My first "catch all" box

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Project by drewpy posted 09-11-2014 05:07 PM 2419 views 5 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hi all – This is my first woodworking project in 30 years. I needed a box to throw keys, mail, coupons and all the other stuff that always seemed to collect on my kitchen counter and I couldn’t find anything I liked in the stores. Thankfully, it got be back into woodworking.

This is 3/8 Red Oak and Walnut. It is 12×8 x 6. I mixed up the splines depth to add some interest and cut a 1/8×1/4 piece of walnut for banding. I built the entire box and then cut the lid with the table saw within about 1/32 of an inch and then cut the remaining with a utility knife. I had never done this before and it worked wonderfully and left me a great fit and consistent grain look.

I found a brass insert knob where I could cut a plug of walnut and epoxy it in. I forgot how maddening applying simple hinges can be!!!

I have plenty to learn, old tools to dust off and some lumber shopping to do. I am once again hooked. Maybe I need to build a simple banana tree for those darn bananas sitting there.. HAHA



-- Drew -- "The greatest wealth is health".

8 comments so far

View jeffswildwood's profile


4576 posts in 2825 days

#1 posted 09-11-2014 06:00 PM

You haven’t done wood work for 30 years? You have not lost your touch at all, this looks great. Welcome to LJ and look forward to seeing more of your projects!

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

View RogerBean's profile


1605 posts in 3801 days

#2 posted 09-11-2014 08:50 PM

Be careful. You seem to be getting the box disease.

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

View BCDesign's profile


541 posts in 2270 days

#3 posted 09-11-2014 10:11 PM

Awesome box i really like it! I am slowly getting tools together to start making a few boxes myself!i need one this size!

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

View Boxguy's profile


2880 posts in 3115 days

#4 posted 09-11-2014 11:35 PM

Drew, welcome to Lumber Jocks. This is another great box. Your photo techniques are improving too…I can see the details much better here. I like the banding idea; it is a nice look. I especially liked your use of varied spline lengths. Since we have communicated before, I’ll add this list of indexed techniques and tips. You have mastered all the techniques and skills to build great boxes, but there may be something in the list that may be of some help to you or to others.

Tutorials: for methods used to make boxes. 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

View drewpy's profile


1043 posts in 2205 days

#5 posted 09-12-2014 12:41 AM

Thanks everyone.

Jeff – I graduated school and a fortune 200 company stole 25 years of my life!!! HAHA

Roger – I might just be getting box disease. They are fun, useful and I think they test your skills like anything else. People also look closely at the little critters and can see flaws easily. Some friends are already asking for a Mexican train dominoes box.

Ashe – I don’t have much in the way of tools. I have my Dad’s old Craftsman table saw, a new miter saw a palm router, 1 hand planner and several chisels. I wish I had more but I just work with what I have and hope to start building a shop.

Big Al – Thanks for the comments and thanks for the ideas/help. Much appreciated.

Thanks again everyone.

-- Drew -- "The greatest wealth is health".

View hoss12992's profile


4176 posts in 2741 days

#6 posted 09-12-2014 06:15 AM

That is really cool. Great job and welcome to LJs. I look forward to seeing more of your future projects

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View joshuam39's profile


62 posts in 2230 days

#7 posted 09-12-2014 05:28 PM

That’s a nice looking box. Good fit and finish. What’s the next project going to be?

-- Let's go Pens!

View drewpy's profile


1043 posts in 2205 days

#8 posted 09-12-2014 06:00 PM

Josh, Seems it’s going to be a slide lid box. A friend want’s one for Mexican dominoes. I am trying to come up a way to make the hub for the game instead of using the plastic one that comes with it. I will post it when I complete it.

-- Drew -- "The greatest wealth is health".

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