A coffer of mahogany, made as a birthday gift.
I don't normally use tropical timber, but this was made from some short offcuts from outdoor decking and they were cluttering up my shed. The species is some random African mahogany-like, probably just Brownwood kurtzii
The lid is coopered - made of separate strips (staves) joined onto the frame by bamboo pegs. Rather than finishing them smooth as I usually do, I chamfered the edge of each stave to make a groove between them. I also spaced each strip apart with narrow strips of ebonised oak.
Joinery on the corners is simple dovetailing, hand-cut of course.
The hinges are attached by nails, clenched over on the inside. Each nail is rose-headed by hand, which I'm now really well-practised at doing quickly!
After a few false starts, I came up with an idea for a latch that worked and was within my meagre smithing talents. I'm still looking for good ideas on new latches and locks.
It's just a simple rotating hook latch. It's attached through my usual diamond-shaped latch plate. This is riveted in place with more nails and a similar plate on the inside. The corners are bent down too, which locks the plate in position nicely.
The hinges have a forked "swallowtail" shape to their ends. I like these on a box this size and will probably use them again.
Materials: African mahogany, ebonised oak, forged steel hardware.
Finish is oil and wax.
Overall size, approx 14" x 10"
The ebonised oak process was interesting. I used logwood, generally thought of as a red pigment. Logwood is prone to oxidation and fading to a bilious yellow. To avoid this in the past I've used ammonia as a mordant. Logwood is also pH sensitive, having different colours (red / blue) when exposed to acids or alkalis. In the past I've successfully dyed oak a persistent blue, but have found it difficult to reproduce reliably. This time I was aiming for a deep purple. It was certainly purple when fresh, but it's aging to a darker near-black. More experiments, I think!