Birds-Eye-Maple Jewelry Box
By Elijah Bernstein-Cooper, October 6, 2015, 0 comments.

The Box

A few years ago I built a jewelry box out of Bird’s-Eye Maple and cherry as a gift. The rounded sides and lid frame the hand-carved Celtic knot as the focus of the box. The design is minimalist, yet elegant. Three compartments await inside the box, along with a padded tray which rests atop the back compartment.


I applied a variety of techniques while constructing this box, much of which I learned from Box-making Basics by David M. Freedman. The box features keyed, mitered, sides, rabbited slots in order to include supports for the tray, and a hollowed tray. Below is a short outline of the construction of the box, in addition to elaboration on some of the more complicated steps.

  • Cut Maple stock for sides and lid. Cut mitered corners on sides.

  • Cut rabbits in back side of box. Glue narrow lips in rabbits to support tray.

  • Cut notch out of top front for lid lip to rest.

  • Cut rabbits for the tray.

  • Cut lid. Cut and sand lid top to a curve. Leave flat square on top.

  • Glue Cherry block onto the flat portion of the lid.

  • Carve the Cherry block on the lid.

  • Route slot for lid lip.

  • Cut lid lip and glue to lid.

  • Drill lid pin-hinge hole in lid and sides.

  • Glue box together.

  • Cut key slots in each side. Glue in Black Walnut keys.

  • Sand sides to curves.

  • Carve tray from Cherry.

  • Cut and glue in partitions from Black Walnut.

Key Joints

I reinforced each mitered side with three Black Walnut keys. I built a sliding carriage on the table saw out of 4$\in\times\,$4$\in$ stock. The carriage had a right angle slot rotated 45$^\circ$ angle to hold the box while sliding over the table saw. Here is an example.


In order to minimize tangling earrings or rings, I sought to build a tray with cushioned partitions. I carved the tray by lowering Cherry stock onto straight plunge router bit on a router table. I installed a jig on all four sides of the router table to prevent the router from carving through a tray wall. I wrapped soft foam in black velvet to make three logs, which I glued into the tray.