Herb box commission

This was an exhausting project! It’s a commissioned herb-and-spice box that my relative will be giving to a friend.

It’s 12.5" x 8" x 10", and as the largest box I’ve made, I think this is officially entering “chest” territory. It’s sturdy!

It’s held closed by a magnetic latchplate and an ankh-shaped pin carved to match the latchplate.

The box contains two stacking trays that hold 12 small (2") jars each. The jar racks are removable and could be left out or replaced with holes for different jar sizes.

The facade is walnut ply; the frame is cherry ply; and the liners and trays are sapele, all 1/8" materials from Laser Wood Supplies. Inlays are white acrylic from Cerulean Tides.

Other than the 1/8" neodymium disc magnets and the acrylic inlays, everything is made of wood, including the five beefy hinges on the back.

Whew! For a “simple” box, this turned out to be a beast, and I’m glad to usher it out the door to its new home.


Overall excellent design concept, well executed.

Two questions (ish):

How’d you handle the hinges?

How does the magnetic plate latch it closed? Is it just by the strength of the magnets? If so, are they strong enough that you can pick it up by the lid, even fully loaded?





The hinges are based around a wooden axle made of two interlocking pieces. The three bottom “stators” have + shaped holes that friction-fit onto the axle without moving, and the “rotors” have circular holes that rotate around the axle. I use two stators and three rotors per hinge, each of which has small tabs that slot into the lid or base. This box uses five sets of hinges, and the ends and tabs are glued heavily to ensure they don’t work loose. I also added a disc to cover the axle on each end, but that’s purely ornamental.

The latchplate is made of two discs glued together. The larger outer plate is engraved; the inner plate holds the magnets and fits into a recess in the outer panels. The magnets hold the latchplate lightly, and it will pop off with a gentle tug, but that’s enough to keep it from accidentally shaking loose. They’re really optional.

The bezels on the lid and base have rounded tabs that stick through the latchplate, and the ankh pin goes through holes in those tabs to lock everything in place.

It’s a snug fit, and the friction holds everything securely closed. Easily strong enough to support the box if you pick it up by the lid, but it could work loose if turned upside down.


That is absolutely gorgeous - I can see how it grew from your Doppler Boxes designs! The addition of magnets to the face plate is intriguing!


What a gorgeous design, so intricate!


Love the hinge design. Thanks for sharing that.


Beautiful box, and well made. I like your hinge design!


That turned out stunning!


Stunning creation! Beautiful latchplate!.


It’s gorgeous, and I love that closure design. Overall, incredibly elegant!

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Wowwizzerz!!! Very impressive!!!

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You are so talented and I LOVE this design, I hope you list it on your Etsy!

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I love this! I may order one. :smile:

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Wow. Everything looks really great. Love this project.


Beautiful work!