Needless to say, I followed Incra’s instructions and did several practice cuts of junk wood before trying the box joints for real. This project was a reminder that working on small items is difficult. You just have to slow down, take your time and do some practice cuts along the way.
Speaking of the wood in this project, the dark wood for the box portion is Bocote. Man, this wood is dense! Hardwoods have a weight assigned to them (don’t ask me how that is done). Red Oak carries a density weight of 1300. By way of comparison, Bocote’s density weight is 2600! It is super heavy, but very beautiful. The light colored wood on the top is Birdseye Maple and the handle is made from Wenge. I have to order all the wood online. The plans for the Keepsake Box are from Woodsmith. I would rate this box as an Intermediate skill level project. There are tons of plans online on how to create a Finger Joint Jig, but since I am going to be making several of these I bought the Incra.
The Woodsmith plans are very detailed. They bill this as a weekend project. It took me a lot longer than that since I was not familiar with box joint construction. As I said, I did the box joints with the Incra jig. You build the box square then cut the curves using a Band Saw. Having an Oscillating Spindle Sander is pretty handy to remove the Band Saw marks and taking the box to it’s final shape.
I finished the project with a wipe on poly from General. If I remember correctly, I used three coats. It really does look nice. Be sure and check out the photo gallery of the production process.