Valentine's Day project
I started this project with the idea of making a wooden "book". It would open to reveal a heart-shaped picture frame on each side and could be displayed open on a table.
The logistics of pulling that off were a bit more than I had time to deal with, so about halfway through the build, I decided to just make a simple frame insert and call it a keepsake box.
Most of my time on this project was spent in the design: specifically how to make the box look like a book, yet let it to swing open. Since real books generally don't have visible hinges, I didn't want any to show on this one either.
Thankfully, I have a terrific bunch of helpers on my Facebook page who came up will lots (and I mean lots) of ideas. The one I decided to go with was using a dowel as a hinge. It works out great and doesn't require any glue.
This is a pretty easy project to make. Mostly, you will spend your time on the hinge mechanism and shaping the cover and spine so that it swings properly. Take your time to test it along the way and you'll be fine. Most importantly, resist the urge to force the cover to swing if it sticks: the dowel holes are so close to the edge, it will likely cause a split. And by the way, use a hardwood. Pine will almost certainly split.