…but it was a bit of an ugly duckling. I wanted to make her a new, less-shitty box. I've been dating my girlfriend for three years, and decided it was time to propose to her. So I embarked on a project of building an engagement ring box.
When you glue mitered corners, the bond isn't very strong. A common way to strengthen it is with splines - little pieces of wood which are inserted into the corners. Here you can see the grooves which will accept the splines.
The grooves are to be filled with crushed malachite, a very pretty green stone. The bag contains coarsely crushed stone, and I ground up some finer powder with a mortar/pestle, which will be used for filling in gaps.
Much better! Sanding malachite really sucks. You have to use very coarse sandpaper, which mars the wood. And it takes 3-4 applications before all the gaps are filled in. Finally you have to sand down to very fine grit (~600), because less fine-grits leave green streaks in the wood pores.
Finished box! The final box was sanded, lightly dyed and then lacquered. The lacquer was then polished with pumice powder and rottenstone, and finally waxed/buffed for a nice finish. It definitely has some ugly-duckling aspects, but it's a lot better than the Christmas gift box!
Alas, I don't trust myself to pick out an engagement ring by myself. So I decided to make a placeholder wooden ring to propose with instead. Three thin blanks were cut. They will be stacked and cut to for the ring.
She said “no thanks honey, why don't you go without me?” :( To be fair, it was 100% overcast and threatening to rain…you wouldn't have been able to see any meteors even if it was a true story. She looked at me like I was crazy :) Hmm.
Since my first angle failed, I fell back on plan b: I told her that I instead had a surprise for her because I sorta forgot our anniversary a few months earlier (semi-true story). She acquiesced and followed me to the field…after all, who can say no to a surprise?
At the field, it started to rain lightly. I held her hands, gave a sappy little speech and dropped to a knee, proposing with the box I'd spent the last month working on. She said yes!