Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Jewelry Box

This June, before having to go full time to work, I had some free time to work on this project, a jewelry box made using Bubinga, Maple, and some Texas Ebony. I had never used bubinga or ebony before and was really happy with both. The bubinga was easy to work with and finishes with such beautiful depth and uniqueness to its grain. The ebony is "Texas Ebony" which has a lot of color variations in it, however I lucked out with some pretty dark blocks. It is about half the price of regular ebony, so if you search hard enough some quality pieces are really a steal. This project was a new challenge, as I had never done any inlays before, and most of my projects are larger pieces that require much less detail. There are certainly a number of flaws on this piece, but overall I am pretty pleased with how it came together.

This first picture shows me starting the inlay work. It took a while to complete the top, as each hole I first cut with a jigsaw, then filed down to the right size for the wood piece to fit. If I could go back and do it again i probably would have spent the time to set up a jig for my router to get some cleaner lines and better fits. Oh well, live and learn.

Next up was the body of the box. I wanted some character on the joints, and this turned out to be a pretty easy way to get that effect. I did all the cuts on the table saw and it turned out pretty clean. You'll notice here the box is one joint taller than the finished project. When I glued it all up it was too tall for its size and had to cut out about an inch.

Next... attaching the top. I have a glue fetish so always end up with too much (you'll see plenty of it in the tray even after i finished. Way to hard to sand those spots.)

Here's the box glued up. The Texas Ebony doesn't really stand out in the middle, but the shellac helped with that.

The tray that sits inside, with it's globs of glue.

Starting to come together now... The tray top sits above the top about a half inch when the lid is open so that it can easily be lifted for the storage underneith.

Applying the first coats of shellac...

Some more coats...

I think I ended at about 5 coats, applying more than one coat at a time on some of those. Overall I was pleased with the finish, and plan to buff it a bit by hand in about two months to get a real nice shine out of it once that shellac gets good and hard. The inside is finished off with some blue velvet sheets.