Pam's Keepsake Box
Claro Walnut and Curly Maple
This is one of my first ventures into the "artistic" side of woodworking. It is a keepsake box that measures just over 8" Wide X 10" Long X 6" tall. I made this for a lovely lady who's been an angel to me at a time when I desperately needed an angel!
Pam, I hope you enjoy owning this as much as I enjoyed building it.
Just an outside view of the box and that sweet claro walnut grain...
The box opened to reveal the curly maple top tray....
The interior. Red velvet with batting on the bottom. Don't run your hands over it, Pam. just look at it. I'm a beginner, remember?...
The lid. This was made with a downloaded MS Word Stationary loaded in Photoshop 6 where text was added. The digital file was then uploaded to snapfish.com where it was then shot to my friendly local Walgreens for printing. Isn't the digital age cool? Envirotex Lite resin was then poured over it after a skim coat of good old Elmer's Glue-All as a seal coat....
The digital file for the lid (original file much higher quality but would take forever to download on a page. Hopefully you can read it.) I wish I could say the words were all mine but I don't write with much eloquence....
Just a side view with the box open...
Genuine gold plated "jewelers quality" quandrant hinges. Nothing but the best for a friend of mine! (ok, and they were on sale!)...
Overall, I'm not embarassed to give this project as a gift (there's a little known law called the Friend Mandate that says she has to like it!). However, some day I'd like to sell stuff like this on eBay, craft fairs, etc to suppliment the hobby. Much skill honing will be required before I get to that point.
The things I'm happy with about this box:
The contrast between the beautiful marbled claro walnut grain, the curly maple, and the floral pattern on the lid seem to work, for my eyes at least.
The mitered but rounded corners with the maple splines seem to work asthetically and should leave no problems with durablity.
Some things that I need to improve/ change:
I left the edge of the lid a bit proud to act as a "dam" for the poured resin. However, I didn't leave it quite proud enough and the resin got a little crazy. Next time I'll be sure and leave it at least a FULL 1/16" high to be sure all the resin stays where I want it.
I need to build some scrap boxes and practice with the quadrant hinge installation. I was way over confident and didn't realize how much of a pain they are until the box quality suffered a bit (the lid isn't quite lined up properly and it wouldn't be easy to fix at this point).
I need WAY more practice at working with the velvet fabric/ batting if I'm going to ever do the ornate jewelry boxes I hope to build some day!
The angled splines top and bottom are an interesting touch. However, I angled them at 15° since I already had a throat plate with that angle for my saw. Next time, however, I think I'll go a bit more so the angle is more defined (perhaps 22.5° or so).
All in all, I can think of much worse things to do on a dreary weekend!
(Random Woodgrain on the background of this page: Madrone Burl)
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