My goal was to provide a decent sized secret compartment that wouldn't be obvious when not revealed. I also wanted to do away with any sort of key that could be lost or easily discovered.
The outside of the box is made from some beautiful curly walnut and the liner is made from curly maple. All the walnut used to make this box was from a single piece of wood; and the sides were cut from a continuous piece so the grain lines up all the way around.
The liner on this box does triple duty. First, it adds some visual contrast to the dark walnut. Second, it aligns the lid to the body so the grain matches perfectly. Third, a portion of the liner makes up the activation key for the secret compartment. It was tricky to have this piece fit loose enough to be removed, while still allowing the gaps on the inside to close tight together. It required a lot of delicate sanding and is slightly cupped on both sides to reduce friction.
The splines are made of paduak and one row of them is covered under the feet. This was not an oversight, as most seem to think. The splines were needed to reinforce the endgrain mitres and are there for more than just their visual appeal.
I wanted the feet to look as if they were the lower blocks of a castle wall or tower. They give the box a very sturdy, commanding look in my opinion.
After cutting out the secret compartments with my CNC router, I lined the interior with suede flock. This not only gave it a more finished look, it also helps to reduce the noise of things sliding around inside.
After assembly and hours of fit and finish, the box was sanded with 400 and it received 4 coats of Antique Paste Wax.