Jorge’s Keepsake Box

Viewer Project - By Jorge Araujo from North Hollywood, CA
Added on March 13, 2014

Watching the “Humidor Build” on the Guild site, I decided I wanted to make a keepsake box as I didn’t know anybody who smoked cigars. I made some simple changes to the way the box was constructed. I started with the sides. I milled Zebrawood from 3/4″ thick to 1/2″ thick and learned that Zebrawood doesn’t like to be planed with a benchtop planer. But I got it rough thickness that way and then planed them with my #4 bench plane. They were put together with rabbet joints and I made rabbets for the top and bottom panels. For the top and bottom panels, I used plywood veneered with Zebrawood. Then I used my Box Joint Blade set at 1/4″ to cut the edges, and then apply the Wenge trim. Initially I tried doing a 3-way miter on the corners of the trim, but that proved a little too complicated and I couldn’t get it perfect. So I went with just the top and bottom edges mitered and the side edges cut flat and butted up to those.

After completing the box, it was time to cut the lid off. I used my table saw with a thin kerf blade and it was a lot easier than I thought, LOL! I used the quadrant hinges which proved to be a bit of a challenge, but after 4 or 5 tries on scrap wood, I felt confident and had no real trouble on the actual box. I lined the inside of the box with Pig Skin Suede which I got from a leather shop. It smells amazing! I decided to use the suede since I wasn’t going to get the smell of Cedar, I wanted something nice when you open it, and it really did the trick! I may be using this for any boxes I make in the future. It was easy to apply—just brushed wood glue to the surface of the wood, applied the suede and then pressed it down with a straight edge. One little trick I used and really liked was to line the bottom panel during construction of the box, that way the seams are perfect.

The finish is a very simple oil wax blend. I used HOWARDS butcher block oil, which gave it a great deep, rich color and sating wax finish. I had a lot of fun and I can’t wait to build another one.