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Decorative Box

author-gravatar ewharvey Aug 16, 2020

I made my first decorative box, in part as a way to learn inlays and mitered corners

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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"

Photo of Decorative Box

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.

Photo of Decorative 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.

Photo of Decorative Box

Removed most of the material with a router

Photo of Decorative Box

Clean up with chisels

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Test fit

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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

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I really like the result

Photo of Decorative Box

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

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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

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Finished with several coats of wipe-on poly, mostly because that's what I had

Photo of Decorative Box
Photo of Decorative Box
Photo of Decorative Box
Photo of Decorative Box
Photo of Decorative Box

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 out it came out, though)

Photo of Decorative Box
Photo of Decorative Box

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