Introduction: Wooden Jewelry Box

About: I love wood working, metal working, science and technology.

With all the cool jewelry you'll be making from the instructables in this contest, you'll need a place to keep it. This snazzy looking wooden box does a perfect job of keeping everything organized. It can also be used for things beyond jewelry storage (I use mine to hold change). Although the segmented turning method for the box looks difficult and complicated, this instructable includes a few tips to simplify the construction. This box can make a great gift too.

Step 1: Materials Used for the Box

Materials used include:

- 1 maple screw plug button

- 2 purple heart pen blanks

- 2 padauk pen blanks

- 4 black walnut pen blanks

Pen blank size is 3/4" x 3/4" x 5"

WARNING: Always wear a dust mask and face shield when machining exotic and domestic woods. Purple heart's dust has been known to cause nausea.

Step 2: Preparing the Blanks

Rip the walnut pen blanks in half using a table saw. If you have a bandsaw with a fence I would suggest using that instead. Remember to use push sticks. This is done to all of the black walnut pen blanks.

Step 3: The First "glue Up"

Glue the 5/16" strips of walnut to the purple heart and padauk blanks. Make sure the strips are on opposite sides. This is done for all of the 3/4" blanks.

Step 4: Flush-up the Laminated Blank

Before mitering the laminated blanks, you must be sure the faces of the glued up segments are totally flush. To flush up the faces I use a bench plane and finish up with a trimming plane. Then I'm ready to miter!

Step 5: Mitering the Segments

A miter-saw is the best and most accurate option for cutting perfect 22.5 degree angles in order to make an octagon. However, a specific fixture is required to safely cut these pieces. First, a sacrificial spruce 2 x 4 is screwed to the fence. Next, cut through the 2 x 4. This will act like a zero-clearance insert does on a table-saw. After that a stop-block is clamped 2" away from the blade to insure that the pieces are all the same length. A push stick is used to hold the work-piece against the fence. 

Step 6: The Second "Glue Up"

The pieces are now glued in an octagonal formation, Glue is applied to the miters then the piece is clamped. To clamp this odd shape I use elastic bands. The segments ordered padauk, purple heart, padauk, purple heart and so on... I used about 6 broccoli elastics. Wait 24 hours before beginning to machine the octagon.

Step 7: Preparing the Octagon for Turning

After 24 hours the octagon can be mounted on a lathe and turned. A shop-made "face plate" is required though. First, cut a square piece of 2 x 4. The dimensions aren't crucial, as long as it fits in your lathe's chuck. Then, cut a square piece of 1/8" plywood. The edges of this piece of plywood have to butt up against the edges of the octagon. Next, mark out where to place four screws on opposite sides of the plywood square (on the back of the square). Mark out the center of the plywood square as well. Once that's done the square and octagon can be brought to the drill press to drill out the pilot holes for the screws (drill through the plywood into the octagon). Now using the center mark on the plywood drill a hole through the center. Then mark out the center of the 2 x 4 square and drill that as well. 

Step 8: Screw This Project! Fasten It Together That Is...

Puns are fun, aren't they? Anyhow, start off by screwing the plywood square to the octagon using the pre-drilled holes and 1" screws. Pan-headed screws would work the best but when the hardware store is closed, sometimes you just have to go with cone-headed screws. Next, put a screw through the plywood into the 2 x 4 (on the side opposite to the side with the octagon). Now pre drill two more pilot holes (one on each side of the center screw) and drive in two more screws. You are now finally ready to start turning. Chuck the 2 x 4 square in your lathe chuck (with the plywood and octagon attached of coarse).

Step 9: Turning the Octagon

Now that the octagon is chucked in the lathe's chuck, take the outside down just until it's round. I used a bowl gouge. then take the inside down until you reach 1/4" - 3/8" wall thickness (make sure you don't expose a screw). I used a square nosed scraper for the inside. Then cut a small rabbet (ledge) in the top edge of the piece for the future lid that's about 1/8" deep. Once done, sand and polish. The turning can be burnished as well using a handful of shavings held up against the piece. After the shop-made "face plate" is un-chucked unscrew the octagon from the plywood plate.

Step 10: Turning the Bottom

Every box needs a bottom! To make the bottom for this box start out with 7" x 7" x 3/4" square of black walnut mounted on your lathe via the face plate. Start by rounding the piece off and cutting a tenon (nub) about 3/32" deep that fits snugly into the bottom (the side that doesn't have the rabbet cut in it) of the segmented ring (the used-to-be octagon). Take the rest of the piece down until the outside edge is about 1/2" - 5/8" away from the tennon. Once that's done round over the outside edge of the piece

Step 11: Turning the Lid

The lid is about as simple as the box's bottom, except the lid has no tennon. Start with the same sized walnut blank as you did for the bottom. Take the blank down to round. Then, using a vernier caliper while marking with a parting tool, cut a line to mark the diameter of the rabbet in the segmented ring. Then part off the rest of the walnut outside of the line. Make sure the piece is not tapered. Then, shape the lid however you want. Once that's done, press the live center into the surface of the lid to mark the center.

Step 12: Adding the "finial"

Take the finished lid over to the drill press and fit a 3/8" bit in the chuck. Then, drill down using the center-mark created by the live center. Drill down about 3/8". After that, tap a 3/8" maple (or contrasting wood of choice) screw plug button into the hole.

Step 13: The Final "Glue Up"

Now all that's left to do before finishing is to glue the bottom in place. A disposable foam brush is perfect to spread glue around and avoid ooz. Spread glue along the bottom edge of the segmented ring then slip it onto the tenon in the bottom. To apply clamping pressure I just stack a heavy object on top of the box (I used a big chunk of walnut).

Step 14: Conclusion

So once your done machining your jewelry box just put a coat of your favorite finish on it. After that, this box is now ready to hold your favorite keepsakes or be gifted to a friend or family member! 
Dremel Jewelry Contest

Finalist in the
Dremel Jewelry Contest