I wanted to make a gift for my wife that had both unique and practical features. The result is this lamp and jewelry box combination. I also wanted to incorporate a variety of woodworking joinery types to make the project more interesting.
My first thought was to hide the drawers so that the jewelry would be in a safer place but I ended up including drawer pulls that make it obvious that there could be something inside the lamp housing.
I happened to have a number of small pieces of mahogany left over from another project so that's what I used for the lamp & jewelry box combo.
The short video below shows the main features of the project including the drawers sliding in and out.
Step 1: Video Gives an Overview of the Features
Step 2: Overall Dimensions and Top Drawer Detail
The major dimensions are shown on the first photo. I included the dimensions of the lamp shade as I found that getting the "right" size proved to be a bit tricky - I had to try several shade sizes to find one that gave a good visual balance.
The vertical housing for the top drawer utilizes standard frame and panel construction techniques. Even though they are small, the panels "float" in the frames just as they do in larger units of the same design. The floating design allows for wood "movement" due to seasonal moisture changes.
The vertical drawer, being "top heavy", required special attention to make it slide in and out smoothly and to keep it stable over the travel distance. This was accomplished by routing the drawer base and mating piece in a sliding lock configuration as shown in the photos. A brass pin limits the withdrawal distance of the drawer. The pin fits snugly in a hole at the rear of the drawer base and is easily pried out with a knife. A set of small brass cup hooks hold the jewelry. Paste wax makes the drawer slide smoothly.
As a final touch I sketched a design for the Pitcher Plant (our provincial flower). After sketching I separated each main part of the plant and transferred the drawings to a thin piece of maple wood. Some work with the scroll saw and sand paper clued up the plant details before I glued the individual pieces in place.
Step 3: Bottom Drawer and Base Unit
The four sides of the base unit that houses the bottom drawer are assembled with miter joints and glue. I cut out the drawer opening on one side of the base unit before gluing and clamping. To do this I first cut the hole with a scroll saw and then fine tuned it with files. Lock joints and glue hold the drawer front, back, and sides together. The drawer bottom is set in grooves in the drawer sides and glued solidly in place (expansion/contraction is not a problem for such a small drawer). For an extra touch I placed a favourite photo on the bottom of the drawer and covered it completely with clear epoxy resin.
To round out the overall looks of the lamp and jewelry box I fabricated bracket feet and glued them in place on the housing.
I applied a topcoat of water based clear polyurethane as the final step before installing the lamp fixture, drawer pulls, and cup hooks.