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  1. #1
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    Default First Jewellery Box

    I'm about to start on a QLD walnut jewellery box for my wife. My box making to date has been larger blanket boxes, so I'll be seeking some guidance along the way with this build. I have enough solid 100x15 QLD walnut to make the sides of the box only. It will be roughly 350x250x100. I also have some 7mm thick QLD walnut veneered MDF. At this stage my plan is to make the sides from solid walnut with mitred corners and splines in contrasting colour. The bottom will most likely be 9mm MDF with a suede lining. The top will be the veneered MDF.

    To maximise the internal space I was thinking of gluing the MDF bottom into a rebate. With solid timber bottoms I always have it floating in a groove to allow for the difference in movement between the opposing grain directions. But with this box I'm thinking the difference in movement between MDF bottom and the along-the-grain sides shouldn't cause any problems with the glued joint.

    What do you think?
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  3. #2
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    Default

    As you only have 100mm of height you'll be losing a lot of the interior space/height using a 9mm bottom and indenting the top panel into the sides. A 4 or 5mm base should be plenty strong enough. Because the top panel is veneered MDF you should be able to finish the top of the lid flush with the top of the sides. If you want to make more of a feature of the lid insert you could set it into a frame that overhangs the box sides, make the frame out of a contrasting timber - perhaps the same timber you use for the mitre keys?

    I'm sure you'll get many other responses and ideas, who would have thought there were so many different ways to make a box.

  4. #3
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    Is it achievable to have the cut line between the lid and base at 1mm? I couldn’t do it with setup.

  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by aldav View Post
    Because the top panel is veneered MDF you should be able to finish the top of the lid flush with the top of the sides.
    I thought about that. It would require very accurate cutting of the MDF if it wasn't to look ugly. But it would look good if I could pull it off. Another option is to do as you suggest but veneer the whole top so the veneer covers the joins.

    I thought I could use this: Qld Walnut Timber Veneer QW-31-Q17 - Australian Premier Veneers

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by cava View Post
    Is it achievable to have the cut line between the lid and base at 1mm? I couldn’t do it with setup.
    That's just the way I drew it in Sketchup. I would seperate the top and bottom with my table saw. The actual gap in the finished box would be as close to zero as possible.

  7. #6
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    I've made some progress on this box. I've used quite a few of the tips from Ian Hawthorne's videos. Inside is finished with shellac, rubbed down with 1200 grit and some mineral oil/turps lubricant. Followed up with 3M polishing compound and finally a coat of U-Beaut wax. Outside has 3 thin coats of 1 pound cut shellac. More coats required. The splines are camphor.

    I've even decided to have a crack at making the hinges out of stainless steel. They look a bit rough at this stage. I don't have a proper milling machine. I only have a lathe milling attachment which lacks rigidity. With some filing and polishing I hope they will come up looking good. I made two sets because I figured I mess at least one of them up along the way. I'm glad I did because I went too deep with the cut on the pin end of one of them. You can see it on the third one from the left. Next I have to drill and ream the hinge pin holes. That's where it could all go pear-shaped.
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  8. #7
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    Finished the hinges today. Much bigger job than I anticipated. Looking forward to getting back into the woodwork tomorrow.
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  9. #8
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    Those hinges turned out really nice. I've been thinking about making some myself since it's impossible to source decent ones here in Australia, but I'm worried it might end up taking too much time and effort to get good results. Yours look absolutely fantastic though!

  10. #9
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    Thanks. Unless you have a real milling machine I wouldn’t bother. Even then there’s hours of work filing and polishing. Setting the opening stop required many cycles of inserting the hinge pin, checking the opening angle, removing the pin, filing the knuckle, reinserting the pin, etc.

  11. #10
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    I can't believe you made your own hinges. They turned out fantastic. Not sure I could do it though.
    When all is said and done, there is usually a whole lot more said than done.

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by talors View Post
    I've been thinking about making some myself since it's impossible to source decent ones here in Australia...
    Not impossible, but be prepared to pay through the nose:
    https://www.thewoodworks.com.au/shop...-sr-638-detail
    And that's just for brass hinges. The SS ones would be even more expensive.

    Quote Originally Posted by ciscokid View Post
    Not sure I could do it though.
    I wouldn't do it again. Not in SS anyway. Maybe in brass.

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jack620 View Post
    Not impossible, but be prepared to pay through the nose:
    Hinges-Brass 95 Butt : Hinge, Side Rail, 95 degree Stopped, Brass, 1 3/8 inch (34.93mm) x 5/16 inch (7.94mm), Pair, with Screws, #SR-638
    And that's just for brass hinges. The SS ones would be even more expensive.
    Yeah, I'm not paying $75 for a pair of hinges - for quite a bit less I can get some Neat Elite hinges from Ireland which are nicer than Brusso in my opinion.

    I think locally, Gerner hinges are probably the best for a reasonable price, but even they aren't too consistent - I've had issues where a pair of hinges vary by a millimetre or two and that means I can't make a jig which allows me to quickly and easily rout out the hinge mortices because the hinge would be either too small or too big to fit properly. If you're just making a couple of boxes this isn't a big deal but if you're making batches, as I often do, it becomes a hindrance. Also, Gerner doesn't have side rail hinges, which is unfortunate as they are by far the easiest to install.

  14. #13
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    They are great hinges Jack

  15. #14
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    The screws finally arrived from the UK. The box is finished. I think. I may add a finger grab if my wife wants one.

    It's lined on the underside and inside with aubergine coloured velvet. I followed Ian Hawthorn's method of lining the underside.
    The dividers are made from camphor.
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