How I made a Bandsaw Box

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Project by Dave Rutan posted 05-01-2014 03:16 PM 2219 views 2 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
How I made a Bandsaw Box
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The ABC’s of Bandsaw Boxes

See the video on YouTube here.

By Dave Rutan

[Legebla ankaŭ en Esperanto]

Bandsaw boxes are boxes made out of wood using only a bandsaw for cutting them out.
The wood may be a solid block, a laminated block or a log from the woodpile.
Whereas most boxes have straight sides and square corners, band saw boxes have virtually no restrictions as to shape. They can be oval, heart-shaped, lizard-shaped, or any shape the maker can think of. Other tools such as belt sanders and drum sanders can be used to shape and sand the box smooth.


Solid block or glueup:
To make a bandsaw box you start with a block of wood. It can be either a solid block or a glue up of smaller pieces. As long as the block will fit inside your bandsaw it can be any size you wish.

Cut basic shape
You can create a paper pattern ahead of time or simply draw freehand the shape you want to make the box.

Cut off back
After the basic shape is cut, you begin by cutting off a thin slice from the back. The slice should be between 1/8 and 1/4 inch.

Cut out drawer
Next the drawer blank is cut out. To help hide the entry cut, try to make the entry cut from the bottom of the box and following the grain of the wood. Design the drawer shape so that there are no tight corners to cut. You can design the box on paper first, but I just make them freehand, drawing a line to follow right on the wood.

Glue shell together
After the drawer blank is removed, take the shell, put glue in the kerf where the saw entered the shell and clamp it together.

Remove front and back of the drawer
While the shell dries, take the drawer blank and cut off the front back. The slice should be between 1/8 and ¼ inch.

Hollow out drawer
Draw a ‘U’ shape from the ‘top of the drawer blank and cut that out. The cut out piece can be discarded unless you can think of a use for it.

Sand drawer inside
Sand the interior of the drawer and the front and back. It’s much easier now than after it is assembled.

Glue drawer together
Glue the front and back to the body of the drawer. Rubber bands make useful clamps for this.

Sand inside of shell
While the drawer dries, sand the inside of the shell. Try not to be too aggressive or the drawer might fit too loosely.

Glue back on shell
Now glue the back onto the shell. Again, rubber band clamps work well for holding the assembly together.

Sand drawer outside
After the glue has dried, it’s time for more sanding. Remove the rubber bands and sand the outside of the drawer. Masochists can do this by hand, but I prefer something electric.

Sand shell
Sand the shell also after removing the rubber bands.

Make knob and glue it on
The drawer needs a knob in order to be easily opened. You can make the knob from a piece of scrap from the current project or just from the scrap pile. You can even use a piece of dowel or a small store bought knob or hardware item. Or, if the bandsaw box is large enough, a finger hole can be made in the top of the drawer front.

You can stain the box or simply coat in with lacquer or oil. If the wood is particularly beautiful for its grain you definitely should not paint it. In the end though there are no rules. You can do as you please.

Sign your box and put the date. The box is done. These are so easy to make that you should make several. They also make great gifts.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

6 comments so far

View mariva57's profile


666 posts in 2856 days

#1 posted 05-01-2014 07:28 PM

Beautiful box, compliments.

-- The common man thinks. The wise man is silent. The stupid man discusses.

View Oldtool's profile


3031 posts in 3043 days

#2 posted 05-01-2014 07:35 PM

Nice box, great video and instructions / tutorial here.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View CFrye's profile


11074 posts in 2692 days

#3 posted 05-02-2014 09:36 AM

Great Video, Dave! Your wife plays the dulcimer beautifully. Is that the one you made?

-- God bless, Candy

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1982 posts in 3040 days

#4 posted 05-02-2014 10:12 AM

CFrye, yes, that’s our homemade dulcimer. Someday I’ll make another one

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View Charlie75's profile


312 posts in 3117 days

#5 posted 05-22-2014 06:54 PM

Very nicely done. These little band saw boxes are very addictable. Any time I have some spare time I try to make on myself.


-- Charlie75, Alto

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1982 posts in 3040 days

#6 posted 05-22-2014 07:03 PM

I still have a few blanks glued up. Some time I’ll cut them up too. I really need to get comfortable on my bandsaw. Practice makes perfect.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

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