a vintagy box like this for Christmas to put his cigars in… Please let me kno if you do custom work or sell any boxes like this ? With lock and key thnx !!! Please email me at

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