Boxes such as this, while simple in shape, provide ample opportunity for them to be different. By changing the wood species used, or the designs on top, or even how the interior is arranged, you can create a box that has the look and functionality for any purpose or taste. I’ve made four boxes like this, but really all they have in common is the number of sides, a top, and a bottom. This particular box was for a friend, and her excitement as I shared progress photos drove me to be sure this was the finest I’ve built yet.
What she wanted:
- Reddish wood for the main body of the box
- A custom fleur-de-lis design on the lid (this worried me slightly)
- Ring storage
Once she asked for a reddish-hued wood, I knew Paduak would be a winner. To be safe, I took a sample to her, so she could give final approval. There are other red woods out there, but Paduak doesn’t break the bank, and my local Woodcraft normally has a good selection of it. And it’s just pretty, the dark streaks really pop out once you get some finish on there.
For the lid, she had asked that I replicate an image she found online. She’s fond of New Orleans, hence the fleur-de-lis, and after she’s wed there very soon, ‘W’ will represent her last name. I agreed to create this design on the lid, though at the time, I had no idea how I would actually do so.
I had used Purpleheart for the inside liner of the box, as well as the top and bottom panels. So I thought having a contrasting wood that revealed the fleur-de-lis of Purpleheart would be a nice touch. Luckily, I already had some curly Maple veneer on hand. I just drew right on the veneer, then used an exacto knife to cut out the shapes. For the ‘W’, I used another piece of veneer I had lying about, I’m uncertain what species of wood this was, though it looked to be from a burl. Same process for this, I drew it out, then used an exacto knife to free the shape.
With the veneers stacked as they were, it would have been possible for something to get underneath them, and pry them up from where they sat. To prevent that (and to prevent me from having to try to inlay the ‘W’ into the fleur-de-lis), I superglued them in place, and filled the rest of the lid with clear resin.
Inside the box, there needed to be a place to keep rings in place. I used Fusion360 to design a 3D model that I could print out on my Lulzbot Mini. This took some trial and error to get right, but that’s the nice thing about 3D printing, it’s quite easy to tweak a 3D model, and print a new version. If I had tried to use wooden dowels (which I considered), once I drilled the holes to hold them, I would have needed to get a new piece of wood if they weren’t exactly right. But as it was, once the spacing for the ring slots was correct, I only needed to glue craft foam to the printed part, which helps to hold the rings in place, then slide it into the box, and that about wrapped it up.