Full Video of the build is below which can be found on my Youtube Channel, followed by full steps and materials list / tools list that you'll want to have to complete.
Step 1: Find a Girl That Can Put Up With You, Buy a Ring, Gather Materials for Your Box and Get STOKED!
Brooke and I have been together for nearly four and a half years and the time finally came for me to show her how special she was to me. Within two weeks and after some serious help from my mom and friends, I found the perfect ring for her and was so thrilled that I could give her what I wanted.
The only thing to make it more special would be a box hand crafted by myself (which I had never done) but was so thrilled to take on as a project. As simple as the final build might appear, it was actually a fun culmination of a lot of the skills I had learned both in woodworking as well as filmmaking.
Hope you enjoy!
- Scrap Maple and IPE hardwoods I had collected
- TiteBond II Wood Glue: http://amzn.to/2peRFus
- Tung Oil: http://amzn.to/2rAB9FU
Barrel Hinges (5mm): http://amzn.to/2rVpAtk
- RYOBI 10 in. Sliding Compound Miter Saw: http://amzn.to/2q1klHw
- RYOBI Miter Saw Stand: http://amzn.to/2p1072e
- Wen 12.5” Thickness Planer: http://amzn.to/2q9FYYW
- RYOBI Power Drill: http://amzn.to/2q1l5wn
- RYOBI Stationary Bench (Belt and Disc) Sander: http://amzn.to/2q1Cq8k
- RYOBI Sawzaw: http://amzn.to/2q1l5wn
- RYOBI Plunge Router: http://amzn.to/2p15eiC
- RYOBI Router Set: http://amzn.to/2pwx87Z
- RYOBI Drill Bit Set: http://amzn.to/2oKKWXi
- BESSEY Economy 2.5” x 12” Clutch Clamps: http://amzn.to/2oIJGVy
- BESSEY Economy 2.5” x 24” Clutch Clamps: http://amzn.to/2osNm1x
- BESSEY H Style Pipe Clamps: http://amzn.to/2peTV53
- 12” Rafter Square: http://amzn.to/2phZUIt
- Stanley Clamping Miter Box: http://amzn.to/2p2N0yS
- Hand Saw: http://amzn.to/2peEglu
- Hand Sanding Sponges (120, 220, 320, and 400 grit): http://amzn.to/2oHa6pP
- Extension Chord: http://amzn.to/2qxPFRj
- 5-Gallon 4.5 Peak HP Wet Dry Vacuum: http://amzn.to/2pMCRq3
Digital Measuring Caliper: http://amzn.to/2p360xg
FILM / EDIT EQUIPMENT:
Step 2: Sketch Out Your Project
Before I knew what materials I had, I did a bunch of rough sketches on what I thought would be a great looking box based and something I knew I could build (in secret) with the tools I had available. I really didn't know what I wanted to make, so I drew out a few things, then just said screw it and got to work.
This ended up being a project I spent about 20-30 minutes a day on over the course of four weeks - I loved every moment of it.
Step 3: Assess Gathered Materials and Make Cuts
I have quite a bit of scrap pieces of hardwood lying around and I knew all along that I wanted to make a special engagement ring box for when the time came to pop the question. I liked the contrast of the Maple wood I had against the IPE strips, so I got to it!
I went ahead and cut my IPE strip into two using my coping saw (each strip was about 15 inches long, which was way more material than I knew I'd need, but better to have extra).
Step 4: Glue Up: Round 1
I laminated together my two strips of Maple and IPE as such and let it dry overnight. I knew I'd eventually plane down this piece so I left the IPE wood long to catch any snipe. My materials were similar widths, but this isn't necessary as I knew (for my design), I'd eventually plane everything down to a standard width. Try to keep the glue up as flat as possible.
Step 5: Planing to Desired Thickness
After drying overnight, I could plane it down to an appropriate thickness - which was around 2/3 of an inch. I didn't have exact end measurements in mind, but I was looking to make my final box a little over 2" in each direction, so this just seemed correct.
Step 6: Cutting One Side to Width
I thought it would be cool to have my two dark strips come to a corner, so what I did was measure the width of my piece, then translated that width to one side of my laminated strip (second picture), then cut that strip off on my Miter Saw (fourth picture), so that one side was much thinner than the other.
The thought was that when I later laminated my strips together in an end-grain fashion, they corner would be square. You'll see what I mean later.
Now is also a good time to square up one end of your piece.
Step 7: Rip Your Laminated Strips
Next up, I set up a stop on my Miter saw and cut my piece into four smaller sections at 2.25" each (I chose this width based on what I believed would be a good final size of a box, which was ~2").
Step 8: Rip Your Second IPE Strip
I also cut down my second piece of IPE into 2.75" lengths (four totally pieces) and used a bit of hand sanding to flatten out the edges in preparation for my next glue up.
Step 9: Glue Up Round 2 - Create Your Final Box
Next, I took three of my laminated cut pieces and rotated them 90 degrees, as well as insert three of my IPE strips to form the above box. You can see how it's starting to come together. It's basically built in the same vein as an end grain cutting board as the grain was all running the same direction.
Once I had my shape, I glued everything up at once, taking the clamping process as slow as I could to avoid any slipping, and then tightened from all angles. I then let dry overnight. This was about 98.7% perfect. The only way I could improve this is to do layers one at a time.
But this was a secret project I was doing in off hours, and ain't noboby got time for that!
Step 10: Shape Your Glue Up
After drying overnight, I used my stationary belt / disc sander to flatten all of the sides, being VERY careful to sand down everything at 90°, which was actually much more difficult than I anticipated. Squaring up my surface perpendicular to the disc as well as double checking my sliding miter gauge was crucial here.
You can see how it took shape after all of my work - not bad right?
Step 11: Chamfer the Edges
I wanted my top to have a chamfer'd edge, but I don't have a router table to pull this off. I saw a video online of someone using their plunge router upside down and just gave a few safety precautions on how to do this. I took is super slow with a 1/4" bit and the result came out great!
I also sanded down all of my surfaces with 120 and 220 grit paper after this to give it a nice smooth exterior.
Step 12: Cut in Half (Kind Of) to Form a Box and Lid
Next, I used a miter saw box, clamps, and a crappy hand saw to split my box along the IPE, which took forever.
Halfway through, I switched to a Sawsaw which went much faster but left a rough cut through. So, I took both halves and sanded them down hard against 120 grit paper, which left me with two clean cuts.
Step 13: Creating My Hole-Routing Jig
I debated how I wanted to create my hole. Instead of purchasing a forstner bit set which I originally thought would be the easiest route, I chose to use my Plunge Router and a 1/8" Flush Trim bit to make my hole carving for the box.
To do this, I created a simple jig that would sit tightly around all four sides of the box, held together with pocket hole screws. I was careful to keep all things flat in the process so my routing surface would be level.
Step 14: Choose Your Router Bit and Mark Your Hole Dimensions
The first picture is the router bit for reference - 1/8" flush trim bit that also works as a plunge bit when taken slowly. This would make my cut near square, with 1/8" rounded corners due to the diameter of the router bit.
Once I had that chosen, I marked up where I wanted the corners of my hole to be. I chose 10mm equidistant from all sides.
Step 15: Finalizing Your Hole-Routing Jig Parameters
To finish the jig, I took my router bit tip and moved it to all four corners that I had measured of my box. I could then mark lines at the edge of my router base plate on all four sides (second picture).
NOTE - one side of the router plate is flat, so take that into account in your measuring. When you go to actually route your hole, do not change the orientation of your router or you will mess it all up.
Once I had markings on all four sides, I could draw all four lines of my square with my rafter square to keep it 90° (picture three), then used my nail gun to add straight scrap pieces of wood that boarder my line to create my router jig boarder.
Picture five is the final jig - I had never done this before, and I was proud at how well it turned out.
Step 16: Route and Sand (Finally)
Then it was time to cut! In total, I did 7 passes, plunging my bit about 1/8" - 1/4" each time and it worked fantastically.
The second photo shows me checking my depth - all good! How about that shine??
After I routed, I went back and lightly sanded down the insides and edges with 220 grit paper - I think it came out great!
Step 17: Hinges: Part 1
Hinges were somehow the most complicated part of this build. I wanted the snappy feature of a regular ring box but that was honestly hard to come by. I considered using the hardware from a cheap box, but that actually was going to be more tricky than just a simple swap. So, I chose barrel hinges after much research.
The first picture shows the barrel hinges I chose - 5mm in diameter and hard to find. No in-store retailer seemed to sell them, so I resorted to ordering through Amazon and they took about a week to show up.
I clamped together my two halves (pic 2), marked a perpendicular line on each, then used my digital caliper to mark a center hole 3.5mm inward that I could drill. I took my sweet time with this as I didn't want to mess it up or drill too deep either way. I think I used a 3/16" bit for this - again - do it slow. The last picture is me dry fitting the pilot hole, which worked great (I also did a test run of this on a scrap piece of wood before).
Step 18: Hinges: Part 2
In order for these hinges to work, you need to chamfer the back top edge of your bottom piece (first and second picture) at 45°. That way, after applying super glue into all of your holes (pictures 3 and 4), you can attached your top and let it dry in the close position for 20-30s (being careful not to glue anything shut!), and then actually allow your barrel hinges to open properly (final picture).
If you don't add the chamfer, the box won't open as the hinges cannot flex.
Step 19: Ring Pillow Assembly Process
I debated for a while on what I'd for the interior. I decided to use faux black leather mixed with packing foam that could be packed in properly to the inside hole and hold everything with friction. .
I measured the width of my interior (pic 1), cut my material to width (pic 3), rolled it up and super glued it into a cylinder (pic 4), then repeated the process of measuring, cutting, and rolling up the faux leather around my foam piece and securing with super glue (pics 5-7).
Picture 7 shows the two completed sushi-roll looking pieces.
Step 20: Oiling and Final Assembly
I finished my box with Tung Oil (brand is Pic 1), oiled up box is Pic 2.
Then, I could insert my two sushi roll pads and use a pointed edge (scissors in my case) to push down and flatten out to make it look nice.
Step 21: Insert the Ring and Admire Your Final Product (and Eventually Propose)
All done! So happy seeing weeks of work come together in a few final pictures.
Loved every minute of working on this project!