Bert’s Jewelry Box


The carcase is also made from Goncalo Alves, with most of the pieces resawn to about 5/16 of an inch thick. Joints are mortise and tenon as well as some tiny dovetails. This is traditional carcase construction only scaled down. There are about 35 parts in it.

I designed this jewelry box on a commission from my girlfriend’s mother in 1990. It is the finest thing I’ve ever built, and is clearly a masterpiece. The primary wood is rare Goncalo Alves from the tropics of South America, and the details are Gabon Ebony. Drawer sides are red oak. Finish is Tung oil. It took me 260 hours, and I’m not sure I have the eyes to do such a piece again!

You can see the continuous grain on the drawers; the top and bottom also have pleasing grain lines since all parts were resawn from one large plank and then bookmatched. End doors are coopered to form a gentle curve. The back is frame-and-panel.

Drawers are dovetailed and fitted for air-tight, silky smooth operation. Most are lined with velvet-covered foam. The carved ebony pulls are pleasing to touch.