Boxguy Goes Sappy

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Project by Boxguy posted 09-23-2016 05:50 AM 2091 views 3 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Thanks for looking at this posting. Thanks especially to those of you who take time to comment, ask questions, or just say hello. I will respond to those who do, so check back for feedback. This is a short video Ken and I made. It is all about making and installing corner splines. Check it out if you can.

Pictured is a jewelry/valet box (6” W x 10” L x 5” H) of White Oak and Black Walnut. It has a corner splined tray that slides on front and back rails.The dividers are made of wooden Venetian blinds.

Story: I wanted to make a box for a long-time friend’s upcoming wedding. The board I chose for this build had a great deal of sap wood in it. Probably it was the first slab cut from the log. I thought it presented a good opportunity for a box with a light layer on the top and bottom of the box. Like many problematic boards it is a high risk/high reward proposition. I originally intended to make the inset top oak, but with the surrounding sap wood, there was not much contrast. So I veneered the top side of the insert with walnut veneer and got a nicely framed look.

The signature look for my boxes is the corner splines. Black Walnut and White Oak is one of my favorite looks. Below is a close up of the 1/4” splines used in the sides of this box.

Below is a close up of the 1/8” splines used in the sliding tray’s corners.

This is a short video showing how to cut and install splines in a box. Ken and I made the video this past winter.

Click here for other boxes.. As always, keep boxing and keep posting.

-- Big Al in IN

23 comments so far

View DocSavage45's profile


9028 posts in 3812 days

#1 posted 09-23-2016 07:03 AM

Hey Big Al,

Good that you guys are doing videos. Hope you get a lot of views. You posted it in a more obvious place this time. LOL! Ya did good on the box too!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Roger's profile


21047 posts in 3774 days

#2 posted 09-23-2016 10:03 AM

Good stuff Al and Ken

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

View robscastle's profile


7659 posts in 3174 days

#3 posted 09-23-2016 10:43 AM

Very interesting box Big Al

I assume the black curved sections on the right hand side of the removable tray are for rings?

The videos are very professionally done.

-- Regards Rob

View Boxguy's profile


2889 posts in 3237 days

#4 posted 09-23-2016 11:55 AM


Thomas, Ken and I have made a video of the entire process of building a box, but haven’t had time enough to put it all together. Thanks for the support.

Roger, Ken and I want to present videos two ways. One will be the whole process of box building at a high pace and the other will be a slower paced version of individual steps. We are working on it. Thanks for the nice words.

Robert, thanks for the question. Yes, the black parts are soft foam covered with velvet. It serves as storage for earrings and rings. It comes in sheets with a cardboard backing. This is one source of the stuff. Some guys make their own, but I found it took me too much time to make.

By the way, you can just cut the velvet covered foam to size on the table saw if you put the cardboard up, compress it slightly, and use your sliding miter. When you have the foam cut to size, just use compressed air to clean any sawdust off, and it looks great. I cut the cardboard smaller and compress the foam to keep it in place.

-- Big Al in IN

View Boxguy's profile


2889 posts in 3237 days

#5 posted 09-23-2016 12:28 PM

Reply to Jake’s PM about jigs.

Jake, these are some links I talked about.

This one is a jig for cutting spline slots. This is a jig for cutting 45s the corners of boxes.

-- Big Al in IN

View littlecope's profile


3115 posts in 4472 days

#6 posted 09-23-2016 01:02 PM

Pretty Work, as always, Al!
Good Work on the Video too!!

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View Daiku's profile


233 posts in 3877 days

#7 posted 09-23-2016 02:05 PM

Nice looking box! Great job as always, thanks for posting.

-- Cal Noguchi

View GR8HUNTER's profile


8257 posts in 1682 days

#8 posted 09-23-2016 02:50 PM

love this nice little keepsake box …... love the corner splines …........ thanks for the video ….......GREAT JOB

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN :<))

View Mr M's Woodshop's profile

Mr M's Woodshop

426 posts in 4037 days

#9 posted 09-23-2016 03:10 PM

Great job, as always. I’ve been contemplating making a couple of boxes, and now you’ve got me thinking about splines instead of box joints. Thanks for the inspiration!

-- Henry Mowry, Santa Clarita, CA,

View Scott Dirt Road Woodworks's profile

Scott Dirt Road Woodworks

171 posts in 2294 days

#10 posted 09-23-2016 04:36 PM

Nice work! I am a big fan of splined miters.
After looking at your work I think I may start using piano hinges too. They look like they are a little less finicky to install, and I’m sure they work better. I gotta get a bunch more practice before my boxes start turning out as nice as yours. Keep up the good work.


View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3836 days

#11 posted 09-23-2016 05:00 PM

Al, this is a wonderful box and you’ve done a fine job on it.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Diggerjacks's profile


2329 posts in 4109 days

#12 posted 09-23-2016 05:03 PM



All the details are beautiful A fantastic work on this box

Thanks for sharing

-- Diggerjack-France ---The only limit is the limit of the mind and the mind has no limit

View dgreen50's profile


106 posts in 3311 days

#13 posted 09-23-2016 05:48 PM

Nice box and good wood choices. The straight forward instructional video will help many new to making boxes improve their building capabilities. The rounded corners set off this box.
Thx. for sharing

View MilFlyer's profile


946 posts in 2642 days

#14 posted 09-23-2016 07:51 PM

Good looking work. Really like the splines.

-- VR, Richard "Fear is nothing more than a feeling. You feel hot. You feel hungry. You feel angry. You feel afraid. Fear can never kill you"--Remo Williams

View wncguy's profile


496 posts in 3282 days

#15 posted 09-23-2016 08:12 PM

Very nice Al, & thanks for the video.
Do you also have video on cutting the slots in the box?

-- Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a Dad

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