I made my first decorative box, in part as a way to learn inlays and mitered corners
Finished product first
Purple heart sides, with maple splines. Maple and walnut inlay, with a maple and padauk stripe, and a canary wood inlaid "A"
I inlaid walnut into maple for the lid to get some inlay practice before inlaying the "A". The padauk and maple stripe came about because when I was trying to take the walnut down with a chisel to match the height of the maple, I didn't know too much about grain direction, and a huge chunk of walnut came out. I'm a big fan of the saying if you can't fix it, exploit it, so I routed out a bigger section to be the stripe behind the "A". The edges on the maple are to in-set the lid into the walls of the box.
This is a dry run test fit for how it will all come together. The lid has slots cut into the interior of the box, and the bottom maple also has a rabbet cut into the sides, so the walls sit firmly, and the bottom slides up a little inside. I really like the look of mitered corners, so this was a chance to try doing those as well.
Removed most of the material with a router
Clean up with chisels
It was during this project that I discovered splines, and couldn't get enough of them, so I made a jig and went nuts. Was going for a cascading waterfall spline effect
I really like the result
I glued it together, and then cut off the top. I wanted the box to feel more "open" when the lid was raised, so I experimented with an angle cut for the opening. I was mostly really happy with it, but were I to do it again, I would try to keep the hinge-side flat, as the angled cut made it difficult to fit and place the hinges
Hinge cut outs - made very carefully with a router and finish with chisels. The angled cut from the table saw made this a lot more annoying than it needed to be, so would try to find a way to cut this side straight, and then angle for the rest of the opening in the future
Finished with several coats of wipe-on poly, mostly because that's what I had
Like any good woodworker, I'm incapable of not pointing out the flaws at least a little.... here you can see how I can work on precision and tidiness in the splines and hinges (still happy with how it came out, though)