Beefwood Ring Boxes

I had been thinking about making some ring boxes for a while so I decided to give it a try. I had a small scrap piece of Beefwood which was the perfect size for making two small ring boxes.

Block of Australian Beefwood

A block of Australian Beefwood

I decided the ring boxes were going to be quite a simple design because I only had the one piece of beefwood and wanted to get the maximum out of it with the tools I had. So I chopped the block in half to get two cubes which were to become the boxes and then I cut each cube about a third of the height to separate the lid from the rest of the box.

Beefwood is quite a dense wood and it took a fair bit of sanding to remove the saw marks from the end grain. I started sanding by hand but quickly realised that I needed more power if I wanted to finish sanding by the end of the week. So I switched to my belt sander using an 80 grit belt to start off with and then switching to a smoother 120 grit. Then once the sanding marks were gone I drilled a 1 1/2″ hole in the middle for the ring cavity and continued sanding by hand up to 320 grit.

To join the lid to the base of the box I decided to go with a wooden hinge because I really like the look of it and I believe it gives the box more of a natural feel. I chose to go with a red oak for the hinges because I thought the colour works well with beefwood and I had some scraps of it lying around. The hinges are effectively just box/finger joints so it’s quite easy to cut them on the router table or table saw if you have a finger joint jig. I didn’t have such a jig so I quickly made one to cut a spacing of around 1cm per finger.

Making wooden hinges

A piece of red oak used to make wooden hinges.

I started by squaring my piece of red oak and then rounding over two sides so that the hinge will be able to pivot. I then cut the fingers using my jig on the router table and once I cleaned up the edges I marked out my hinges trying to minimise waste and cut them out. The top and bottom hinge parts where then aligned and sanded flush and a steel pin was driven through the fingers to lock both hinge components together.

A groove was then cut in the back of the boxes and lids for the hinges to snuggly fit in. They were then glued in place and left to dry overnight.

Beefwood Ring Boxes

Beefwood ring boxes ready for finishing.

Beefwood Ring Boxes

Beefwood ring boxes ready for finishing.

The wooden ring boxes where given a final sanding to smooth everything out and were finished with three coats of Watco Danish Oil and left to dry for a few days.

Beefwood Ring Box

Beefwood square ring box with a red felt interior

For more pictures of the finished ring boxes check out the photo gallery.

David Azzopardi

Owner of The Warawood Shed, woodworker, and computer software engineer.

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