Birds-Eye-Maple Jewelry Box

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.

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

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

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

  4. Cut rabbits for the tray.

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

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

  7. Carve the Cherry block on the lid.

  8. Route slot for lid lip.

  9. Cut lid lip and glue to lid.

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

  11. Glue box together.

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

  13. Sand sides to curves.

  14. Carve tray from Cherry.

  15. 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.