Projects #1: Gift Box for Father's Day

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Jeff posted 06-13-2007 08:00 AM 2126 reads 1 time favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Projects series Part 2: Gift Box for Father's Day - Glue Up »

Hello everyone. It’s been forever since I posted anything it seems. I’ve been pretty busy with home upgrades and stuff for work but I finally got into the shop this weekend for a serious amount of time. I purchased wood for the base of the bench I’ll will be blogging about soon. I’m letting the lumber acclimate to the shop before milling it.

So, since I had to let the wood do its thing on the stickers I decided I was going to challenge myself to build a box of some sort for my dad for a Father’s Day gift. He is happy I have become serious about woodworking and lives a little vicariously through me. He doesn’t have the time or the right space to build a shop but he does find time to putter around on a scroll saw and drill press to make gifts or toys for the grandkids. I think he will be quite surprised when this shows up in the mail.

I didn’t know what type of joinery or even the dimensions but I had some really figured Cherry that I wanted to use. I popped in my Doug Stowe DVD looking for some inspiration. I found it in the form of a long sliding top box that I thought he could used for fireplace matchsticks or what have you. It is narrow enough that it should work well on the mantle for whatever he and mom decide to stash in it.

Since I wanted it to be a gift box (as well as a gift), I decided to size it such that a bottle of wine could nicely fit in it. This proved to be perfect as I really like the proportions this required. I met my goal of milling and cutting all the parts down on Sunday. I just had to do the grooves for the bottom and sliding top yesterday. Today, when I got home from work, I sanded it down and will glue it up tomorrow, clean up the joints, and then give it a couple of coats of Danish oil before shipping it to Dad. It won’t make it there by Saturday but my sister and I already decided to get him the Drill Doctor he has mentioned. This will hopefully be a pleasant surprise for him.

Here are some shots. The lighting in the basement is poor so these photos really don’t do justice to the grain in this Cherry. I’ll take more time to get better pics after I oil it. Thanks for looking for now.

All the parts sanded and ready to dry fit.
box pieces

A few photos of the dry fit.
dry fit assembly

dry fit #2

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

13 comments so far

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5441 days

#1 posted 06-13-2007 11:47 AM

oooooh what a special gift!!!!
The wood is beautiful and I really like the design of the lid. That really adds to the “specialness” of the box.
Well done.

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

View mikesommer's profile


2 posts in 5308 days

#2 posted 06-13-2007 01:17 PM

Thats going to look nice, and I like your decision to use box joints, they add a nice contrast in color

-- --Mike Lancaster, OH

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 5580 days

#3 posted 06-13-2007 01:25 PM

It’s nice to see you back in the shop.

Your Dad is going to love this gift.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View mot's profile


4928 posts in 5317 days

#4 posted 06-13-2007 02:38 PM

That looks just great. What dimension wood did you start with? Did you plane it or resaw it? How did you cut the box joints? Details man! Details!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 5608 days

#5 posted 06-13-2007 02:54 PM


-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1823 posts in 5367 days

#6 posted 06-13-2007 02:56 PM

Nice gift….your Dad will love it. I agree with Mot….details… Very nice piece of cherry.

-- Bob

View gizmodyne's profile


1785 posts in 5371 days

#7 posted 06-13-2007 03:23 PM

Nice Jeff… I bet he will be very pleased.

We had thought about making some boxes too, but have just been too busy with the end of the school year to meet the Father’s Day deadline.

I want to make a box with mitred keys.

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

View Jeff's profile


1010 posts in 5375 days

#8 posted 06-13-2007 03:28 PM

Thanks Debbie, Mike and Dick.

Details? We don’t need no stinkin’ details… Seriously, thanks for asking Mot. This is a blog. I posted it pretty late last night and was being lazy AND I forgot to take my silly camera with me down to the shop. Thus, I didn’t record the process.

Beginning dimension: It was some of that 13/16 business you get at Rockler. I got it during a sale because of the figure.

Plane or resaw? Both. The cool part for me was that I used every major tool in the shop!
1) Cut to rough length plus a few inches
2) Joint and plane to get a 4 square workpiece
3) Resaw the workpieces. The top came from a different section of the board
4) Plane again to clean up marks from the resaw and handle the subsequent cupping that happened. Had I been working with thicker stock, this would not have happened likely. Or, not as badly as it did. I was working towards a 3/8 thick board but ended up with 5/16. The top, however, is 3/8 and has a good weight in the hand when pulled.

Joints: A simple jig involving a scrap of baltic birch, a 1/8 drill bit, and a few tests on scrap from the stock for the body of the box.
1) Drill the hole with the bit
2) Unchuck the bit and tap it into the hole
3) Clamp it to the miter gauge on the table saw
4) Measure a 1/8 gap (width of the blade) between the bit (now the registration pin)
5) set the height of the blade by eyeballing the height to be about 1/16 of a tooth above the board so the joints will be just proud and can be cleaned with a block plane or sander (I’ll use a plane).
6) Make those test cuts and then get busy because there are a lot of fingers to cut.

Grooves for the bottom and top: the sides were cut on the table saw and I routed the groove on the bottom with a 1/8 spiral upcut bit since I had to partially extend the cut into the fingers. The bottom was also rabbeted 1/8 on all four sides to fit nicely in these grooves.

Take a look at the pics again and see if you can spot the boo-boo I made. It’s not a flaw per say just not what I envisioned.

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

View Jeff's profile


1010 posts in 5375 days

#9 posted 06-13-2007 03:31 PM

Looks like some other folks commented while I was replying. Thanks Bob, Scott and John. I know what you mean John. I’m loaded with stuff to do right now but needed to do this. Too many woodworking things have been because I had to lately.

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

View gizmodyne's profile


1785 posts in 5371 days

#10 posted 06-16-2007 04:09 PM

I think it looks great … but is the “boo-boo” the space between the lid and the joints?

-- -John "Do I have to keep typing a smiley? Just assume it's a joke."

View Jeff's profile


1010 posts in 5375 days

#11 posted 06-17-2007 07:26 AM

Close John but not quite. The pic is a bit misleading. There isn’t actually a gap there. the lid has a rabbet and rides in the groove nicely. Maybe a 1/32 gap.

The boo-boo is that I put the rabbet on the bottom of the lid instead of the top… The vision was for a lid the was that it be flush with the top of the side panels (like the bottom). Alas, I could turn the lid over but the less attractive grain would be up and THEN there would be a gap since I had to cut out finger on the end pieces. It’s minor and noone would know but me. Still… It was one of those instances of that little voice saying, “Hey! Dumb guy! You just cut this wrong… Haha.” Such is life.

By the way. I almost made a mitred key box but was too limited on time to make the jig. That will likely be the next box project.

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

View Don's profile


2603 posts in 5458 days

#12 posted 06-24-2007 10:23 AM

Very nice box, Jeff. I just love wooden boxes!

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 5592 days

#13 posted 06-24-2007 10:31 PM

Great pictures and description. It’s so well done it looks like it was a kit or could be, anyway. Those boo-boo’s are always lurking about the shop, aren’t they. I’m glad it turned out so nicely.

-- Jesus is Lord!

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics