Simple Pine Box

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Project by FloridaArt posted 01-02-2017 03:01 PM 1237 views 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

January, 2017—I really need to clean up the shop. (Who doesn’t?!) So what to do with some ordinary 3/4 inch thick pine cut-offs (like the one shown in the photo). How about a simple box? Steps:

Step 1 – Decide how tall the box shall be. In this case I decided on a carcass height of 2-1/2 inches.

Step 2 – Using table saw, cut 3 strips from the cut-off 2-1/2 inches wide.

Step 3 – Using power miter saw, miter the ends of the two wider sides to equal length. Then cut the third strip in half (or two of any length) and miter the ends of the two narrow sides. In my case, the box is 3-3/4 inches wide.

Step 4 – Locate a piece of scrap plywood or pine for the bottom, and measure its thickness. In my case, 1/4 inch plywood.

Step 5 – Using the table saw with the blade height to 1/4 inch, make a rabbit on the bottom of each side. Make as many passes with the table saw as needed to get a good rabbit width. Exact specs not important.

Step 6 – Using the palm sander, sand the inside of the sides.

Step 7 – Glue the four sides together, and use masking tape, large rubber band, or other popular methods to hold it together while the glue sets up. In my case I used Titebond Type II wood glue.

Step 8 – Using the table saw, cut the bottom piece to fit the rabbit in the carcass.

Step 9 – Glue the bottom into the rabbit. Let everything dry for at least a couple of hours.

Step 10 – Using the table saw, with the blade fully raised and set to about 3/8 inch from the fence, cut the face of all four sides of the box. This has the effect of making the sides thinner and more attractive. In my case the finish thickness of the sides is 3/8 inch.

Step 11 – Using the belt sander followed by the palm sander, sand all sides of the carcass.

Step 12 – Using the router table fitted with a small round-over bit, with the bit raised about 1/16 inch “too high”, rout the top and bottom of the carcass. This will round-over the top and bottom edges, and also provide an accent line that will adorn the top, grab some stain, and make the sides appear even thinner.

Step 13 – Find a scrap of 3/4 inch pine for the lid.

Step 14 – Using the table saw, cut the lid (top) to match the length and width of the raised relief created by the routing operation.

Step 15 – Using the router table with the same set-up as in Step 12, round over (with relief) the top of the lid.

Step 16 – Using the table saw, with the blade height set to about 3/8 inches (not critical), cut a rabbit on all bottom edges of the lid. Use the fence to “sneak up” on the cuts so the lid fits just right—not too tight, but not too wiggly. :-)

Step 17 – Using the palm sander, sand everything smooth. Be sure to knock off all sharp edges.

Step 18 – Using a straight edge, corner-to-corner, mark the center point of the lid.

Step 19 – Locate an old knob from the junk pile. Or make one from wood.

Step 20 – Using the drill press (a hand-held drill would work fine), drill a hole to accept the screw to hold the knob in place. Do not attach the knob yet.

Step 21 – Optional: Stain the project. I used a medium oil-base gel stain, brushed on and wiped off. The stain accentuates the relief cuts made the router. Let dry. Sand lightly with 320 grit or higher.

Step 22 – Apply a finish. I used a water-based poly, brushed on, two coats. Sand lightly after each coat.

Step 23 – Attached the knob.

Step 24 – Sign the bottom. Some people like to burn their name or mark.

Step 25 – Take photos. I used an Android phone, which auto-uploads the photos to Google Photos.

Step 26 – Process the photos. I download the photos to my Windows 10 PC from Google Photos, and edit them in the freeware program IrfanView. Editing involves cropping and then auto-color adjusting.

Step 27 – Upload the photos and describe the project on Lumberjocks.


A couple of notes: I lucked into some great dimensions for this box. I love how it feels in my hands! Also, I considered flocking the inside, and decided it just didn’t seem appropriate for a pine box. But that certainly is an option that would dress it up.

-- Art | Bradenton, Florida

5 comments so far

View 489tad's profile


3515 posts in 3284 days

#1 posted 01-02-2017 06:25 PM

There’s nothing simple about a well made box. Proportions look good. Miter are tight. I say well done.

-- Dan, Naperville IL, I.G.N.

View sawdustbob's profile


3 posts in 1064 days

#2 posted 01-03-2017 02:23 AM

Nice piece of work. You are impressive with your 27 step commentary.

View Woodwrecker's profile


4212 posts in 3848 days

#3 posted 01-03-2017 04:29 AM

Nice job on the box Art.
It’s funny.
I just finished up with the construction of a large Gerstner tool chest variation and had a bunch of 1/2” scrap left over. And, with my router table still set up for the glue-lock joint bit, I made a bunch of small boxes using that set-up and whatever dimension scrap I grabbed.
And that all came about as part of cleaning up after my project.
(I hate just throwing out the cut-offs.)
Just like you.
Must just be the way us Floridians go about cleaning up our shops. haha
I hope you and your family have a Happy New Year.
I’ve met some of the Bradenton Woodworkers at the last Woodworking Shows in Tampa and they were real nice fellas.
Maybe I’ll see you there this year.

View Roger's profile


20972 posts in 3076 days

#4 posted 01-03-2017 02:08 PM

Way to go Art. Step by step….......Nice

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

View FloridaArt's profile


866 posts in 3570 days

#5 posted 01-03-2017 02:36 PM

Dan, Bob, Roger—Thanks for the nice comments.

Eric—Yep sounds like we share a distaste for tossing the cut-offs! :-) I wouldn’t miss the annual Tampa Woodworking show! I’ve been going for several years now and I always learn something. Looking forward to it.

-- Art | Bradenton, Florida

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