I bought a custom made ring for my wife for Christmas, but I did not like the box it came in.
It really needed something nicer to compliment it. I went out in the workshop to see what I had to work with as far as materials. My wife loves ambrosia maple and I had a really thin cut off strip from a mirror I had made. Then I found some cut off ends of 1/4" poplar strips and went to work.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
Mainly you need two color contrasting species of wood.
I used some really thin figured ambrosia maple and some 1/4" poplar as the underside.
You mainly need several clamps, a saw of some sort (I used several), small hinges, small magnets, and a sander.
A nice wood finish like linseed oil or tung oil. I used a gloss tung oil finish.
A scrap piece of upholstery foam, utility knife, fabric scrap, and some permanent double sided tape.
I used a router and a chamfer bit to accent the contrast on the edges, but it's optional.
I mainly figured out my dimensions by measuring another ring box.
I cut my poplar interior strips first to match those dimensions using a stop block and my miter saw.
Then I glued them on the edges as butt joints and carefully clamped them up.
While the glue was drying, I went to my scroll saw and cut strips of the ambrosia maple to match the outside
dimensions of the poplar box.
Step 3: Gluing Up and Sanding the Thin Strips
After the glue is dry and the thin strips were cut. I carefully tried to match the grain patterns on each strip for the best possible look. After choosing the pattern, I started gluing up the first 2 sides top and bottom and then clamping.
After that was dry I glued up 2 more sides and clamped them up.
Once the glue was done doing it's job, I sanded down the 2 poplar sides that were left to make sure they were perfectly flat. There was a little bit of maple overhang on the edges before I did it.
Now I covered up and glued the final 2 sides with the maple strips and then clamped.
A few hours later I fine sanded all six sides to remove any glue run off and to make sure everything was smooth.
Step 4: Router and Cutting the Lid Off
I thought it would be nice looking to accent the contrast in wood species. The solution was to use the router and a chamfer bit. It turned out to be the right choice. I don't think I would have liked this box half as much without them.
After all the edges were done I fine sanded everything with 220 grit. sandpaper.
To cut off the lid, I used my table saw and cross cut sled.
I set up to stop blocks for the box to sit tightly into. I offset the blocks so that I would end up with one side larger than the other. The lid needs to be shallower than the base of the box. After taking a swipe on each side I sand down the inner portions I cut to make sure they would align perfectly flush.
Step 5: Adding Hinges, & Magnets
Now I clamp my top to my bottom and dry fit my hinges spacing them evenly. I mark my screw points with a homemade micro awl which started as a jewelers screwdriver. Then I use screw all the screws in by hand.
Now I take some tiny rare earth magnets I had and drill two small holes in the top and the bottom inside the opening of the box. I carefully marked and spaced them for perfect alignment. I used a little epoxy to hold them in, although super glue would work here fine.
Step 6: Wood Finish & Interior Design
I chose a high gloss tung oil finish made by Formby's to bring out the color, grain, and contrast in the woods.
Once that was dry, I got a scrap piece of upholstery foam, a scrap piece of fabric, some permanent double sided tape, and a little cardboard to complete the task.
I cut out a piece of cardboard the exact size of the inside of the box. Then, covered one side in the double sided tape. I placed it on my fabric scrap tape side down and cut off most of the excess fabric. I then covered the back side of the cardboard with the tape and rolled over the small bits of fabric to the back and placed it inside the top of the box pressing firmly.
Next, I cut out a square of upholstery foam the exact size of the box interior. I then cut that in half and covered both pieces with the double sided tape. I carefully covered every side but one withe the fabric, cutting off any excess. The exposed side without the fabric attaches to the bottom of the box. I did the exact same thing with the second piece carefully folding the fabric in on the sides. After I had them side by side in the box I firmly pressed them down to make sure the tape adhered well.
Step 7: Final Presentation
My wife loved the box so much, she thought it was the lone present. She was not expecting the ring inside.