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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Mahogany jewelry box - Part 1

Ok so here we go.

So my niece is turning 11 at the end of March. Let me tell you, she is all girl. Every time I see her, she has new jewelry to show off. I even bought her a small necklace for Christmas and put it inside her coin bank I made for her. I don't know which she liked more. So I think it is about time Uncle J made her a big girl box for her jewels. She is getting old enough that she knows the difference between quality work and Walmart junk. I can take some credit for that, she likes to hang out in the shop with me and learn about what I do.

I want to make a box that will last her a long time. But I don't mean just durability. I also mean I don't want to make it too cutesy with a bunch of hearts all over it. I want her to be able to use this with pride her entire life or a good portion of it. So usually I design with sketchup. But I already have it designed in my head, I just have to adjust dimensions according to my materials. I bought a nice piece of mahogany for this box. I plan to also use some birds eye maple as well. So to give you an idea of the design before we get started, I sketched up a crude drawing on my iPad. It's just a rough sketch, you get the idea. The feet are a work in progress, not sure what they will end up looking like.

The build will be made with traditional joinery. It's just what I prefer and like to do. The case and horizontal drawer fronts will be mahogany and the vertical drawers will be birds eye maple. Drawer boxes will be soft maple with half blind dovetails in the front (yay!) and full in the rear and lined with felt.


With some trial and error, I determined that I have enough lumber in this board to make the case 17" tall by14" wide by 9 1/2" deep. My jointer is only 8" wide so let's get out the good ole jack and jointer.

I rough cut the board into smaller sections to make them easier to flatten. Looks I got a little lucky and got a quarter sawn board.

One down. I call this flat enough. On to the next one. After the boards for the case are flat I ran them through the planer to final thickness of 3/4".

3 sides square, I go ahead and square the ends and cut to length on the sled, using a stop block.

Rip to final width. Yes I know that I don't have a guard on my saw. Calm down, safety police.

All 4 sides of the case laid out in order. The unprocessed board will be the two vertical pieces in the middle, separating the vertical and horizontal drawers.

Got my triangles drawn on and ready for joinery.

Next time we will work on the dovetails for the case.
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