Л A J hcther your goal is to V V produce a keepsake that will endure as a testament to your woodworking skill or make a gift for a loved one or friend, the projects featured in this chapter will test your abil­ities and delight the most dis­criminating audience. The jewelry box shown at right and on page 116, for example, relies on classic joinery techniques to transform a basic contain­er into an attractive and use­ful treasury. The corners of the box are dovetailed and the tray under the hinged lid is assem­bled with finger joints. A half­mortise lock and an inlay recessed into the top of the lid add the finishing touches. With the same basic techniques and the right dividers or shelves, you can make custom boxes to hold anything from cigars to artists’ supplies.

Making a Shaker box, like the one featured starting on page 122, requires a different set of skills. Here, hardwood stock is resawn into X^-inch-thick strips, which are moistened in hot water and bent around a wooden core.

The section on making a wooden briefcase (page 125) show­cases a familiar item in a new light. Using solid wood or veneered plywood, the case is assembled using either miters and splines or box joints; the top pivots on concealed hinges.

The result is a case that is stur­dy yet lightweight—and a rare woodworking project that you can carry with you.

The nutcracker shown on page 130 is a fitting project for someone with some basic wood turning experience. The figure consists of more than a dozen small parts, and features articulated joints that enable the nutcracker to strike several lifelike poses, from holding up a flag to brandishing a sword.

While the nutcracker is a rel­atively time-consuming pro­ject, requiring about 20 hours to assemble and finish, the white cedar bird shown on page 136 can be made in a matter of minutes once the technique has been mastered. In fact, the project is designed to be executed quickly, since it involves slicing a wet-wood blank into a series of thin strips. While the wood is green and pliable, the strips can be fanned out into a tail pattern.

The final project in the chapter, the hand mirror, is tailor – made for producing multiple copies. Once you have built the simple jig that allows you to plow out the recess for the mirror, the rest of the job is straightforward work on the band saw and the router table. As shown on page 139 you can give each mirror a one-of-a-kind appeal by laminating contrasting wood species and creating unique patterns for the blank.

Based on a design by bred Sneath of Stony Lake, Ontario, the nutcracker at left fea­tures articulated joints that allow the wrists, elbows, and shoulders of the figure to move. The nutcracking jaw/crank, which runs vertically up through the torso, pivots on a metal rod. As shown on page 130, Sneath’s nutcrackers spring to life with the combination of finishes he uses—a base coat of urethane covered by artists’ acrylics for the colored parts and brush-on lacquer for the metallic accents.