Lacewood and Imbuia Jewelry Box


This box began at a demonstration I was giving on making handcut dovetails.


I selected some nice wood left over from previous projects and cut it to size. I don't like to make "practice" pieces, so I wanted demonstrate how I'd go about making an actual jewelry box. I chose a straightforward rectangular box since my time was limited.

It was a real challenge trying to work and talk simultaneously and I soon saw that I'd have a hard time completing all the joints.

First I marked out the tails, cut them with my dovetail saw, and chiseled out the waste. Then I showed how to scribe the pins using the tails as a template. Time was running out as I sawed out the pins on one corner and chopped out the waste with a chisel. Then came the moment of truth as I attempted to fit the respective tails to the pins. The fit was a little tight, but I resisted the temptation to smash them together lest I split the boards and face a real embarrassing moment. So I talked some more while paring thin shavings from the pin board. I might have even thrown in a few bad jokes and danced a little jig to keep people amused.  Finally I figured I'd pared enough, and placed the pin board on top of the tailboard. The audience sat spellbound in silent anticipation as I grabbed my trusty mallet and whacked the two together. 

A loud roar of approval, followed by thunderous applause sprang from the cheering audience  as I passed around the "L" shaped piece with perfectly matched tails and pins. 

Then I woke up.....

Actually, this is close to what happened, except the small audience was much more restrained in their approval. I did sweat a lot and the joint turned out pretty nicely. People seemed appreciative of handwork and all the little steps that go into it.

After I got back to the quiet seclusion of my shop, I completed the box.

The sides are quartersawn lacewood and the top panel is imbuia. The lacewood has the sparkly specks that make it such a pretty wood, and the imbuia has some interesting grain and color contrasts with a little figure thrown in for extra measure. The final size of the box is approximately 12" long by 9" wide and 4" high.

There's a removable top tray with dividers and a velvet lining on the bottom. The lower compartment is also divided and has a velvet liner on the bottom.

The tray is also constructed with dovetails and the entire piece is finished with French polished shellac and wax.