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Thread: Some Jewelry Boxes

  1. #1

    Some Jewelry Boxes

    I made a set of 8 jewelry boxes, 6 as gifts, and 2 as a donation for a charity auction. As my skills have matured, I've gravitated to using really nice wood for my projects. I bought this curly maple on Ebay and I was very happy with it. I used mitered corners, and then I splined them with dovetail shaped Wenge keys. I used the same shape Wenge keys for drawer handles. All of the drawer parts and dividers are curly maple as well. The toughest part of the project was making the black velvet drawer bottoms. I ended up using spray adhesive to adhere the velvet to thin stiff card stock.

    I thought that doing a mini production run would save time, and it did for many steps, but the shear number of parts made it a little monotonous at times. Especially sanding all of the drawer dividers. I tried French Polishing on these, my first time.

    I really like the wood property known as chatoyance. Here is a link to the wiki definition of chatoyance.
    I find that clear finishes really accentuate the chatoyance. If you need to color the wood, only use wood dye, stains are comprised of ground up minerals and will obscure the chatoyance. Many like to use BLO on the bare wood to "Pop" the grain. I find that this just makes the lively grain in the wood dark and contrasty with the rest of the piece. I find that BLO obscures the chatoyance as well. I prefer laquer or shellac. On this project I tried french polishing for the first time and it set me back at least a month. I must have redone them 10 times. It was too windy and cold to spray laquer outside so shellac was my only option.

    Do an experiment. Buy a really nice piece of figured veneer. Sand and prep as usual, and then finish 1/2 with a clear finish, spray can of laquer from the home depot will work. When you move the piece around under the light, you will see chatoyance. Now hit the other side with BLO and then clear finish. Most of the chatoyance will disappear as the BLO soaked into and darkened the most figured areas. IMHO BLO makes the grain pop for a picture, but when you walk around a piece with chatoyance it's magic. I'm pretty passionate about this, I'm not trying to caues any fights.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Jewelry Box 1 small.jpg   Jewelry Box 2 small.jpg   Jewelry Box 3 small.jpg   Jewelry Box 4 small.jpg   Jewelry Box 5 small.jpg  

    Jewelry Box 6 small.jpg  

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Hey Joe, the boxes look great! Nice job on the finish, really shows off that wood. I always like to see the grain continue across the drawer fronts that way too.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Nanaimo B.C. Canada
    Very nice work Joe
    Cheers! - Jim

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    ABQ NM
    It's a real shame you couldn't get any fancy wood for those jewelry boxes.

    Joe, those look awesome. Beautiful wood, very nice, clean design, and excellent execution. French polish? That's a lot of work times six. (I tried it a couple times, but didn't succeed. Improper technique, I'm sure.) Yours came out great, though. Those are going to make six ladies very happy.

    I'll have to try your chatoyance test. Like a lot of people, I sometimes use BLO as a first step on curly and quilted maple, followed by a clear finish. If not that, I'll use a penetrating oil/varnish mix like Antique Oil or Tung Oil blend. I'll give your oil-free suggestion a try.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Tokyo Japan
    You know Joe, whenever I see the heading "Jewelry Boxes" on a thread, I only open it when I know my lovely wife is not around, as that is one thing on the Honey to Do list, that I've not gotten around to....

    Boy am I ever glad that I made sure she was out of the room

    VERY nice indeed, please make sure you tell us how the charity auction goes, I'm sure a number of people will be happy get those!!

    As for your comments on "Chatoyance" I completely agree, I've all but given up on BLO. I use a cellulose sanding sealer then CA glue on my pens, and on certain woods, yeah, Chatoyance galore!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    nice work and pretty wood joe!
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Brentwood, TN
    Great looking work! Interestingly, FWW did a little experiment on chatoyance very similar to your post about 6-9 months ago and found the same thing. BLO seems to have a destiny in woodworking on almost a superstition level.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Barton View Post
    Great looking work! Interestingly, FWW did a little experiment on chatoyance very similar to your post about 6-9 months ago and found the same thing. BLO seems to have a destiny in woodworking on almost a superstition level.

    I think it's more of a personal taste thing. I try very hard to accentuate the way light plays with the grain in the wood. Others really like to accentuate the grain patterns by increasing the contrast with stain. I really dislike stain, but wood dyes are another matter. They allow one to change the color of the wood without obscuring any of the chatoyance. There was a house we looked at (10,000 sq ft mansion) that had amazing oak trim work everywhere. Unfortunately it was all stained a medium brown and other than having dark brown patterns whereever the grain was soft, it had no life what so ever. If that work had been dyed, rather than stained, wow...joe

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Field, Ontario, Canada
    Wow. Beautiful. Simply beautiful.

    Hey if they don't sell you can ship them my way.

    I'm not holding my breath though these'll go quicker than hot cakes.

    Anything that can go wrong will go wrong, so keep your hands away and watch out!

  10. #10
    Steve Clardy Guest
    Great looking boxes Joe

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