Storage Box for joinery

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Project by GaryK posted 07-26-2007 05:08 AM 22579 views 65 times favorited 57 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well, this is my first attempt to build something without glue. To allay any
suspicion that any glue or mechanical fasteners were used in the construction I
have included a blow by blow of the construction process. 100% wood with NO GLUE used at all.
The other reason for showing the construction is to show some of the ideas I came up with.
One of the methods I came up with I have never seen used before.

All the methods presented here can be applied to larger projects. Just scale them up.

No special tools or fixtures were used in the construction.

Just a table saw, drill, and carving chisels for the top.

I think that the carved top gives it a distinctive look.

The wood used is pommele Sapele for the outsides of the box, and mahogany for the
inner panel for the lid, as well as the carved panel. The hinges are made from
swiss pear.

I have decided to add some contents for my box. This project is to display joinery
without glue. Therefore at the end of this listing I show some of my favorite samples.

To start with, the following picture shows everything fit together before any
pegs were used. The reason I show this is to display how tight everything
fits. The bottom panel is an exact fit to keep everything square. Same with the
two panels in the lid.

The next two pictures show the construction of the panels in the lid. The first
shows the panel that I will use to peg in place to hold everything together. The
second picture shows the panel which is rabbited around the perimeter to allow
it to be installed flush. This is actually my first attempt at carving a panel
like this. If I had screwed it up I would have put something else there :-)

Below are the pegs that I used to hold the hinges and the lid together. I used
the same method a couple of years ago to hold the head on a mallet I made. I
always call it a blind wedge tenon, but then I heard it called a foxed tenon on
this website. How it works is the wedge hits the bottom of the hole and as you
beat in the peg the wedge will expand the end of the peg wedging it into the hole.
It holds so well that the only way I have found to remove them is to drill them

The following two pictures show the hinge blocks pinned in. The hinge blocks are
made from swiss pear and are mortised into the lid for strength.

The following picture shows the first three pegs installed.

The lid completed with all 12 pegs in place.

The completed lid.

The next two pictures show the hinge assembly. These pins will be cut flush and
captivated permanently once the sides are pinned in place.

This picture shows the rounded edges which allow the lid to pivot. Note that
hinge blocks are rounded also.

Now to the sides. This method of pinning I have never seen used before. (if
someone knows what it’s called please let me know). This method kills two birds
with one stone. First the pins are installed at an angle. This will prevent
either side from coming loose. They can’t be pulled apart without drilling (I
know because I forgot to put the hinge pins in before I put the sides together).
The second thing will keep the pins themselves in place. The holes intersect
each other about 1/64". This means that once the first pin is in place it
partially blocks the hole for the pin coming in the other direction. This puts
tension on both pins preventing them from coming out.

This shows the over lapping holes.

The completed box with no finish.

A couple more angles of the completed box

This ended up being a pretty quick project. A couple of days to think about it.
Two days for the carving. Two days to build it, and another two to finish it
with my favorite water based dye and oil based poly. This one definitely made me
think out of the "box".

If for some reason you can’t see the pictures properly that can see them here:

The following shows some of my favorite joints. They are made from mahogany, maple
and swiss pear for the ‘keys’. They were vary hard to make this small and are much easier
to make larger.

Here is the collection

The first is my all time favorite joint. I am showing many views of it because it is hard to grasp
from a single photo. This is basically a decorative joint for columns since it is not keyed.

These joints are for joining peices end to end and are very nice joints.
This one is like a standard saddle joint but with keys instead of glue to hold it together.
The advantage it that you can take it apart if needed.

This is a scarf joint with two keys. This joint must be slid together sideways to be assembled.

This is another scarf joint but has the advantage of being assembled any way. A single key holds
everything in place.

These are truly beautiful joints, and I hope that you enjoy them as much as I did making them.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

57 comments so far

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 4820 days

#1 posted 07-26-2007 05:19 AM

Gary, your work is exquisite and the details in the posting and pictures are most appreciated. It turned out…I can’t find the words…WOW!!

-- Jesus is Lord!

View mot's profile


4926 posts in 4546 days

#2 posted 07-26-2007 05:21 AM

That’s just awesome, Gary! Thanks for the detailed views. I love the process and the outcome!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Karson's profile


35201 posts in 4910 days

#3 posted 07-26-2007 05:27 AM

Great construction and great box. Good Luck. But if I get mine completed your in trouble. LOL

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14181 posts in 4492 days

#4 posted 07-26-2007 05:33 AM

very impressive work. beautiful box.

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4051 posts in 4573 days

#5 posted 07-26-2007 05:34 AM

Holy smokes! Glorious box, and thanks for the blow by blow. Really cool joinery and stunning carving work.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over two decades.

View Bob Babcock's profile

Bob Babcock

1809 posts in 4595 days

#6 posted 07-26-2007 05:51 AM

Very, very, cool Gary. Of course at this point I expect nothing less than the best from you. This is a great entry to the challenge and very true to the rules.

-- Bob

View TreeBones's profile


1827 posts in 4533 days

#7 posted 07-26-2007 06:21 AM

Most Excellent

-- Ron, Twain Harte, Ca. Portable on site Sawmill Service

View Aubster's profile


132 posts in 4538 days

#8 posted 07-26-2007 06:32 AM

Very nice craftmanship in this box, and the over all box is very elegant. good luck on the contest.

-- A man who moves mountains starts one stone at a time.

View Don's profile


2603 posts in 4686 days

#9 posted 07-26-2007 08:04 AM

Gary, congratulations! This is an exquisite example of glueless joinery at its best. Some very careful planning here and great execution. Thanks so much for sharing the details of your joinery methods. Finally, in case you were unaware, I just love small wooden boxes.

Best wishes!

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4670 days

#10 posted 07-26-2007 11:21 AM

the lid!!!
The box!!
The joinery!!
and the process photos/description

ALL well done!!

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

View Chris Davis's profile

Chris Davis

1560 posts in 4491 days

#11 posted 07-26-2007 12:44 PM

that is a great piece of work, thanks for the details.

-- Watch live video from our shop.!current-projects/c3c1

View TomFran's profile


2961 posts in 4504 days

#12 posted 07-26-2007 02:15 PM

Great work as always. It’s great to have guys like you here, who can show us “ordinary” folks how it’s done!
I really appreciate your taking the time to produce these process pictures with explanation.

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View Greg3G's profile


815 posts in 4595 days

#13 posted 07-26-2007 02:45 PM

Great use of the Fox Tenon…If I had more time to compete, that was going to be my method. I love the finish and the carving. Overall a great job. I am sure it will be cherished for years to come.

Karson, you have some competition now… ;-)

-- Greg - Charles Town, WV

View Mike Lingenfelter's profile

Mike Lingenfelter

503 posts in 4623 days

#14 posted 07-26-2007 04:26 PM

Very nice, excellent work!

View RobS's profile


1334 posts in 4816 days

#15 posted 07-26-2007 04:41 PM

Incredible display of joinery, great job!

-- Rob (A) Waxahachie,TX

showing 1 through 15 of 57 comments

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