My First Bandsaw Box #5: Step 4: Cut Off the Back of Your Box

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Blog entry by Jonathan posted 12-13-2010 03:45 AM 2280 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Step 3: Cut Out the Outer Shape of Your Bandsaw Box Part 5 of My First Bandsaw Box series Part 6: Step 5: Cut Out the Shape of Your Drawer(s) »

This part sounds pretty simple, right? Well it would’ve been if only I’d have used the K.I.S.S. method.

See the picture below and try to anticipate what might go wrong here:

My first problem was my overall saw setup. Of course, I didn’t realize it at the time, or I would’ve switched parts out. Do not try to use these three things in combination with eachother: 3/16” blade, fence, and the Carter Stabilizer. I had just cut the outline of the box and didn’t think to switch back to the regular Carter Guide Bearings… big mistake. OK, that might be a bit of an overstatement, but it did lead to a problem.

I took the above picture just before turning on the saw to cut the back off. As you can see, I’ve got between 1/4”- 3/8” of an inch between the blade and the fence. I turned on the saw and began sawing off the back of the box. Everything was looking good, with a nice straight kerf line until about 1.5” to the end of the cut. With nothing really guiding the blade with the Stabilizer setup, the blade began to wander. That’s all well and good if you are trying to cut a tight radius turn and need some give, but I just want a nice straight line.

Oops, too late.

OK, so there’s my first design modification out of the way!

I’m going overboard here, but it was still frustrating, as I had just created more work for myself. Now, I could’ve left the crooked line there and it would hardly be noticeable, if at all after the back is glued back on. Unfortunately, it’s not in my character makeup to just let things like that be.

So, off to the tablesaw and drum sander I went. I know, I know… “but this is supposed to be a bandsaw box!” I can hear you, screaming in protest. “You’ve ruined the pure nature of the project!” some might say.

And my retort is that it’s way too early in the project to just throw my perfectionist tendencies out the window at this stage of the game.

So I evened up the back of main box section, or hunk, on the tablesaw, shaving between 1/32”-1/16” off to try and even it all up. Notice I said try? Well I tried. Unfortunately curved pieces of wood (the top of the box is now curved after the initial cutout) do not like to sit still and steady while you’re trimming them up at several thousand RPMs. Needless to say, I had to take a pass or two over the surface with the ROS to remove a couple of errant blade marks.

Then it was time for more unexpected work on the drum sander. Ran the now sliced-off back through maybe ten times, shaving away at the elevation difference ever so slightly with each consecutive pass.

After an extra 10-15 minutes of unexpected work, everything was right in my little basement universe again.

Looking back now, I will certainly use the guide bearings in place of the Stabilizer next time so as to avoid this most embarassing mishap in the future. There was a positive note that came about from this that I just discovered this morning. I went to glue the pieces back together, simply where the bandsaw had to cut through the box to reach the inside, in order to cut out the drawer, (which is Step 5, and the topic of the next blog post) but the contacts were so tight that I could barely get a toothpic in there. Now, a toothpick worked for one of the little cuts, but when I needed to glue the entire side of the box back together, that wasn’t going to work so well and would’ve taken forever. So, I picked-up the shaving from the tablesaw encounter and used it as a bit of an applicator. It worked marvelously, as it was between 1/64”-1/32” thick and slid right into the joint, slathering glue all over as I slid it down the crack. I was going to try using a popsicle stick, but it was 5/64” thick and I would’ve had to really pry the crack open just to get it to slide along, let alone deposit any of the necessary glue needed to seal the crack.

So, after all that, there was a silver lining, or a blue and white one rather, in the form of a beetle kill pine shaving that ended up becoming an invaluable tool for a later step in the process.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

2 comments so far

View Jonathan's profile


2609 posts in 3557 days

#1 posted 12-13-2010 05:41 AM

Sorry, popsicle stick was 5/64” thick, not 5/32” thick as I accidentally typed the first time. (I’ve made the correction above.)

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4667 days

#2 posted 12-13-2010 01:12 PM

I don’t know what the bearings are and the stabilizer ….... so I’m up against a wall before I even start!
but then I’m not a perfectionist, so that’s ok :D

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

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