Just a Box

  • Advertise with us
Project by mot posted 12-02-2007 07:46 AM 3880 views 1 time favorited 31 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Bob #2 and I were fiddling in my shop on Thursday night. Well, I was fiddling and Bob #2 was on the shop cam and voice communications from my workshop page. While Bob was waxing poetic about some topic of the moment, I decided to make a box. I haven’t spoken much about the Akeda Dovetail jig, mostly because I don’t use it very much. Not because it’s not just fantastic, but just because I don’t use the router for this type of work much since I started obsessing about hand cut joinery. Anyway, I resawed some cherry and started cutting some box parts. While I was doing that, I noticed the cuts were burned by the back of the blade. That fried me as this saw of mine has a real thing about staying in alignment. I took out the shooting board and a Veritas Low Angle Jack plane and fixed the problem with the pieces, put them on the bench, and then went about dissassembling my outfeed setup and Festool MFT table to get at the back of my tablesaw. Taking advantage of the free space, I cleaned up the crap out of the back of the saw, and alinged the blade. All the while, Bob was on story #3 with the odd interjection of inquiry as to why a perfectly neat shop now had stuff strewn all over the place.

After the saw station was reassembled, some test cuts were made and the world was sane again!

I used the Akeda jig to cut some, perhaps atypical, box joints. After putting them together, I had to pound them with a hammer because they fit so tight. A quick email to Kevan Lear at Akeda Jigs gave me some insite into guide bushing diameters and how they affect joint fit for this setup. That’s going to be a topic that will need blogging, so stay tuned. If anyone has gotten a chance to talk to Kevan, he’s a lot like Jim Lindsey from Dowelmax, in that he responds to your question immediately, and with an answer that has considerably more detail than you might have thought your question involved, but ultimately giving you a very good understanding of the problem and solution.

After getting things worked out, I cut a little panel for the top and bottom from some scrap oak that I had laying around and tight joints and all, glued the box up. I got a lecture from Bob about glue starving this joint due to the tight fit. He’s right. There is no way that anything but hot stuff could be used. After getting the box together, I wicked thin cyanoacrylate into all the joints, hit with accelerator et voila, it was glued together. It’s a box, and a bloody mediocre one at that! Sorry, Don!

I cut the top off with the bandsaw, cleaned up the edge with low angle block plane, smoothed four sides with the low angle jack and tossed some really crappy hardware on it that I bought at the local box store. I won’t use the stuff again, but it isn’t really a special box…just a test. All the edges were chamfered with a low angle block until they looked about “right.”

My wife saw it and asked, “What’s it for?” I replied, “Nothing.” She said, “It should work perfectly then.”

Now that it’s built I do have a use for it but it’s the wrong size. I’ll build another for a storage purpose that I have…namely the pieces for the Akeda jig. This one now has been relegated to my Mot Jr’s uses to store his puzzle pieces.

There it is, and thanks for looking!


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

31 comments so far

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3810 posts in 5519 days

#1 posted 12-02-2007 08:09 AM

Nice recovery Tom.
What doesn’t show here is the fact the the first pass with the finger joint attachment for the Akeda gave poor old Tom “hammer tight” joints.

The jigs in incredibly simple to set up and use but I guess the tolerance for finger joint need three different bushing sizes like Goldie locks and the porridge.(too big too small and just right)
That’s better than I had in the Army for clothing. (Too big or Too small) <g>

As Tom says above it ended up being Hotstufff glue up .
Good job and nice recovery Tom.


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4074 posts in 5561 days

#2 posted 12-02-2007 08:30 AM

I like the variable spacing on the joints. Now Tom, just enjoy the jig and don’t obsess about the saw and chisel. Groovy box hardware and a smooth hand rubbed finish and it would be quite stylish. And it does qualify for Boxhound status…Betcha can’t make just one, they’re addictive.

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

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6883 posts in 5477 days

#3 posted 12-02-2007 08:37 AM

Hi Tom;

Nice joinery! You’re right, them’s some tight joints.

Nice to get good customer service from a company nowdays.

Nice job!

-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Brad_Nailor's profile


2545 posts in 5455 days

#4 posted 12-02-2007 09:22 AM

Nice box and nice joinery. I’ll have to take a look at that Akeda jig. I have been thinking about acquiring a dovetail/box joint cutting jig. Great work Tom!


View cajunpen's profile


14577 posts in 5563 days

#5 posted 12-02-2007 09:24 AM

Nice box Tom. I’m with Lee and Douglas, in that I really like the spacing on your box joints. Well done.

Lee, I just sent the link to your ezee-feed site to a couple of friends that are each running a 1 man cabinet shop. I was telling them about how much easier the ezee-feed would make their lives. Hope you pick up a couple of sales.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5658 days

#6 posted 12-02-2007 12:58 PM

excellent blog
nice box

and, as always, I am inspired by the feedback from your other half!

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

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4074 posts in 5561 days

#7 posted 12-02-2007 03:22 PM

Gulp. Deb jogs were others fear to tread…

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

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5658 days

#8 posted 12-02-2007 03:27 PM

hey Mot, I’m guessing that your wife is a very practical person… purpose and function, foremost

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

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 5503 days

#9 posted 12-02-2007 03:31 PM

Handsome box there Mot!

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View Harold's profile


310 posts in 5345 days

#10 posted 12-02-2007 04:38 PM

My wife has been bugging me to finish the panel behind our stove, so I have lbeen ooking around for some way to just cover it up. What I am leaning towards are those decorative copper panels that would stick to the wall. I think those little panels would really accent something like this or perhaps something similar to the beautiful tiles that Dan Walters does with the box becoming a multi purpose frame of sorts.

-- If knowledge is not shared, it is forgotten.

View mot's profile


4928 posts in 5534 days

#11 posted 12-02-2007 05:33 PM

Thanks for the comments folks. Douglas, I bet I can’t just make one of them either. I like the way the joinery looks, but it’s through no fault of mine…the Akeda jig is pretty idiot proof, so I can’t lay claim to any precision or accuracy.

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

View Karson's profile


35301 posts in 5898 days

#12 posted 12-02-2007 08:14 PM

Great box Tom. And it satisfy its purpose.

You going to put dividers in it for different puzzles.

-- 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 mot's profile


4928 posts in 5534 days

#13 posted 12-02-2007 08:24 PM

It’s too small to bother with dividers. Mot Jr. is 2 years old so his puzzle pieces are about the size of CD’s…they just stack nicely. It’s about 6” square.

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

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 5744 days

#14 posted 12-02-2007 09:35 PM

Mot! How dare you! There is no such thing as JUST a box. Do you want to offend Don. I’d rephrase that if I were you. That is a beautiful cherry box. Nice box joints. mike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Don's profile


2603 posts in 5674 days

#15 posted 12-02-2007 10:42 PM

Tom, when I see a nicely made box like this, I’m reminded why I just love small wooden boxes. This one is sweet.

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

showing 1 through 15 of 31 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics