5 months by cncdivi

Most of us are often perturbed by the common inquiry our non-craftsman pals enjoy probing: “What do you create with all those high-end tools?”  Mostly, the response is a simple, “More tools.”  This usually results in our baffled buddies furrowing their foreheads, nodding and leaving, without any comprehension of our fixation.

Sometimes we get to making something related to another hobby, and that can certainly be satisfying.  It seems like the rarest opportunity of all is to make something a loved one really cherishes.  I got a real kick out of this jewelry box project when I came across it.  The idea was to create an heirloom quality jewelry box that had a special and very unique compartment where an engagement ring would be placed.  The box would then form an integral part of the marriage proposal.  The case itself is awesome, and I called this article “A Little Bit of CNC Goes a Long Way” because it was made on a very modest Shapeoko CNC machine.  Here’s a photo essay that shows the project coming together:


Here’s the little Shapeoko CNC used for the project…


The lid, tray, and box bottom were all whittled out of oak burlwood using the Shapeoko.  The oak itself was sawn from an tree with a chainsaw…


Cutting gears for the mechanism.   Yes, with the right techniques and a little bit of care you can cut aluminum even on a machine like the Shapeoko.  See our CNCCookbook article for some great tips on how.


Here’s the special mechanism.   A key with a heart operates the iris on the left…


Once opened, the engagement ring is revealed nestled inside.   Very nice!

Have you done any machining projects that delighted your significant other?  If so, please share some photos in our comment section.  We’d love to see what you’ve done.


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