Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Jewelry Boxes

A good friend gave me some special wood to make some Christmas presents.  I made these dovetailed 
jewelry  boxes. 

The figured wood is Spalted Maple and the dark wood is African Mahogany.

Spalted Maple is actually a fungus that forms in the wood often while the tree is still alive.  It creates these wonderful black lines in the grain.  Like a snow flake, every piece of wood is different.  So the end product is truly a one of a kind item.

The box was built with hand cut dovetails.  I cut these with a hand saw and the wood is removed with a coping saw and final shaping is with a simple hand chisel.  The work goes pretty quickly but it is unforgiving.  Any sloppy cut will show in the final joint so everything has to be as perfect as possible.  When finished, the joint is so tight, it hardly needs any glue to hold it together.  Final assembly is with a large hammer.  If you build the joint too tight, the dovetail pins will break when you put it together, if they are too loose, the joint will have gaps and look sloppy. 

The face frame is a mortise and tendon joint, cut with a table saw and finished with a simple hand saw.  The Spalted Maple panel fits loose into the frame. This allows for the panel to expand and contract over the years without warping the door. 

When everything is finished, it all looks so simple, just like it should.  The cabinet has hooks inside to hold lots of necklaces so they are displayed together. 

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