"Art Box" Tutorial #1: Intro

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Blog entry by Andy posted 06-16-2009 03:49 PM 60745 reads 397 times favorited 40 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of "Art Box" Tutorial series Part 2: Wood selection »

Updated 1/15/12

How to make an Art Box

by Andy Campbell


Be safe! Guards, etc…may not be visible in the pictures. This is written for woodworkers of all skill levels.
But, please keep in mind that this is not woodworking #101. I am writing this in a step by step manner that should be easy for a beginner to follow, but some basic understanding of tools and terminology is required.
I ask that the more advanced woodworkers be patient and not be offended. I don’t wish to test your patience or appear to be condescending…just helpful to a mixed audience. I have my own way of doing things, but as a self taught woodworker, some of them are unconventional. I am not trying to teach you how to do things my way, but just showing you how I do things. Do each step in a way YOU are comfortable with.

Definition of Art Box -A box with a medallion in the lid that resembles a picture in a frame. The body and lid may be shaped or not.
Let’s take a look at a few styles, each with a slightly different lid and hinge set up. Note how the shaping varies on each one.
1) The first one hinges on brass pins allowing it to swing down into the box.

2) The main difference here is that the lid sets into a lip of the box body on only three sides. It uses barrel hinges so it does not drop into the box at the back.

3) This box is very different from the other two. It has a frame and panel style top, uses butt style hinges and does not set into a lip at all. The lid is sliced off the box after assembly. It uses butt style hinges. The shaping is very different and the bottom was raised up enough to allow cutouts to add a footed look.

The construction is very similar for all of these boxes, but at a certain point they head off into their own direction.

The Chapters will cover the following: #1- Introduction #2- Wood Selection #3- Making the Box #4- Corner Splines #5- Cutting the Lip of the Box #6- The Lid #7- The Medallion #8- The Handle #9- It all Hinges on This #10-The Pin Hinge #11-Butt or Barrel Hinges #12-Shaping #13-Finishing #14-Dividers


-- If I can do it, so can you.

40 comments so far

View ellen35's profile


2750 posts in 4895 days

#1 posted 06-16-2009 04:10 PM

I am waiting with baited breath!

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View rtb's profile


1101 posts in 5176 days

#2 posted 06-16-2009 04:12 PM

I really like your boxes and your review. Looking forward to continuing the journey

-- RTB. stray animals are just looking for love

View a1Jim's profile


118321 posts in 5040 days

#3 posted 06-16-2009 04:19 PM

This should be good bring it on.


View majeagle1's profile


1429 posts in 4959 days

#4 posted 06-16-2009 04:49 PM

Goog beginning Andy, can’t wait for the main feature and then the grand finale!!!!!

Thanks agian for doing this !

-- Gene, Majestic Eagle Woodworks,,

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2659 posts in 4989 days

#5 posted 06-16-2009 04:59 PM

Thank you!

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4074 posts in 5526 days

#6 posted 06-16-2009 05:02 PM

What Gene said!

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over two decades.

View Toolz's profile


1004 posts in 5205 days

#7 posted 06-16-2009 06:46 PM

Already added to my “watch list” many thanks

-- Larry "Work like a Captain but Play like a Pirate!"

View blade's profile


3 posts in 5540 days

#8 posted 06-16-2009 06:48 PM

This is great for a novice like me. I’ve never built a gift box of any sort. I love it . thank you for sharing.

-- Blade Reworking Old & Discarded Wood T New.

View pommy's profile


1697 posts in 5154 days

#9 posted 06-16-2009 06:51 PM

Andy added to watch list and eagerly awaiting the next episode this is what makes this site so unique thanks mate

-- cut it saw it scrap it SKPE: ANDREW.CARTER69

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2874 posts in 5055 days

#10 posted 06-16-2009 10:03 PM

Looking forward to your tutorial. Your Art Deco box is my favorite. It reminds me of fine tuned Cadillac. Thanks for sharing, Andy.

-- Dennis Zongker

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14193 posts in 5446 days

#11 posted 06-16-2009 11:29 PM

get ready, get set, go …. hope you enjoy your time making it as I am looking forward to seeing it

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5623 days

#12 posted 06-17-2009 12:05 PM

goal: check!
disclaimer: check! :)

let the games begin!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Tim Pursell's profile

Tim Pursell

501 posts in 5245 days

#13 posted 06-17-2009 01:57 PM

View gordo's profile


2 posts in 4749 days

#14 posted 06-17-2009 03:44 PM

Thanks Andy. I’m looking forward to this.


-- Gordo, Georgia

View cabinetmaster's profile


10872 posts in 5021 days

#15 posted 06-18-2009 04:40 AM

I’m ready to go. Let’s get started…........................................................................

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

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