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Dovetailed Jewellery Box

author-gravatar SukhyR Jun 17, 2018

I'm fairly new to woodworking but I had wanted to make a jewellery box for my wife for a while and the handcut dovetail competition on Reddit gave me the nudge I needed. 

It's primarily made from oak and meranti. All of the box bottoms are plywood and the dividers in the tray are walnut. I finished it with boiled linseed oil.

I'm a programmer by day and learnt most of my woodworking skill from my Grandad, who was a joiner before he retired, and Paul Sellers on YouTube. It's not perfect but it's the first piece I've been happy to share and I'd appreciate any feedback.

This is where it started! Oak and meranti which I bought already milled and ready to go! 

I done half blind dovetails but the pins are in corner posts. I figured it was easier to cut them all in one go as it's easier to clamp and work. Here I've marked and made a saw cut for my pins

Then I (carefully) chiselled out the waste. This is really hard to do without splitting the wood right down the grain as I found out on my first attempt! 

With all the stress of the pins I forgot to take pictures of the tails! They're cut like normal half blind dovetails, slightly shorter than the width of the corner posts and rebated on the inner side of the box so they don't touch each other inside the corner posts

Marking out where the draw will go. I really should have done this before assembling the box! I had to cut most of it out with a coping saw the chisel right to the line

I managed to find a block of walnut which I really wanted to use so I cut it into thin strips to use as separators in the draw. 

Then I planed the strips down to 3mm thickness

Here it's all joined together and marking out the final lengths

I added an oak face to the draw and a little handle

Marking and cutting the feet for the box

I mitred the feet and rebated so the box sits inside them slightly

Glued and clamped

Progress so far

Making the lid

Nice mitre shavings with my shooting board. All of my planes are bevel down except for my block plane and I find that works best with the shooting board


I planed a chamfer on the edge of this piece so it would sit nicely inside the lid

Another progress shot after I fixed another tray inside the box

I realised I hadn't taken any dovetail photos from the first draw but it was an identical build process. I marked out the tails

After cutting to my lines

I transferred the tail to the pin board

I cut the bulk of it with a coping saw then use a chisel up to my knife line 

This is another tray for inside the box. Just needs a base

Halfway through oiling. It makes such a difference, especially to the meranti 

All the pieces oiled and drying 

And it's finished! 


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