Handcut dovetail box and a handcut mitered and splined box

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Project by MrWolfe posted 06-19-2019 07:10 PM 549 views 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is the third hand cut dovetail box I’ve made this month. I used reclaimed pallet wood (hickory I think) and I’ve only used handtools for this piece with the exception of a drill press for the cedar plug in the semicircle lift on the lid.
I used brass screws as pins/rods for the hinged lid and I filed the threads off the part that the lid pivots on. I used a golden pecan stain on this and a coat of amber shellac then Johnson’s Paste Wax for the finish. I am calling it Buttered Pecan.

The second box in this post is a mitered and splined box that I used my recently built miter shooting plane board. I used a veritas smoothing plane to get the 45 degree angle miters.

I also used a recently built shooting board to square up the sides of the box and then I used a newly built thickness shooting board for the inserts in the lid. They were also mitered on the miter shooting board after they were planed down to the thickness I wanted.

The wood on the mitered box is a 3/4 inch birch plywood for the four walls and a reclaimed piece of pallet wood (hickory?) finished with a wipe on poly blend with 1/3 poly 1/3 minwax jacobean stain 1/3 mineral spirits. finished with JPW.

The friction fit inserts and the splines are cedar.

Thanks for looking.

5 comments so far

View therealSteveN's profile


3092 posts in 993 days

#1 posted 06-20-2019 02:36 AM

I’m smiling. You built the jigs, and have used them to make the boxes. NICE

-- Think safe, be safe

View MrWolfe's profile


184 posts in 542 days

#2 posted 06-20-2019 02:44 AM

Building tools is very cool. It takes a very special kind of monkey to do that.
I like building tools and jigs almost as much as making things with them. =)

View recycle1943's profile


3034 posts in 2041 days

#3 posted 06-20-2019 08:56 AM

you are way beyond my comfort zone with your talent and expertise – great job on all of the boxes

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View splintergroup's profile


2728 posts in 1641 days

#4 posted 06-20-2019 01:43 PM

The boxes are cool, but the jigs got my attention!

I like the shooting board, but what really sets it apart is it’s more of a shooting box 8^)

View MrWolfe's profile


184 posts in 542 days

#5 posted 06-20-2019 01:52 PM

Thank you Recycle1943,
I almost gave up after the first box I made dovetails on. There was a lot of tear out in my chisel work, my lines were crooked and I cut past the gauge marks, poor fit, lots of gaps and it took forever.
Just keeping with it and seeing a little improvement each time really helped.

I changed primary bevels on my chisels, really learned how to sharpen and hone them. Made the moxon (which made a WORLD of difference) and started building the jigs/shooting boards for my plane.

Probably the biggest boost in confidence was switching to poplar instead of the other wood I had been using. It is so much easier to work and is so much more forgiving. I have some other boxes in my projects list that use poplar and now I am more confident I can cut dovetails on most woods.

Thanks SplinterGroup… making jigs, shooting boards and tools is very cool. Kind of my new thing. Its hard to share that with anyone other than a fellow Lumberjock or woodworker though. Most people just don’t get it.

I should add that I got the ideas for the shooting boards on youtube and online. I tend to tweak the designs with features that I think may work better for me but there are a lot of great build videos out there.

Here is a link from a few weeks ago where I talk a little more about the moxon vise and the shooting boards.
Dovetailing Jigs, Moxon Vise and Shooting Boards

Persistance is key in my opinion.
Thanks for your kind words.

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