Jewelry Box  1            05-2016

I started this jewelry box in early 2010 but was so disgusted with myself after I made a mistake that I shoved it aside and didn't work on it until recently. Let's go back in time so I can explain: I picked out a nice 3/4" thick by 7" wide piece of black walnut that had a knot in it which was going to be used for the lid. In other words, I cut the lid out first and then the bottom would be made from the remainder.

After gluing three pieces together for the bottom (2 1/4" thick), I was ready to use the CNC milling machine at my work to make the entire box with. Everything was going according to plan, the programming, the setup up of the machine, the placement and size of the cutouts inside the box, the shape of the outside, everything came out just like I wanted. Well...except one thing...which I didn't know about until I removed the bottom portion from the machine vise. That's when I noticed my mistake.

You see, when I was gluing the three pieces together I made sure to put the better looking sides together which would end up becoming the front. After a couple of weeks I went down to my work to make the box but for some reason I didn't pay attention when I placed the bottom piece in the machine vise. guessed it...I had it in vise backwards. And with my design being asymmetrical (on the inside) I wasn't able to fix the problem by turning the box around.

So what did I end up doing?

Well I had two choices, swallow my pride or throw it away. As you can tell I didn't toss it out because you're reading about it right now. Below you can see the three pieces glued together and the single piece for the top.



I really like the way the lid came out with the knot in it. And when you hold it up to the light you can see through it in one spot. The outside of the box has a large radius which matches the top but the lid was done separately. Now this method should raise some eyebrows because this is not the normal way to make a box. But when you use a CNC milling machine to make things, most of the time you don't have to worry about having two different size parts because the machine is very accurate.

Making a box is normally done by machining the perimeter and then cutting the lid off with a saw. This way the top and bottom pieces match perfectly and you're good to go. But mine came out fine without cutting the top off so there's more than one way to skin a cat.



Here you can see the inside of box and all the cutouts. Starting with the bottom piece: the long slot was originally going to be used for rings but come to find out years later that my wife didn't have that many so I had to come up with something different for this area. I'll get to that later.

Everything has a 1/2" wall thickness which makes it look even, except the small slots near the top which are for the hinges. The lid was recessed to accommodate the rings in case you were wondering. And the reason I recessed such a large area is because it just looked better to have the entire surface match.

The three larger pockets at the bottom are for...well...larger items. All of the pockets are 1 3/4" deep



Those are solid brass hinges and they open up to 100 degrees. This way the lid will stay open without fear of closing unexpectedly. The small step in the lid is for the hinge, and looks the same on the bottom piece as well.



This funny looking piece is something I made to help me with centering the screw holes in hinges. It's made from aluminum and the small end goes into the hinge.



By placing the small end of this drill bushing into the hinge hole, it centers the drill exactly where it needs to be. Otherwise the screw might not sit flush on the hinge if it were off center. This worked great and was easy to use.



The screw on the right came with the hinges and is made out of brass. They look nice but are extremely soft so to make the initial threads I used the hardened screw on the left. Once I had threads in the wood I then switched over to the brass ones. The size of the screws are #4's. Yeah, kinda small.



Here's what the hinges look like installed.



The two halves fit together perfectly and looks pretty good...except for the darker color of the lid not matching lighter color of the box.



I'm going to use red velvet to line the compartments with. This should look nice but I won't line the walls of the compartments, only the bottoms. 


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