Different woods are the palette of the jewelry box maker. They provide color and texture, strength and beauty to handmade jewelry boxes.
Each type of wood has characteristics to be considered when building a piece of jewelry box. Some are very hard and durable; some are flexible and suitable for bending. "Hardwood" is a term applied to trees that lose their leaves in winter. "Softwood" describes evergreens such as fir, pine and redwood. The actual durability a wood is described in a range from very soft to very hard.
Every wood has a distinctive grain structure. Woods such as white and red oak, ash and walnut have "open-pores". These woods have small holes in their surface that give the piece a textural quality. When a stain is applied to this type of surface, the stain tends to collect in the "open-pores" and appears darker than the rest of the piece. Tight grained woods include maple, alder, and cherry. These woods are smooth to the touch and can take finish evenly.
Many woods have unique "figure" such as quilting, Birdseye, Fiddleback or Spalting.
These naturally occurring characteristics can make a jewelry box that reaches beyond the ordinary.
The following is a list of some of the woods used by Northern California woodworkers and their characteristics.
Find the type of wood that most attracts you and consider using that wood for a special piece of wooden jewelry box.
Below is a List and Samples Jewelry Boxes Wood Type
Warm brown color with a figure like cherry. Alder is a medium soft wood suitable for cabinetry and furniture with the appropriate sized joinery.
Golden yellow wood with a variety of figure available, can be found in the curly or fiddleback varieties. This is a medium hard wood suitable for all types of furniture.
Madrone has a reddish pink color with streaks of color throughout. Madrone is used in Jewelry Boxes,and can be used for other architectural woodwork.
Hard rock maple is one of the hardest of domestic woods. The "select white" grade of maple has a warm gold-ivory color when finished with a hand rubbed oil. Because of its hardness rock maple is suitable for all types of wood jewelry boxes.
Jewelry Chest and Jewelry Armoires grade cherry is a moderately heavy, hard, strong, wood. Close grained, it can be polished to a deep and glowing red. Many of the finest early Armoires and Jewelry Chest were made of cherrywood. This wood is suitable for all Jewelry Armoires including jewelry boxes.
Walnut is one of the most prized hardwoods. It can range in color from deep rich brown to an almost purple brown. This is an open-pored wood that is relatively hard. Walnut is durable and finishes beautifully. The wood is useful in many jewelry boxes applications.
With bright colors and expressive grain patterns these woods are often used as highlights in furnishing and turnings. Also, some of these exotic woods such as African mahogany and granadillo are excellent for building whole pieces of Jewelry Boxes, Chest, Jewelry Armoires.
A relatively soft wood grown widely in Australia, lacewood has an unusual grain structure that has the look of hammered copper when properly cut. It can be used as an accent wood or in veneered jewelry boxes
A beautiful, very hard wood from Southern Mexico with a tan-deep brown streaking. This close grained wood is a "Smart Wood" selectively harvested in cooperation with the indigenous people. This wood is suitable for all wood jewelry boxes applications.
Here is traditional mahogany, deep rich, red and suitable for any Jewelry Box. This wood is imported from Ghana, which has had a sustained yield forestry program in place since 1910.