Wood collection box - how to

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Blog entry by GaryK posted 05-01-2008 08:40 PM 4204 reads 32 times favorited 35 comments Add to Favorites Watch

To see the finished project go here:

Click for details

Here is the sample piece to test the concept.

I started with wood planed down to 3/8”, cut to width and left a little long for trimming.
I used a 1/2” 45 degree router bit to make the grooves. They are spaces 1/2” apart and 1/4” deep, starting 1/2” from the edge. The width of your wood matters. 1/2” increments works great.

To enclose and make the sides a full 1/2” I planed some 1/8” pieces.

This is how they will be assembled. The inserts are left out of this picture.

Here I cut the inserts at 45 degrees. If you have a right tilt saw just move the fence to the left of the blade.
This allows the pieces to fall away from the blade.

Here are all the parts ready to be assembled.

You will want to glue every other piece, since to assure that the inserts filled the grooves, I cut them a little big.

Doing them all at once would not work.

Here is the first set of inserts glued in and then re-planed back to 3/8”. I left the planer setup to 3/8” so it always cut the same.

Make sure that you use a lot of clamps to get even pressure. I actually measured each insert and put the thicker ones on the outside and applied more clamp pressure in the middle.

Here it is all glued and planed.

Then I gluied the 1/8” pieces to close in the inserts and bring the thickness to 1/2”. Then I cut a 1/4” x 1/4” rabbet for the bottom. They were also cut to length.

Then with the blade still set to 45 degrees I cut the kerf for the splines.

Here is a fixture that I made to hold the part while I ran it over the table saw blade. Make sure that you use a pushblock the hold the wood down. I raised the blade 1/4 turn for each cut Until I reached the depth I wanted. Place a piece of tape to your saw near the handle at the point for your depth of cut. This will make it easy to get a repeat depth. Notice the clamp on my fence to hold it in place. Be prepared for a lot of sawdust!


Here you can see it with it partially cut. I just flipped if end for end for the cuts. For the narrow cuts I used a 3/4” ball nose bit on the router table.

The rest of the construction is done just like you would any other box so I’ll stop here.

Here is a good use for go-bars to clamp the inner sides while the glue dried.

Another variation of the use of go-bars.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

35 comments so far

View BrianM's profile


116 posts in 4175 days

#1 posted 05-01-2008 08:51 PM


Thanks for all your effort. It’s a great box and it’s really nice of you to do all that work and share the method to construct that box.

Your the best!


-- There is no such thing as scrap wood!,

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 4297 days

#2 posted 05-01-2008 08:54 PM

Shoot, Gary! I thought I knew how you did that but I was wrong! GREAT tutorial. Thanks for taking the time to photograph and blog it. Veeeeeeery clever.

-- Happy woodworking!

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 4190 days

#3 posted 05-01-2008 08:54 PM

Excellent tutorial. Thanks Gary.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View TomK 's profile


504 posts in 4297 days

#4 posted 05-01-2008 09:21 PM

Well done how to!

-- If you think healthcare is expensive now, wait until it's free! PJ O'Rourke

View teenagewoodworker's profile


2727 posts in 4191 days

#5 posted 05-01-2008 10:04 PM

great job Gary. like i said before you’ve left us all dumbstruck again! thanks for taking the time to show us how to make this piece.

View Ad Marketing Guy - Bill's profile

Ad Marketing Guy - Bill

314 posts in 4221 days

#6 posted 05-01-2008 10:34 PM

Another of your absolutely FANTASTIC tutorials – this is clear, concise and and a great read.

THANKS for taking the time!

-- Bill - - Ad-Marketing Guy, Ramsey NJ

View Karson's profile


35193 posts in 4823 days

#7 posted 05-01-2008 10:38 PM

Gary: A great use of your talents to design a great looking box. It looks fantastic.

-- 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 dlcarver's profile


270 posts in 4152 days

#8 posted 05-01-2008 10:43 PM

Gary, I agree with the teenager. Absolutely ingenious. I would never think of doing a job like that.


-- Dave Leitem,Butler,Pa.,

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4244 days

#9 posted 05-01-2008 10:53 PM

As usual, a very informative blog. You have taken a complex construction and broken it down into easily understood steps. Excellent photography too, by the way.

Thanks for the post. I enjoyed looking at this one.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 4196 days

#10 posted 05-02-2008 12:20 AM

Hi Gary

Thanks for posting. It makes a great looking box. You did a beautiful job on it. Need to add this one to my favorites!

God bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View alan coon's profile

alan coon

115 posts in 4135 days

#11 posted 05-02-2008 12:26 AM

Gary, Very inventive ,fun to work the gray matter. Thanks

-- Al, South E. Az., But it's a dry heat.

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1426 posts in 4297 days

#12 posted 05-02-2008 12:31 AM

Wow, that is really cool!

You’ve given me an idea … if the contrasting inserts were round instead of triangular … and if you put them in after shaping the face of the walnut … then they’d be raised accents … yeah, I think that would be cool, too.

I must be having one of my more eloquent days.

-- -- --

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 4361 days

#13 posted 05-02-2008 12:42 AM

The ability to see below the surface is a remarkable ability. I wish I had it. After seeing how you did this, I say, “Why didn’t I think of that.” Then, of course, I realize, I’m not that creative. Good process and great results Gary.

-- Working at Woodworking

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4411 days

#14 posted 05-02-2008 01:23 AM

Peter O – That’s another of my ideas that I have in the works. It would also work with the triangles.
Another is to vary the depth of the inserts to get other great designs.

I’ll do up some more sample boards and post them and some other ideas I have.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Les Hastings's profile

Les Hastings

1305 posts in 4196 days

#15 posted 05-02-2008 01:33 AM

Great blog Gary! You must have way to much free time on your hands. Ever see your wife much? :) ( just given you a hard time). This is really an excellent project,,,,,Kudoo’s.

-- Les, Wichita, Ks. (I'd rather be covered in saw dust!)

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