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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is the lid to a nifty little box I'm making for my wife's B-day.
The lid is African Mahogany, the trim is walnut.
I wish I had a CNC or laser, but don't, so I carved this mostly by hand, which was rather long and painstaking, but one hell of a lesson in carefuling.
I also cut the "R" by hand with a jeweler's saw.
This is going to be an epoxy inlay, with a shallow layer of crushed turquoise on the bottom, possibly gloss black walls inside, or maybe just the wood itself finished, I'm not sure yet, but here's my dilemma:

I want to cut a precise rabbet around the top of the inlay for the brass ring to sit it.
The current one is just a proto, the final one will be a bit thicker, minus the lead solder joint.
The oval is not a true oval, it's hand formed, and is what it is, but it's where I started for the inlay shape.

Anyways, I practiced carving it on another piece, but I'm not that good, and the results were less than acceptable to me.
I have a dremel with a little router base and a bunch of bits and burrs, but I'm not that good to be going freehand.
One slip up and it's a done deal.
I have wayyy too much time into this for a screw up.

I probably could have done it first, then proceeded with the mining of the inlay, but it's a bit late for that.
I keep thinking there might be a way to set the dremel up in some kind of jig, or create something, but I really want the ring to set nicely against the edge, and recessed a bit below level on the top.

I could make the new ring a little smaller and attach it on the inside edge, but that just wouldn't look right in the end.

So have at it, I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas!

As always, thank you.



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Is the "R" already glued in place? If not make/buy a circle template and use it to have a true circle cut by a bit with a bearing. Use the same template for the rabbet using a different size bearing?

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56 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Is the "R" already glued in place? If not make/buy a circle template and use it to have a true circle cut by a bit with a bearing. Use the same template for the rabbet using a different size bearing?
It might be kind of hard to tell, but the circle is actually a slanted oval.
After a bunch of experimenting, the tilted oval looked a bit classier to me, and a circle made the upper left look really barren.
Half of my challenges in life are because I sometimes like to learn as I go.
Should I do something like this again, I'll base my start around the router.

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56 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I hate finding or leaving threads unended, so I'm going to post the final results here.
I guess I was kind of being a baby about finishing the carving by hand, but decided to just tackle it, sit down, and do the damn thing.

I set out to make my wife quite possibly the prettiest thing she'd ever seen in her life, for her birthday this year.
I built this from scratch, no plans, just ideas, and making it up as I went along.
I can't even begin to count the hours, days or weeks I have into this, all the while learning new skills, and honing old ones.
Not only was it a gift to my wife, but a challenge I set before myself to try to make something the very best I could, shooting for precision, perfection, and beauty.

I also created my locking mechanism using neodymium magnets in a way that I have not seen used in any videos or anywhere else.
The latch activating magnets are built into the pillbox looking handle thing.
Instead of using attraction to active the latching, I used springs, and repulsion.
There are more magnets installed in the lid and the box to keep the lid closed.
The dowels are spring loaded for lifting the lid.
The wood is African Mahogany, and walnut.
The Turquoise is real, most of it locally mined.
I purchased, and took a stab at the jeweler's saw, cutting the letter R out of a thin brass plate.
The finish was an attempt at french polishing. It went quite well, except for a few areas that for some reason wouldn't stop soaking up the shellac.
I tried a number of things such as making up a thicker cut of shellac to try and seal the areas, but after a good while, I stripped it down much in the same fashion as it went on, down to the last few coats then gave it the paste wax.
The epoxy pour was also a first.
and on it goes.....anyways, here's some pics!







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