It been a really long time coming and I finally solved my problem with this box which I'll tell you about.
I built my wife a first Mother's Day box with a poem and a photo of our daughter's feet transferred to the inside top and bottom of the box. The box is made of Baltic birch plywood with Walnut and curly maple veneer. Around the top and bottom is birds eye maple trim. The corners are mitred with maple spline joints in the corners for strength.
I veneered the outer and inner surfaces of the box and sanded the inside surfaces smooth. Then transferred the images to the inner surfaces and applied a couple of coats of satin wipe on polyurethane to protect and seal the images.
After gluing the top and bottom of the box in, I cut the lid off to allow me to begin work on the outer surfaces.
I should have cut my splines into the box while it was still one big block but it didn't cause an issue.
I then smoothed the edges around the box lid and base making a channel for some edge trim. I used birds eye maple to contrast with the walnut and because I had just enough scraps to finish this off nicely.
After cutting the grooves, I mitred the Birdseye maple to fit the box lid and bottom then epoxied the trim into place. After smoothing and removing the excess epoxy, I moved onto the spline joints.
Using my spline jig, I cut three evenly spaced spline joints and epoxied the maple keys into each slot. After the epoxy dried, I used a flush trim saw to remove most of the excess and then sanded the surfaces smooth using 220 grit sandpaper and a soft hand.
After sanding was finished, it was finally time to finish the outer surfaces. I applied about 5-6 coats of satin wipe on polyurethane and sanded between coats with 320 grit sandpaper to smooth any dust particles in the finish.
This REALLY made the figure in the wood grain pop!
Now onto the mistake part...
I purchased a really expensive set of hinge hardware for this box to learn to install them. This ended up being a disaster because the hinges I purchased weren't heavy enough to handle the weight of the lid when opened.
Doh! So, I had to cut the lid and box frames a bit shorter to accomodate a different hinge set. By that time I gave the unfinished box to my wife and told her my woes.
She came to the store with me and picked out a different set she liked and would be hefty enough to handle the lid. Also, the hinges mounted from the outside of the box so booya!
Here's the finished Mother's Day box:
Thanks for checking out my work! I'll be taking orders for boxes similar to this one at Kayben Farms' Pumpkin Days! Read my previous post for details or contact me directly to order. There's a lot of project work coming! Stay frosted for updates. I've already sold some of the projects being built - whew! This is a lot of work but lots of fun.