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Woodworking To Impress The Ladies

Woodworking To Impress The Ladies

My Client wanted a unique way to propose to his girlfriend. To present the ring, I created a custom-made engagement ring box that required specific detailing and engraving with words of meaning from their relationship and four operational locks with matching keys. The box uses Walnut and purple heart accents, and yes, the purple heart is naturally that color.

We debated the design back and forth quite a bit before coming to our final design, but here is the rendering I came up with and worked off of to build this custom box.


I 1st cut the sides by mitering them together. When I cut the sides, I made sure that I kept the boards in order so that when the box was glued together, the grain would wrap around the box, looking as if one piece of wood had been folded into a cube.


keyed miter

Next, I cut and glued the purple heart inlays on the corners.

Purple heart keyed inlay on miter corner


I’m not into carving, so I cut the hears out on my scroll saw to get the basic shape and then finished shaping their final form using a variety of files, chisels, knives, and sandpaper.


Carving hte hearts

When test-fitting the hearts, I realized they were too thick, and the key bottomed out before it made it all the way into the lock. I needed to thin down the hearts so the key would operate properly. I’m slightly irritated with myself for not thinking of this before I cut out the hearts because now they are too small to run through the plainer. Hmmm, how to do this quickly? I know I will hold them against my belt sander and quickly sand the back off until I get them to the proper thickness.

Oops! The heart slipped out of my hand, and in a 1/2 second, I sanded off the end of my fingernail. At this point, we should take a moment to talk about shop safety.

Shop injury

Be sure to read, understand, and follow all the directions that came with your power tools.

-Norm Abram from The New Yankee Workshop

And use common sense!

The pain of sanding off my fingernail was worth it. These hearts look great!


Now, on to the lid. Getting the posts on the lid to line up on all four sides with all locks operating smoothly was tough. It took me most of one night to get them all working.

Purple heart lid


So here is the finished project!

Custom engagement ring box

Watch the box in action!

If you would like me to build you a custom engagement ring presentation box, just follow this link to get started!

I’m the owner of Benham Design Concepts, a mixed media art studio where I design and build custom furniture and other works of art using wood, glass, stone, and various metals.
In this blog, I talk about the art I create, my journey, and the things I learn along the way.

1 comment

  1. It is really an unique way to hide the ring in there. I like it quite a lot. I’ve been thinking for such a surprise, but there is still time. You could change the colour and it would become even nicer. Great idea!

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