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Project by jasonallen posted 02-19-2016 12:25 AM 1195 views 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So, I made this box for my boy. It was supposed to be a memory/keepsake box. I didn’t plan it out very well. I didn’t use any of the good joinery that I should have, just straight glue joints. I thought the smooth straight look would be cool and easy. I was wrong. After many hours on the sander I now have a finished product than is smooth and somewhat square. Since I know I can do much better I am thinking of giving this one to my wife for… whatever. I can make my boy a better box (with dovetails this time)
This one is white oak and walnut. The only screws in it are the ones for the hinges.

-- Skill and confidence are an unconquered army.

5 comments so far

View jeffswildwood's profile


4988 posts in 3310 days

#1 posted 02-19-2016 01:37 AM

I see nothing wrong with it. It’s very nice with the corners. I made my Son’s “special boxes” years ago and they still have those special items in them. Nice job on this!

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

View Andy's profile


240 posts in 2160 days

#2 posted 02-19-2016 09:04 PM

Nice box with a unique design. How are the corners joined together, are there dowel rods in there we cant see or is it just an endgrain glue joint? If so i would do something to reinforce them, I would hate to see those joints fail after a couple season changes. A couple dowel rods drilled straight into the corner on each end grain glue joint should do the trick. Of course you will have to sand them flush and refinish the box partly though.

-- Andy Smith

View Boxguy's profile


2905 posts in 3600 days

#3 posted 02-20-2016 05:48 AM

Jason, this is a handsome box. I like the colors and lines. Like you said the joinery is a little iffy. May I suggest tape to hold parts together temporarily and two or three band clamps to add the needed pressure for glue? It would make the work much easier.

For cheap band clamps look here. You can make your own clamps for less than $5 each by modifying tie down clamps. Of course I prefer 45s and corner splines. It is what I like to do, but there are other equally good choices. I am looking forward to your next box. This one is a beauty. I still have a box my dad made when he was in high school. It is over 80 years old.

-- Big Al in IN

View jasonallen's profile


202 posts in 2953 days

#4 posted 02-21-2016 03:36 PM

Thanks for the tips. I know this one isn’t great but it was basically an experiment so if it fails it fails. Plans for box 2 involve through dovetails and dado for the bottom.

-- Skill and confidence are an unconquered army.

View Boxguy's profile


2905 posts in 3600 days

#5 posted 02-21-2016 06:10 PM

Jason, Modern glue does a terrific job if applied well. I like to use Tightbond Trim Glue because it is a little thicker and doesn’t run as much while you are doing the joints. Some Home Depot stores and Lowe’s carry it. So does Rockler.

You probably know all of this already. I just thought I’d mention the steps.

On a box like this or one with 45s you could use 3 inch masking tape to tape it together, loosen it at one corner but leave the others taped, lay the four sides and corners out flat, apply glue to all the joints, insert the bottom into its dado groove, and just roll the box back up again re-taping the open corner. Then you would put two or three band clamps around the glued up and taped box and tighten the clamps until the glue squeezes out. Be sure to remove any internal squeeze out before the glue sets up. I use a small screwdriver to scrape.

You might look here for some tips.

Jason, I am sorry for the long reply. I really like your work and wanted to share some tips I have found that might make box-making easier and more fun. Good luck with the dovetail box.

-- Big Al in IN

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