Boxguy Is The Bagman On This Job

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Project by Boxguy posted 07-09-2014 05:35 AM 3726 views 15 times favorited 36 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Thanks for looking at this project. Any comments and suggestions are appreciated and welcome. I will reply to all of you Lumberlanders out there who take time to “have your say” in the next 24 hours, so check back for feedback. There is a tutorial index at the end of this posting that will show you how to build the jigs and learn the techniques for building boxes like this box.

Pictured box is made of Honeylocust (11 3/4 L 7 3/4 W 5 1/2 H) with a leaded glass top. My friend Lori did a great job on the glass work. The customer hasn’t decided if she wants a tea box or a jewelry box. She wanted to see it first. So the insides are not added as yet.

Notice that this box is 7 3/34 inches wide. I usually make boxes a bit more narrow than this, but since glass is heavy the box would tend to tip backwards when the top is opened if it is more narrow.

If you make a box like this and insert a glass top in a groove there is no taking the glass out. How then can you sand, route, and apply finish without messing up the glass and spending hours scraping away finish from the glass? The secret is to put the glass in a plastic bag and then remove the plastic bag when you have built the box and applied all the coats of finish. One gallon freezer bags are ideal, but any fairly heavy plastic bag will do to cover the glass. I have used this same technique to cover tops made of cloth wrapped and sewn around a masonite board, painted gesso board, and even woven reed tops.

On the inside I tape up the excess bag to keep it out of the way when I am applying finish and using steel wool between coats.

I made dual colored splines for this box…Orange Wood and Black Walnut. These colors are too similar to show well. I think Yellow Wood and Wenge would have been more effective and would have picked up both of the top colors. Live and learn.

Keep boxing and keep posting.

Tutorials: For methods used to make boxes like those pictured above just click on the blue links below. They are arranged by topic.

Making a jig to cut spline slots:
Jig for 45ing corners:
Making splines with a simple jig:
Finishing tips:
$5 band clamps:
Combining Wood Colors:
Sizing Tea Boxes and Dividers From Venetian Blinds
Making Kleenex boxes:
Routers and Rounding edges
Why round box corners?
Organizing a glue-up table:
Adding splines to a box:
Measuring for spline slot cuts:
Installing an attached top: like that pictured above.
Cutting off the box top and sizing piano hinges
Adding finger indents:
More about finger indents.
Mortising and installing hinges:
Tips on making sliding trays: for inside boxes:
Swapping Wood By Mail:
Making a serving tray with angled sides.
Roy Underhill's tool tote.

-- Big Al in IN

36 comments so far

View Jerry's profile


3388 posts in 2420 days

#1 posted 07-09-2014 06:01 AM

Wow, this is just beautiful. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it. You continue to raise the bar, and share with the rest of us. Thank you.

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


19239 posts in 4448 days

#2 posted 07-09-2014 06:09 AM

beautiful work as usual.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View DocSavage45's profile


8956 posts in 3615 days

#3 posted 07-09-2014 06:12 AM

You’re Keeping sharp! Nice work. You have a group of people making boxes like yourself who keep raising the bar!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Boxguy's profile


2876 posts in 3040 days

#4 posted 07-09-2014 06:23 AM

Jerry, thanks. I liked your inventive sculpture table and the guitar seat. You have a lot of really clever and useful projects you have posted.

Topa, thanks it is alway good to hear from your again. Hope you are doing well.

Doc, sometimes I raise the bar, sometimes I’m just leaning against it.

The wabi-sabi bench outside my shop door.

-- Big Al in IN

View BCDesign's profile


541 posts in 2195 days

#5 posted 07-09-2014 06:28 AM

thats a realy great idea using the bag!the box looks great!

-- "The secret of getting ahead is getting started" Mark Twain

View DocSavage45's profile


8956 posts in 3615 days

#6 posted 07-09-2014 08:51 AM

Taihen Steki desu! Splendid Bench!

I can’t get near the bar to lean on it. LOL!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3576 days

#7 posted 07-09-2014 11:16 AM

WowZa Al!! This is super nice. I like the leaded glass and wood combo. Museum quality for sure.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 3285 days

#8 posted 07-09-2014 12:17 PM

Very very nice Big Al, you’ve once again have created a masterpiece, I like the change in your lid lift frontal design too.

You’ve always come through for me on ideas when it comes to tips and tricks etc… and so it’s my turn to offer up a suggestion for you in your future projects that call for protecting items against finish, so here it goes, next time instead of using plastic to protect glass a suggestion would be to use Vaseline, it’s a painters trick when painting around windows and things you don’t want paint or finish to land on and it wipes right off cleanly taking what ever residue that’s on it, what about painters tape as well for protection?

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View DanielS's profile


123 posts in 2709 days

#9 posted 07-09-2014 12:18 PM

Really great work. The dual colored splines was a great idea. Even if it isn’t too bold it is a detail that people will notice. Thanks for posting the info about the bag.

-- Daniel S

View RogerBean's profile


1605 posts in 3726 days

#10 posted 07-09-2014 12:39 PM

Hi Al,
Great idea with the bag for masking the lid glass. I like the fluted lid lift relief. Is that a new touch? And the honey locust looks good, too.

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

View doubleDD's profile


9465 posts in 2815 days

#11 posted 07-09-2014 01:19 PM

I like the stained glass and wood combo. The dual colored splines are a nice feature and something I may do in the near future. Your ideas are a inspiration to all of us. Thanks Al.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Boxguy's profile


2876 posts in 3040 days

#12 posted 07-09-2014 01:38 PM

Ashe, You might try this with a real quilt piece on a box. Just a thought.

Doc, nice rejoinder. Lumberjocks needs more posting about oriental philosophy…don’t you think? Like this box.

Roger, thanks. Good to hear from you. We still need to swap shop visits. If you know of a museum that is this desperate let me know. I will send a donation.

Blackie, thanks for the suggestion. I can think of some applications where Vasoline might work really well. Your coasters were splendid.

Daniel, thanks for commenting on the splines. How are things in the northern part of the state? Your growler hauler was a nice design

Roger, good catch. I didn’t mention the fluted lift. I just thought with a heavier lid a wider indent would make raising it easier. It also seems to blend with a box of that size and shape. You know me…always tinkering with designs. I do like the way that indent caught some great grain in the wood. A happy accident. Your Pepper Wood burl box is one of my all-time favorites.

Double D, thanks. Your olympic torch turning is really intricate. If you do use the dual colored splines and use thin wood, clamp a couple of thick cauls on the outsides to get good adhesion and keep them straight. I had better luck making them a little thick at first and then planing them down to size. Taking a bit off each side. The thickness of the glue is unpredictable for tight-fitting splines.

-- Big Al in IN

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3639 days

#13 posted 07-09-2014 02:19 PM

Wow, Al. This is beautiful and I love your work and am always looking forward to seeing it.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

7513 posts in 4125 days

#14 posted 07-09-2014 02:25 PM

Absolutely beautiful work, love the entire project but that stained glass is oh so nice. You always impress me with something new and it’s always something special and spectacular and different. You are an inspiration to many.
Even your post’s are top notch! :)

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View abie's profile


913 posts in 4543 days

#15 posted 07-09-2014 03:08 PM

TNX for the great ideas you and Andy and others Keep raising the bar
and that is a good thing..

-- Bruce. a mind is like a book it is only useful when open.

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