Keepsake Boxes
KEEPSAKE BOXES
Wenge and figured maple accentuate clean lines.

SHOP OWNER: Dewayne Baker
LOCATION:
Vacaville, CA

    These beautiful keepsake boxes feature figured maple and wenge, luxurious hand rubbed oil and polyurethane finish, and velour fabric bottom. The lid is hinged with brass pins and designed to rest on the back of the box when open. For such a small project this had some significant challenges for a woodworker. I am absolutely thrilled with how these turned out.
Keepsake Boxes
    After the stock is milled flat, straight, and square, the first step is to create the profile for the sides of the box. The rounded profile is created at the tablesaw by tilting the blade to approximately 9 degrees and running the work piece through on its edge. I start with one long piece about 39 long by 2 5/8 wide. With the majority of waste removed at the table saw, I sand the profile to give it a rounded look. Once I am happy with the profile, I can make the final cuts for the pieces that will form the front, back, and sides.
Keepsake Boxes
    The next step was to create the feet for which I drew up a template and shaped them at the bandsaw and disc sander. The feet are joined to the box sides by mortise and loose tenon.
Keepsake Boxes
    To create the lid I used a similar method at the tablesaw by tilting the blade and performing on-edge angle cuts on the box frame and the center panel components. To insure safety at the saw I created a jig that rides on the tablesaw fence and clamps the work piece securely in place.
Keepsake Boxes
    Once again, lots of sanding to finesse the shape. The box lid is a mitered frame and panel as shown.
Keepsake Boxes
    The lid is hinged with 1/8-inch brass pins and trapped within the assembly during glue up. The pins are not replaceable or removable once the box is glued up. Very accurate calculations and drilling are important to ensure the lid opens properly and rests on the back of the box when open. To assist with this, I created a mock up of the box profile to test for proper placement of the hinges. I used this as a template to mark the holes in the sides of the box and the lid.
Keepsake Boxes
    During the build process I do several dry fits of the box components to make sure everything is fitting nicely. Nothing is glued together until everything is perfect. I use masking tape, string, or rubber bands to hold it together.
Keepsake Boxes
    Once satisfied with everything, the glue up process can start.
Keepsake Boxes
    The lid and bottom are put in place during the final phase of glue up.
Keepsake Boxes
    Milling mortises in such small components can be a dangerous task without the proper methods, jigs, or tools.
Keepsake Boxes
    I am using a shop-made mortising machine that I built from a plan featured in an old issue of Shop Notes magazine. The jig works great for the job.
. . . Dewayne Baker






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