Making a Small Wooden Box

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Blog series by Don updated 09-18-2007 09:46 AM 7 parts 290164 reads 133 comments total

Part 1: Getting Started

08-11-2007 09:06 AM by Don | 23 comments »

I blogged a couple of weeks ago about what I should charge for a small box I was asked to make. I thought that those of you who haven’t delved into the wonderful world of box making might like to journey along with me as I make this commissioned box. I was given the outside dimension for the box, as the owner intends to place it in a chest of drawers, so it must fit the size constraints of the drawer. The box will be 95mm high x 360mm wide x 240mm deep (approximately 3.75” x 14...

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Part 2: Spline Jig

08-13-2007 11:33 AM by Don | 25 comments »

In my opinion, one of the most difficult joints to make is a miter joint. Although they are very attractive, they have almost no inherent strength, and require a high degree of accuracy to get all four corners of a box or frame to meet without gaps. To ensure that they remain closed, I use a spline of some design to strengthen the joint. A number requested additional information on the Miter Spline Jig I use when making boxes. I can’t take credit for the design of this jig, but for t...

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Part 3: Lid and Trays

08-21-2007 04:12 AM by Don | 16 comments »

This past week has been less productive than I would have liked. I’ve been struggling with a flue, thus operating at less than full capacity. I worked in the shop last Wednesday, and took some pictures showing the installation of the splines in the spline slots shown in my previous episode of Making a Small Wooden Box. Unfortunately, my photo card was corrupted, so I lost all of those pictures. Today, I will show you the continuation of making the lid and a start on one of the tra...

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Part 4: It's the Small Details that Matter

08-28-2007 08:11 AM by Don | 15 comments »

After my detour to make this box, I’m back to working on the box that is the subject of this blog series. Today I worked on the small details of the trays. The longer I make boxes the more I realize that it’s the small details that distinguish a well made box. Unlike larger furniture pieces, boxes beg to be picked up and examined closely and in detail. There is no such thing as a hidden back or bottom; all surfaces need to be treated with equal importance. The series of p...

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Part 5: More Detail

08-31-2007 09:58 AM by Don | 15 comments »

In the last installment, I showed some of the detail work involved in making the trays for my Jewelry Box. Here I continue with the dividers that will create the lower level compartments. There are twelve components to the lower dividers. They are tedious to make requiring patience and care to keep everything square. My intention is to eventually glue this grid-work up and insert as one piece. The reason for this that the bottom of the tray will be lined with fabric. Therefore, it’s ...

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Part 6: Confessions of a Box Maker

09-12-2007 09:49 AM by Don | 18 comments »

Quote Bwillie: ”Looking at these dividers reminds me that I always struggle here to get the dimensions spot on. Especially since I use felt on the ends that touch the sides of the box, I have to account for those. Usually on every box on some portion of the dividers I compound an error, and before I know it, I’m all out of whack.” When I read this comment in my last episode in this series, it caused me pause. What Bill was describing was exactly my experience; small errors comp...

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Part 7: The Fiddly Bits

09-18-2007 09:46 AM by Don | 21 comments »

When I get to this stage of a project, I have to work hard at not becoming impatient and rushing the final details. If one is not very careful, it’s here where everything can go pear-shaped. In this episode, I have finished the wood with a three coat shellac base and a light sanding with very fine wet & dry between each coat, and then four coats of sprayed clear lacquer, again rubbing out each coat including the final coat. (I should also mention that I had previously pre-finishe...

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