This nerdy guy planned an elaborate proposal for his girlfriend using a tree he had chopped down as inspiration. The end result is actually quite cool.
This is Lexi
She is just totally awesome and I decided I needed to wife her.
We had recently chopped down some mesquite trees at my parents cabin.
I decided to attempt my first real woodworking project that didn't involve lumber from home depot.
I made a ring box!
Sorry I didn't take any pics of the process. It was pretty simple though.
That went so well I formed a plan for the proposal and set about making a treasure chest/Jewelery Box
After I cut and planed the wood I sanded it down, squared it off and made the rough box.
Holy crap turning a tree into 90 degree angles was harder than I expected!
Started cutting thinner slats for the rounded top.
The next part was harder than I thought too. I was originally going to shape each slat to groove into each other.
Thank god for wood filler! From here it was just sand, sand, sand.
Turned out almost perfectly even. Not bad for a first attempt.
Now its time for the hardware. I did this without powertools because i was afraid to screw up.
And I had already stained it and done a ton of boiled linseed oil for that smooth vintage feel.
I set the hinges and didnt stain the inside since i was going to cover it with felt anyway.
At this point I was pretty damn proud.
But of course I had to nerd it up. I bought and arduino, read some tutorials, added some RGB leds and speaker screen.
Bought this little guy of electronics123.com. Its a USB programable sound module with motion sensor activation.
The LEDS start when latch is flipped via a momentary pushbutton and the zelda chest opening music plays.
She isn't into diamonds, so I found the coolest gemstone I could (Alexandrite) and bought her a set of synthetic earrings.
Once I new she liked them I tracked down the real stuff from a guy in Canada.
They change from bluish green to purple (her favorite colors) in different types of light.
I designed a custom ring based on her mom and grandmothers ring combined with what I hoped was her taste.
I wanted to go all alexandrite but christ that rock is pricy past half a carat. The center stone is a color shift sapphire.
The sapphire was a nice choice to add some weight and it still changes just less dramatic.
I took her to this awesome 3/4 mile deep cave and had her find the treasure chest at the end (video in the comments)
She said yes! This was an amazingly fun project and truly a labor of love. I can't wait to make more stuff with the mesquite!