Marquetry Chart Boxes


These two boxes were inspired by some olive burl veneer that a friend gave me a while back. When I saw the veneer for he first time it almost shouted to me that it needed to be an old parchment nautical chart. I recently set about fulfilling its wish.
This is the raw veneer.

The two boxes feature an integral wooden hinge and an all wood push-button catch mechanism. The marquetry is all hand cut on the chevalet de marqueterie. Some is shaded in hot sand and some with a charcoal pencil. The ship and the compass rose are cut out of the olive burl, shaded and returned. You can see the grain running right through them.
The veneer so clearly speaks of land masses and the sea, complete with surface contours and currents that it was easy to convey the illusion.
Veneers used are padauk, ipe, olive burl, pelin burl, poplar, holly, and a bit of dyed grey. The only metal is the 1/8" brass hinge pin. All gluing is with 192 gm. hot hide glue. The finish is sprayed on poly.
Dimensions are ~13 1/2" X ~10" X ~ 4".
Interiors are pao ferro on the padauk box ans pelin burl on the ipe box.

Thanks for looking.


The early bird gets the worm but its the second mouse that gets the cheese.


Absolutely stunning, Paul. Sure wish I had just part of your talent

I'm the one with the beard

You sir are a gifted woodworker!… Amazing work…Thank you for sharing

Measure "at least" twice and cut once

You have a real eye for design Paul.
Very very nice.


I'm no rocket surgeon

Another beauty! I’m fascinated by how you saw the upper map curl and the small ‘island’ detail in the original burl. I’m wishing I could develop this ‘second sight’ vision you have, in seeing what you see in such things.

Might As Well Dance :

As always Paul, simply amazing!

Involve your kids and grandkids. They'll love you for it!

Paul this box is amazing, I’m in awe of your skills.

Sincere thanks
This was a special piece of veneer. I really didn’t do that much.

The early bird gets the worm but its the second mouse that gets the cheese.

Another stunning creation… thanks for posting. Your work is always such an inspiration!


Congratulations on taking First Place in the WoodworkingWeb Quarterly Awards, Paul!

Might As Well Dance :

congrats for winning first place Paul your work is always outstanding and your chart boxes are amazing.

woodworking classes, custom furniture maker

Congrats Paul. Your work is awesome!


this is really very very beautiful. I’m looking forward to tomorrow because I have time to look around with you.


It’s great idea, I love it! :)