Grated cheese box

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Project by gepatino posted 06-23-2014 05:31 PM 1754 views 1 time favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

We were storing our grated cheese in an ugly plastic container, so I decided to make a wooden one.

The wood is Lenga (nothofagus pumillo), and it’s the second box I make. I’m pretty happy with the result.

As a noobie woodworker, and without having a lot of powertools (not even a shop or stable bench to work), I had to figure out to make some easy joinery and hide all the mistakes I was going to make.

So, I decided how to make the box base on my lack of tools and skills:

The box is made from 1×5 lumber. I would have prefered something wider, but in that case I would have to rip all the box sides to avoid it being too tall, and joining two boards together for the lid wasn’t a good idea since I only have hand saws (and a jig saw). So 1×5 for the whole box.

For the joinery, I found that these finger joints with the ends being longer than the join were very forgiving. Since I was going to have errors anyway, I decided to make it more rustic chamfering all the edges by hand, using a knife. I’ve this a lot around here in many wooden objects and even in construction (specially in columns/beam joints and window frames). Maybe it’s some kind of ‘patagonian’ style, or the local woodworkers also have their share of mistakes and hide them this way.

The box is glued and screwed (the joint were not that good), and screws hidden with dowels, which were also chamfered with a knife to make them consistent with the box.

I even choose wood with imperfections, like the pieces of bark you can see on the lid and some of the sides, making it a very rustic style and consistent in the whole project.

The little cheese slice was fun to make, just a scrap triangle, some random 6mm and 4mm holes, and some sanding. Then my daughter painted it and glued it in place. In return I had to make her a bunch of ‘cheesies’ to play with.

The finish is 6 coats of shelac, and then tried to do something like a french polish. The result is not bad, but I wasn’t able to make it shine in the joints areas. It was ok for me… more rustic to the rustic.

Hope you like it and you are starting into this beatiful world: don’t be shy, just be real about your skills and work with that in mind (I’ve learned that from golf).



9 comments so far

View Frank's profile


40 posts in 4462 days

#1 posted 06-23-2014 05:40 PM

That is a great little box. I love the little wedge of cheese on the top.

-- Some rescue cats, some rescue dogs. I rescue tools. Feel free to send me any tools you cannot take care of or don’t want and I will foster them until I find a good home for them.

View kiefer's profile


5729 posts in 3466 days

#2 posted 06-23-2014 07:34 PM

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 3207 days

#3 posted 06-24-2014 01:44 AM

This is an excellent box! I like the style you used, the chamfering you did and the fact that you did it all with hand tools. You did a great job on this. Keep on cuttin’ !

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View HerbC's profile


1805 posts in 3658 days

#4 posted 06-24-2014 01:58 AM

Great box.

I really like your design and execution.

The cheese wedge on the lid is an excellent touch.

Keep up the good work and remember…

Be Careful!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

View docspencer's profile


429 posts in 2744 days

#5 posted 06-24-2014 11:55 AM

Great box. I especially like the joinery.

View Marpintero's profile


211 posts in 4086 days

#6 posted 06-24-2014 03:19 PM

Very sympathetic with that little cheese. Congratulations.
Why did you use screws, if with long dowels was enough?

Que muy simpática con ese quesito. Felicitaciones.
¿Porqué usaste tornillos si con unos tarugos largos era suficiente?

-- Our lives are marked and bound together by concentric rings. Martín - Argentina

View gepatino's profile


217 posts in 2923 days

#7 posted 06-24-2014 05:38 PM

Thanks all for the comments.

Marpintero: the joints were not that good, and trying to make the holes for the dowels by hand was going to add more mistakes to the project. So I choose the easy way and used screws.

Next time I’ll try to get rid of screws.


View Woodknack's profile


13428 posts in 3179 days

#8 posted 06-25-2014 05:05 AM

I like it, the joints and box in general have great proportions. You did a lot more right than wrong.

-- Rick M,

View Ivan's profile


16043 posts in 3666 days

#9 posted 06-28-2014 10:58 AM

Outstanding! Nice corner joints.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

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