I recently completed this jewelry box for my wife and while is not the largest or most complex project I’ve ever tackled, this project ended up being far more time consuming than one would expect a project of such size to be.
My wife has been asking me to build her a jewelry box for more than a year. Several times I made it as far as combing through all of my woodworking magazines and books for design ideas, but the project did not progress beyond that stage. That was until both my wife and I watched an episode of the Woodsmith Shop that featured a project they called the “Contoured Keepsake Box” which we both liked. Using that basic design as the starting point, I started working on my own version in Sketchup nearly five months ago. The actual modification of their plan and the design of the pull-out tray went rather quickly. What slowed down my effort was a decision to chip carve a design on the lid.
There were two time consuming ramifications of the decision to do a carving for the lid. First I wanted to develop my own original carving pattern for the lid based on a Claddagh Ring in a Celtic knot style. Consequently, the design for the lid took me three months to develop and refine until I arrived at a design both my wife and I liked (eight versions later!) Second, and perhaps more significantly, I had never chip carved before. So, I bought a chip carving book and the basic set of two chip carving knifes and took both a basic and advanced chip carving class at my local Woodcraft Store to develop the necessary skills.
The box and the frame for the lid is made from solid cherry with walnut splines and a plywood bottom. The pull-out tray is made from walnut. The chip carved center lid panel is basswood.
I pre-stained the basswood and then applied several coats of spray poly before I did the carving. Once the carving was complete, I applied a darker cherry stain to deepen the contrast of the Claddagh pattern. I sprayed upwards of five coats of poly on the box, tray, and lid and followed that with paste wax. The lining of both the box and tray is a self-adhesive velvet.