A good friend and customer asked if I could make a keepsake box for him and carve a Celtic cross into the lid. Of course I could. I gave him the options of wood that I had on hand. One of which was an old walnut board that I had acquired. This walnut board is what he chose to have it made out of. Which worked out great because the board was aged and this would help give the finished box an older, aged look.
This was going to be a fun and interesting build, so naturally, I decided to record it and make a few videos on my Youtube channel of the build. Content is king, and this Celtic keepsake box would make some great content and allow me to show off how my skills at dovetails has improved. I’ll put the playlist with the videos in it below. I’d be grateful for all views you give me and please feel free to share it if you like it.
The first thing I had to do was get that old reclaimed walnut board squared. As I said, it was old and had slightly warped with the movement of the wood throughout the years. And I’m not so sure that much time was given to making sure it was 100% square to begin with. The edges were rough cut and I found different widths on both ends. Not a problem that a little work with a hand plane couldn’t fix though. I found the straightest edge and began work there to get a square reference point. Once I had the one side square, I used it as a reference against the tablesaw fence and squared the other side.
Then I measured and marked out the pieces that would make up the keepsake box. Bottom, top, and sides. Once I got those cut I trued everything up once again with a hand plane. Once I got everything trued up, I re-sawed the bottom into a thinner board that would be set into the bottom of the side pieces with a grove on all four sides. Once that piece was smoothed and true, I began marking and cutting the dovetails into the walnut boards I had cut for the front, back, and sides. Once the dovetails were cut and ready to be placed together, I made the groves for the thinner piece of walnut that would be the bottom.
I used a combination of a homemade rabbet plane and a 1/4“ chisel to make these groves. Once the groves were in, I glued up the bottom of the walnut box. Then I made sure the lid for the box was a good fit for the box and began to carve the Celtic cross design I had made into the top. For this I used the pneumatic engraver for the finer details and the Dremel rotary tool to hog out the larger area of walnut that needed to be removed. Once the Celtic cross was carved into the lid for the keepsake box, I put the finish on, and once that dried, I added the hinges and sent the box off to my friend who was very happy with the result.
Below is the playlist that has the entire build in more detail than what I cover here in my article. For me, it’s far easier to show how I did it than trying to come up with words to explain what I do here for my website. Please watch and give me some love with some thumbs up if you like the series, thumbs down if you don’t like it. And feel free to comment on the videos on the Youtube site. These things help me better gauge what you like and don’t like. I’m certainly not here to produce things people don’t like. And if you’re not subscribed to my Youtube channel and want to see more of what I do, please subscribe and click on the bell so you’ll be notified when I publish new content. I tend to produce much more video content that what I post here on my website. Thank you for taking time to read and please make your life a great life. Enjoy it!