Confounded, Compounded! A Jewelry Box Circa 2010

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Confounded, Compounded! A Jewelry Box Circa 2010

Postby rwest » Tue Apr 27, 2010 5:18 pm

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Hi,

I made this jewelry box for this years MN Woodworkers Guild show. It has compound sides that slant at 5 degrees, and the top is curved in all directions at a 64" diameter. The veneer is Carpathian Elm Burl and the inlay and inner trays are Ebony and Holly.

As per my usual MO I didn't allow enough time to complete this project so I ended up rushing on the finish and some of the details. I had intended to install a lock, but since the sides slant, a normal lock wouldn't work very well. I made a keystone shaped piece of snake wood that would had allowed me the extra thickness to install the lock at 90 degrees, but it didn't look good on the box. I would be very interested in suggestion for installing a lock or a source for one that might work at an angle.

I'm very happy with the overall look of this box and have decided to re-work it and fix any problems. I'm even happier with how the inner trays turned out. I set up a bunch of bevel gauges including the CT-15, with my AMP-6i and then transfered the angles to my JMP and got perfect mitered corners on the first try! I got the correct settings from the BCTW booklet; Woodworkers Guide to Compound Miters This booklet is still available and is all of 5 bucks! get one next time you place an order. When I first got my JMP I came up with the idea that if I inlayed two lines in my stock and cut "v's" into the sides and on the dividers, one of the lines would follow the outside of the tray while the inner line would outline the inner compartments. Well as you can see it worked beautifully. I did have to use my old nemesis, the router to make the "v" grooves in the sides because they needed to stop at the dado for the bottom.

Please feel free to make any comments or suggestions.

-Rutager
rwest
 
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Wowee!

Postby flairwoodworks » Tue Apr 27, 2010 6:41 pm

Rutager,

While the burl is nice, the first thing that I noticed was the stringing. The white on black looks really sharp. That alone was inspiration enough for me. Are the trays as well as the box veneered? I'm also curious why you added the small molding at the base of the box.

Regarding a lock, my first thought was a surface-mounted one - probably not what you want. How thick is the box front? Would a small mortised lock work - one that is mortised only into the edge such as a cigar box lock?

The box looks great, and so does the photography. I don't know how intense the competition is in your guild, but I would expect yours to be right up at the top. Nice work.
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Postby ForumMFG » Wed Apr 28, 2010 4:26 am

Rugater, I hate you! beautiful work!
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Postby rwest » Wed Apr 28, 2010 3:18 pm

Dave,

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I think hatred is!!!! Thanks for the compliment.

Chris,

I used the base molding and the side stringing for 2 reasons, one for looks and more importantly, the second to protect the edges from chipping. The trays are solid Ebony, but the bottoms are veneered.
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I want to mortise a small lock in, and I have one, but my problem is that the lid and base meet at 90 degrees, but the sides are at 5 degrees to them so if I mount it normally, I'm not sure the locking pin will line up with the lock. I'm thinking of mocking up a front and seeing what happens.

Our Guild has some very talented people in it, so no trophy for me this year! I will try and start much earlier for next years show.

-Rutager
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Postby PFranks » Mon May 03, 2010 9:31 pm

Rutager, I'm at a loss for words. Breathtaking!

Okay, not a total loss for words. That would be unusual for me...

First, how (on earth) did you do the double curved top?

Second, would you consider a hasp lock (rather than a key lock)? Something made of ebony an brass might look quite elegant on your box. But perhaps not secure enough?

Truly amazing. Inside and out, top to bottom.
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Postby rwest » Tue May 04, 2010 3:55 pm

Peter,

I'm always worried when I explain how the top was done, because it was a lot of work and I figure that as soon as I finish telling someone how it was done, they'll say something like;" why did you do it like that, you could have done it real easy like this." So far though, no one has given me a easier method!

Here's how I did it: I first veneered just the inside 4 sides of the box then joined them at 5 degrees with rabbets and splines; I then stuffed and surrounded the box with MDF and mounted that on another piece of MDF.
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Next I cut it round on the bandsaw, and using my DJ-1 vacuum jig to get a hole in the center and at 90 degrees so I could get it perfectly centered and mounted on the lathe. I then layed out a 32" radius on MDF with the PT-1, and cut out a custom tool rest, which I ran a router against while turning the blank by HAND(lathe unplugged!)
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Here it is smoothed down to a dome:
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Off the lathe and with the stuffing pulled out:
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The MDF now serves the purpose of a vacuum form. I used Ultra Cat pre-catalyzed resin glue and glued the top edges of the box, then the inner veneer to a sheet of 1/32" plywood, then glued two more sheets to that and then the top veneer, then put the whole thing in the press with a heat pad for 5 hours.
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Now for the what would I do different part! I had to kerf the plywood to get it to suck to the curve, but should have made the kerfs bigger because the top ended up with a few bumps, also I will not put the top veneer on until after the plywood has been glued up because, I then had to re-mount the top on the lathe and sand away the bumps, and you guessed it my beautiful Quad match veneer(ouch!) So next time I'll take it out of the press, sand it smooth on the lathe, and then put it back in the press for the top veneer.

As for the lock, I think this style of box looks better with a flush lock and an inlayed escutcheon.

Peter, Thanks for all the compliments, I think you're one of my biggest cheerleaders, I may have to get you a uniform, what are your thoughts on tight sweaters and pom-poms? Please don't answer that!

-Rutager
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Postby PFranks » Wed May 05, 2010 12:49 pm

That's very cool, Rutager. If I'm your biggest cheerleader, then you need to get out more!

Thanks so much for posting the process. I would have worried that bending the curved veneer over the form would open up the joints between the top and the edges - the surface area has increased because of the bending. Was that a problem?

I've never worked with veneer. But seeing your amazing box makes me think I want to try...

P.S. Pompoms get in the way, but I'm okay with tight sweaters. I'm working on slimming my gut a little, so it should work. What are the "Rutager" colors?
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Postby flairwoodworks » Thu May 06, 2010 11:48 am

PFranks wrote:Second, would you consider a hasp lock (rather than a key lock)? Something made of ebony an brass might look quite elegant on your box. But perhaps not secure enough?


Not secure enough? With a box like that, I'd be more worried about the whole box walking than its contents.
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Postby rwest » Thu May 06, 2010 3:15 pm

Hi Guys,

Really, a lock on a small fragile wooden object is less about security then it is about adding another layer of mystery to what may be contained within. A hasp or latch in my opinion sends the message that you're trying to keep things from falling out, where a lock says that only those special enough to have a key can get in.

Peter,

To answer your question about the layers pulling back as they conform to the curve is; It doesn't matter! I knew that I would be banding the box with the Ebony/Holly, so I actually made the side to side dimension a smidge smaller, and the front to back I made a smidge longer, which I then flushed up on my stationary belt sander, since those edges would just be veneer to veneer.

I think you should give veneer a shot. I don't consider myself an expert by any stretch, but I've come up with a few jigs and techniques that have worked well for me and would be happy to post them if people are interested.

Also, I believe that I asked you not to answer the cheerleader outfit question. Now you've just given Fred a visual that will give him nightmares! Team Colors? I think black and white for Ebony and Holly!

-Rutager
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Postby PFranks » Thu May 06, 2010 7:48 pm

Thanks Rutager. I guess I misunderstood when you said you "I glued the top edges of the box, then...". I assumed that meant that you'd put the stringing on already. Your method makes much more sense!

Sorry about the sweater visual. I hope it didn't cause any neural damage.

Classy colors, by the way.

So what are you working on now?
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