Gun Cleaning Box

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Blog entry by Blake posted 11-30-2008 02:57 AM 36868 reads 4 times favorited 19 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This project was commissioned by my best friend’s girlfriend FOR my best friend (who I have been friends with since 2nd grade).

I was told that he liked the ‘gun cleaning kit’ in the Cabella’s catalog and wanted one for Christmas. Well, she decided to commission me to make one instead of ordering it from the catalog. I told her that if she would pay for the materials I would do the work for free, which also left more room in her budget for better materials.

Here is the Cabella’s version:

Here are my Sketchup drawings:

The main difference in design is the way the lid opens. I plan to make my lid open like two wings. This will allow for a larger work space to set cleaning supplies (and keep them off the bench). I will also engineer the hinges so that when you open the two lids the arms which hold the rifle automatically swing into place like a pop-up book.

My box will also have a locking lid and a brass rod which slips through the top of the box down into the drawer fronts to keep them locked much like a craftsman tool box. The rod can only be taken out when the lid is open. All hardware will be premium solid brass.

I chose a piece of Bloodwood 3/4”x13”x5’ for the project. I am trying to expand my working knowledge of different species of hardwoods. I have never worked with Bloodwood before. Its gorgeous but not cheap.

I spent quite a bit of time sketching and drawing the joinery and proportions on paper before I made the Sketchup computer drawings:

Here it is cut into the main dimensions for the sides of the box:

I had to stop because I realized that my new jointer is not set up and that would have been the next step. Like always, I’ll keep posting the progress.

-- Happy woodworking!

19 comments so far

View lew's profile


13424 posts in 4993 days

#1 posted 11-30-2008 03:00 AM

Looking Good, Blake!!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View majeagle1's profile


1429 posts in 4734 days

#2 posted 11-30-2008 03:21 AM

Can’t wait to see the finished product…......... You will love the bloodwood, it finishes just like glas and is really nice to work with.

-- Gene, Majestic Eagle Woodworks,,

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1427 posts in 5112 days

#3 posted 11-30-2008 03:24 AM

Looks good – be sure to post lots of details so it’s easy for me to steal your idea!

-- -- --

View Karson's profile


35278 posts in 5638 days

#4 posted 11-30-2008 04:55 AM

Blake a nice looking creation.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Woodhacker's profile


1139 posts in 4961 days

#5 posted 11-30-2008 07:10 AM

Very nice Blake. Others may have had different experiences but you may want to give the glue joint areas an acetone rub/wash to remove some of the surface oils to make stronger glue joints. I’ve also done this just prior to finishing too. I agree with Gene, it finishes very, very smooth.

-- Martin, Kansas

View oldskoolmodder's profile


802 posts in 4918 days

#6 posted 11-30-2008 07:22 AM

Very nice design Blake. Can’t wait to see the end result. I too am interested in your experience with the Bloodwood.

-- Respect your shop tools and they will respect you - Ric

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 5337 days

#7 posted 11-30-2008 08:02 AM

Looking forward to seeing another great project from Blake!

Have you considered using something like leather where the gun contacts the holders? It may provide some padding to the gun and protect your project.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 5112 days

#8 posted 11-30-2008 08:06 AM

I use leather on almost all of my boxes. This one will feature lots of leather too. Thanks for the suggestion of using acetone on the joints, I hadn’t thought of that.

-- Happy woodworking!

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 5112 days

#9 posted 11-30-2008 01:19 PM

Wonderful design Blake. Any interest in sharing your SketchUp files?

View woodyone's profile


231 posts in 4829 days

#10 posted 11-30-2008 02:44 PM

wow cool , look forward to seeing finished piece.


-- Woody, UK

View Tomcat1066's profile


942 posts in 5034 days

#11 posted 11-30-2008 02:59 PM

Wow! Very nice design. Like everyone else, I’m looking forward to seeing the completed piece.

After that, I might have to rip you off for my own gun cleaning case. Tackle boxes just ain’t cutting it anymore, you know? ;)

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4911 days

#12 posted 11-30-2008 09:31 PM

Looks good Blake.

View James Lango's profile

James Lango

186 posts in 4772 days

#13 posted 12-01-2008 07:37 AM

Great way to change a design and make it MORE practical to suite your needs. Great looking so far, cant wait to see some more pics..

-- [email protected]

View Bill Akins's profile

Bill Akins

425 posts in 4936 days

#14 posted 12-01-2008 06:29 PM

So far so good. Looking forward to the grand finalle.

-- Bill from Lithia Springs, GA I love the smell of sawdust in the morning.

View CaptainBijus's profile


3 posts in 4685 days

#15 posted 12-18-2008 02:42 AM

How do the “wings” of the lid stay open against the weight of the firearm resting on the “arms?”

I’ve been searching for build your own cleaning box plans. I need something a bit simpler. I’m not an expert. Very impressive project.

-- James

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