Final Stretch Progress: Japanese Jewelry Box

Final cuts on wood pieces

At this time I have made it nearly all the way through the construction of the box. I have completed cutting each side of the box to the correct size using a handsaw and sanded each of them down using a power sander. It is a bit difficult to see from this image, but I also cut a false bottom of the box (barely smaller than the actual bottom piece) to incorporate a secret compartment. I also completed painting all sides of the box (yes, with a paintbrush and yes, on every side — it was a grueling process), which can be seen below.

Matte black painted box sides
One side wood carving complete


The carved, painted designs have proven themselves to be a bit more difficult on the final project than they were with the prototype. I wasn’t able to find a large enough sample of bass or balsa wood to create the box from, so I instead chose to use pine because it was my only option besides douglas fir, which is too tough for carving. While cutting and carving the pine by hand has been more difficult than maybe it needed to be, it has very much been a labor of love. Doing it by hand has brought my closer to the significance and importance of my project.

One painted design completed
Fused wood pieces to create box top


I have finished assembling the box sides with wood glue a few brads and completed attaching the hinges for the top of the box and the secret compartment. The width of the wood I bought was not enough to create the top from a single piece, so I had to fuse two pieces together using wood glue and then sand the joint. The product while the glue was setting is shown on the right. While I don’t currently have photos displaying the completed assembly with hinges, there will be more photos to come. I had to disassemble the box a bit to correct the size of the false bottom, so it is not photo ready at the moment. This week, I plan to add interior features and am still playing with the idea of laquering — the matte black acrylic paint accumulates dust pretty easily and makes the box look a bit shabby however the dust brushes off with relative ease, so I am still unsure.


Acrylic Paint, box, Carpenter, Carving, Japanese, Jewelry, Laquer, wood
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3 Comments. Leave new

  • Jack Wheeler
    May 10, 2017 3:04 pm

    It seems like your project was going really well at this point. From the final project, it seems like things went relatively smoothly from this point. Great job!

  • Cyron Completo
    April 16, 2017 9:31 pm

    Great progress! Adding some lacquer to the box would make the finish much more durable and you could still make the box matte. In my opinion, a glossy lacquer would make the box look classier, however.

  • Kira Sadighi
    April 16, 2017 2:50 pm

    Hey Emma,
    Looks like your project is coming along nicely. Wood glue is pretty strong, so I don’t think you should have any problems with that staying together, in case you were worried. I really like the light-colored design on the black background. The painting you applied to the carving looks nice, although I loved the carved tree by itself too. Does the laquering change the matte black finish to shiny? Maybe there is a way to cover it, while keeping it matte?


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