RIDDLE ME THIS
Solve the riddle and open the secret drawer.

SHOP OWNER: Aurele Delaurier

This jewelry box, which I've named 'Riddle Me This', was a gift to one of our friends. The trick to opening the secret drawer lies in solving this riddle:

Near bow in the middle,
Fits a key to fiddle.
Just reflect a little,
To unlock this riddle.

On my small lathe, I turned this jewelry box made from African Blackwood. It measures about 2-1/2" tall and 2-1/8" in diameter. We had our friend's name laser engraved on the drawer, which is made of Bloodwood. The gold-plated box hinge has a decorative bowtie in the middle.
When the box is open, you can see the first compartment for jewelry as well as the mirror I mounted on the underside of the lid. The compartment measures about 3/4" deep and 1-1/2" in diameter. Although these photos may not clearly show it, all three compartments are lined with dark green suede glued in with contact rubber cement.

As mentioned in the riddle, the trick is to find a key to open the drawer. 'Just reflect a little' means to look into the mirror - quite literally. The mirror can be threaded away from the lid. Glued to the back of the mirror is a brass ring that threads into a matching ring, which is glued to the underside of the lid. This secret compartment contains the key, which is simply a small diameter shaft with a cylindrical top.

This photo shows the key partially inserted into the keyhole. 'Near bow in the middle' means that the keyhole is located in the middle of the box where the bow tie is when the lid is closed (see photo 1).

When the key is fully inserted, it releases the drawer by lowering the spring-loaded catch built into the drawer. The inset picture in this photo shows the bottom of the drawer where a 1/4" diameter plug hides the spring-loaded pin. I modified a pop-rivet for the pin and used a portion of a retractable pen's spring to push the pin upward.

Glued into the inside back of the box is another portion of a pen's spring, which pushes out the drawer when the key is fully inserted. A small hole countersunk in the back of the drawer aligns with the pen spring in the back of the box. The drawer opening in the box was carefully chiseled out.

Here's a top view of the jewelry box with my wife's rings. The drawer's compartment measures about 3/8" deep by 1" in diameter - large enough to hold a ring, earrings, or a small chain. I finished the box with antique oil, and then waxed with buffing wheels.

. . . Aurele Delaurier