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Woodworkers Workshop

This is one of those "fly by the seat of my pants" projects. Having never made a music box or a jewelry box, and not being able to find plans i liked, i was certainly on my own. I started with 1/4" cherry, an oval mirror, some hinges, catch and of course a music box.
Here I just started laying out some pieces that looked nice. The only determine factor was to make room for the mirror in the lid. I have made many small boxes before, all with "box joints" in the corners. So I planed to do the same here. 
Heres a pic of cutting the fingers of the box joint in the end pieces. The jig being used is from Wood magazine, issue Feb. '89. There is also a simplier jig in the pages of Woodsmith, Oct, '00.  
These fingers are 1/4" wide and 1/4" long. However, the dado blade is 1/32" higher so the fingers will be slightly proud of the joint. They will be sanded flush later. A little more on the jig here.
You will have to make some test pieces to be sure your jig is setup properly. In the process of setting up the finger jig, i made some tools from these test pieces, for driving the joints together later. Notice that they are slightly different.
Here are two of the sub assemblies in the clamps. each consists of one short side and one long side. This is where that tool we made earlier comes into play.
The appropriate tool is placed against the pins of the joint, and driven down into the joint. Then the assembly is flipped over, and the other tool is used on the other pins. This makes for a very tight and strong joint.  
Before the glue dries, be sure to clean it off the inside. The outside glue will be cleaned off when the pins are sanded flush.` 

After the sub assemblies have dried, you can put them together, and drive those joints together like before. After the glue dries, attach the top and bottom with glue, being careful to keep it away from the inside. Clamp it all together and let it dry. 
Bessey Angle Clamp Bessey Angle Clamp
Great for corner clamping...
Bessey Angle Clamp
After the glue dries, take it out of the clamps and start sanding! I have a Delta bench top disk/belt sander that made quick work of cleaning up the fingers in the top and bottom. Then sand by hand, rounding all the edges slightly. I sanded down to 220 grit. Nows the time to cut the lid!
I cut the lid off my box with a 1/4" x6 skip blade in my bandsaw. I laid out the line i wanted to cut, making sure i split a finger at each end. The block clamped to the saw at right is cut to 90 degrees and keeps the box running straight and true.
You can cut your lid straight or curved like a recipe box I made awhile back. Don't worry about the cut being perfect, the lid will always fit the box when cut this way! Now you can sand the saw marks off the lid and lower part, layout the hinges and get ready to finish.
But before I applied the finish, I worked out the machanics for the music box itself. There needs a way to wind it up and to shut it off when the lid is closed. There is a 5/8" block on the bottom with a 1" hole for the key. Beneath, i used a 1/2" round over bit in my router table to widen the hole on the bottom. This makes more room for little fingers to wind it. Finally, the box will sit on little brass feet. 
Here's a finished pic of the Music box. I used 5 coats of spray lacquer finish and 2 coats of paste wax. I used epoxy to hold the mirror on the lid. Actually the dimensions for the box were determined by the size of this mirror! You can easily alter the plans for this project to suit any needs. The bottom is lined with sticky backed velvet. It was quick and easy!
The lid supports I found at Rockler. I had to cut the screws down a bit so they wouldn't poke thru the outside of the box.  
The music movement and hinges can also be found at rockler!
The brass feet added a nice touch to the box. I wanted to keep it rugged and simple. I glued the feet into 5/16" holes. The velvet on the bottom covered any point that pokes thru into the box. One more idea, if you want your music box to stop playing when you close the lid,you'll need a wire stopper that fits your music box, and stops the little flywheel.


Jewelry Box
Solid Brass Jewelry Box Feet 
Polished to a soft sheen. Overall feet height 5/8''. 1/2'' diameter. Solid brass. Sold in sets of four... 

Solid Brass Jewelry Box Feet
Click here to buy the plan, only $5.99

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