Keepsake Box

This box started off because my wife is the most difficult person to buy a present for. The grandchildren give her bits and pieces so I thought I would make her a keepsake box so she can keep it all safe. I brought a pack of wood from Surry Timbers, ( No Affiliation ). It is what they call the exotic timbers pack. It consists of five pieces of timber, 150mm wide, 1000mm long and 20mm thick. The first pack I brought, I ripped down to 50mm strips to make a worktop for our kitchen, well that didn’t work out so I had lots of stips too use up.

The Choices of wood

Paduak and Zebrano woods

The most difficult task was to work out what types of wood I was going to use. That for me was more difficult than making the box. I decided to have two outside strips of Padauk with a strip of Zebrao down the middle. I glued them together and left them to dry for 24 hours. I then run the timbers over what my sons call, their inheritance, The surface planner. After taking off the bare minimum, I put it through the thicknesser. Because it was only 20mm to start with, I didn’t have much to play with. I then set the router table up with a 6mm straight bit and rebated a groove in the bottom for the 6mm ply so it finishes flush with the bottom.

Following the grain

I wanted the grain to follow around the whole box continuously so I had to alternate the mitres on the chop saw. To aid the gluing process, I tapped the mitres with blue tape. I cut the 6mm ply base ready to keep the whole thing square whilst the glue dried. After spreading liberal amounts of glue, I brought the ends together, taped them firmly, and glued the base in place to keep it square. Using a mixture of F clamps, making sure not to overtighten so as not to distort the box. I left it for 24 hours to dry before moving on to the next stage. I have been struggling to find a decent PVA glue that I like. I used Everbuild D4 PVA on this project. I have seen all the rave reviews how good Titebond is but thought I couldn’t justify the cost, so I brought a small bottle just to see what all the fuss was about so I used it on another project, well it was worth the money, nicer to use. I brought the Titebond II, which is weather-resistant for interior or exterior work. It also has a quick set time. Although expensive, it is the best I’ve used so far, and no I’m not getting paid to say that.

The lid of the box was supposed to be Zebrano but I sat a piece of African rosewood on the top just too see, and that was it, much nicer contrast. The handle was a nightmare, not because it was difficult to do but the choices, so many combinations. After so many trials I made the handle out of the African rosewood but put a groove in the top edge and glued a copper bar on the top which seemed to match the African rosewood.


I normally sand the inside of the box first with 120g sandpaper before I glue it all together. This time I glued and assembled and wanted to try out the sandpaper adaptor on my multi-tool. It consists of a triangle that fits the multi-tool with a velcro face. You can buy many grades of sandpapers but I stuck to 80, 120, and 240g. It worked really well and could get tight into all the corners. The outside I sanded again with 80, 120 then finally with 240g.

The Finish

Now, OSMO. There are many people out there who think OSMO is overrated but, It is one of the best I’ve used over the years but people would say that about what they use, It is really about personal taste and whichever one works for you the best, is the best.

S many combinations of handle I could of chose but she loved this one
Copper bar handle

The way I apply the OSMO is with non-scouring pads. I first saw this on YouTube and gave it a try. It gave one of the best finishes with the OSMO. There are many videos out there on YouTube so watch a few and see what you think. I brought a pack of non-scouring pads off eBay. They do need to be non-scoring pads, so if you use an old brillo pad then you will have many hours of re-sanding to do. I brought some A5 size pads and cut them up into three equal strips. Before applying the OSMO, give it a good stir as it is made up of oil and wax, and they do tend to separate after a while so a stir now and then as you are using it is a good idea.

The first pad I use is to apply the OSMO as thinly as possible, when you think you have got all the OSMO out, keep going, you will be surprised how far it goes. If you let the OSMO drip then it will dry white because of the wax, so the next pad I use for spreading out and stopping the drips. I keep going till the first, applicator pad, is soaked then I throw that one away, the smoothing pad then becomes the applicator pad and I use a new one as the smoothing pad. I just keep going to its all covered in a non-drip thin smooth covering. Leave for 24 hours and start again with a second and final coat.

I cut the copper bar to length and rounded the ends. I polished it with Brasso polish and then to protect it, I gave it a coat of clear enamel lacquer to stop it from staining so quickly. I have added a YouTube video below, so if you enjoy it please give it a like, and If you thought it was really good, please think of subscribing, It cost nothing. Till the next one, Cheers.