Just playing around box

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Project by rowdy posted 08-28-2010 03:32 AM 2644 views 17 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Recently I purchased a small laminate trimmer and decided to put it to use in box making. Here is the result of my first effort. Nothing at all outstanding here, but I wanted to take the opportunity to illustrate the technique I used for routing a geometric pattern on the box top. I think this technique offers a lot of possibilities for creating interesting box tops, drawer fronts, and the like.

The first and second pictures show the box, which is made of walnut and lyptus. Dimensions: 11×6x4 inches. Finished with BLO and lacquer. Used a small round nose bit in the router.

The third picture shows the setup for routing the pattern along with a piece of pine with some test patterns on it. Basically the setup is a base of plywood that has a small metal bolt located on one side which extends about two inches above the base. This is a pivot point. Then there is the router that is attached to a trammel which has holes drilled in it every one-half inch, the holes sized to fit over the bolt. By swinging the router and trammel around the pivot point bolt one can cut arcs of various radii.

I think this procedure offers a lot of opportunities for creating interesting geometric patterns, given that a wide variety of router bits are available and that the pattern can be varied by orienting the workpiece differently relative to the pivot point. In the case of the box shown here I first routed arcs with the pivot point located at the midpoint of a side and then repeated the process with the pivot point located at the midpoint of the opposite side. An interesting possibility would be to cut a pattern through a laminated top to reveal a different color of wood below the top layer. Maybe I will try that.

Comments welcome.

-- Rowdy in Kechi, Kansas

16 comments so far

View dustyal's profile


1319 posts in 4251 days

#1 posted 08-28-2010 03:45 AM

innovative, well done. Good looking box.

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

View bubbared's profile


96 posts in 3673 days

#2 posted 08-28-2010 05:16 AM

very nice, way to think outside the box no pun intended very nice design and just proof that there is a vast group of talent here at LJ’s

-- Joe, Florida

View degoose's profile


7273 posts in 4131 days

#3 posted 08-28-2010 06:04 AM

Interesting… HMMM

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View SPalm's profile


5336 posts in 4658 days

#4 posted 08-28-2010 01:03 PM

Sweet. That looks great. Interesting effect.
Nice box and nice pics too.

I always like it when someone uses radii in a sentence,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Maveric777's profile


2694 posts in 3853 days

#5 posted 08-28-2010 02:03 PM

First off I really like the box. I am going to have to give this a go some day… Thanks for sharing!

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3812 days

#6 posted 08-28-2010 02:33 PM

Interesting routing technique, good box. Thanks for posting.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3643 days

#7 posted 08-28-2010 02:44 PM

That’s a very unusual box. It’s very nice.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View rowdy's profile


375 posts in 4218 days

#8 posted 08-28-2010 04:44 PM

Thanks to all for your comments.

-- Rowdy in Kechi, Kansas

View Jim Crockett (USN Retired)'s profile

Jim Crockett (USN Retired)

852 posts in 4509 days

#9 posted 08-29-2010 03:13 AM

“Nothing at all outstanding”? Looks pretty outstanding to me. I love the walnut top and the geometric design you routed upon it. I’ve never used lyptus before but it sure looks nice.

Thanks for the third picture showing how you accomplished the design. Don’t have a laminate trimmer router but may have to give it a try with my full-sized one. Always looking for something new to work at.

Great job! Thanks for posting.


-- A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including his/her life".

View rowdy's profile


375 posts in 4218 days

#10 posted 08-29-2010 03:33 AM

Thanks Jim for your comments. I have not used lyptus very much, but it is pretty nice to work with imho. It machines well, is reasonably hard, and has a nice soft color when finished with BLO. Also, there is no reason that a full sized router would not work. It would just be more difficult to manage because of the additional weight. If you have been working out in the gym, this should not be an issue! Give it a try. There are a lot of variations that one can play with.

-- Rowdy in Kechi, Kansas

View Chip's profile


1904 posts in 4869 days

#11 posted 08-29-2010 05:11 AM

Great box Rowdy. Experimenting is half the fun isn’t it? This looks very exciting and for just beginning, your results are exceptional. Thanks for the post!

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View mtnwild's profile


3474 posts in 4303 days

#12 posted 08-29-2010 08:27 PM

That’s a good looking box. Nice one…...........

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View 4thumbs's profile


153 posts in 3923 days

#13 posted 08-30-2010 03:04 PM

Great idea, and nicely done! All sorts of possibilities with this technique so you should have lots of fun with it!

-- 4thumbs in MO

View WiZeR's profile


17 posts in 4241 days

#14 posted 09-05-2010 09:45 PM

I love this! Well Done!

-- Home of Woodworking.

View degoose's profile


7273 posts in 4131 days

#15 posted 10-17-2010 10:03 PM

Just come back for a second look… Ideas Ideas Ideas….

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

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