Challenging little miter box

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Project by sansoo22 posted 01-07-2020 09:55 PM 1038 views 1 time favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This little nightmare was reclaimed from an old and cheaply constructed coffee table my girlfriend had. It was the first piece of furniture she bought when she graduated college and got a teaching job. She is a very sentimental type of person so she wanted to keep it for something even if we re-purposed it. Her cat scratched it all to hell so we turned the bulk of the coffee table into a large cat tree. The rest I turned into a small jewelry/keep sake box for her.

I had absolutely no plan for this thing. I just noticed one day that i had enough of that table scrap left over to make a small box. The grain on all four sides had to be vertical in order to make it though. I figured ok thats not a bad challenge I can do that. Well then all hell broke loose. The panels I was cutting down for the sides have reversing grain. One of the miter cuts went thru sap wood that was still sticky and the glue joint broke. From there it just kept getting worse. All of the walnut you see is there to hide some ugly. Whether it be knots or other defects in the wood…and some in the workmanship. The two walnut inlays on the face of the box were hand cut with chisels after it was assembled because i ran into it with a hand plane and dinged it…that was all me just being stupid.

The felt lining is a simple 1/4 in sheet of plywood cut 1/16th smaller than the bottom and wrapped in felt. If she ever wants to change the color i can pry that back out and make a new one.

There were a few firsts for me on this project. I had never done splines before so made a jig to do those. I had never used a router table before and did the coving and most of the round over work on the table. The over arm pin router came in handy there. Screw changing router bits. Put the big coving bit in the bottom router and the round over bit in the top router and just raise lower as needed. The splined corners of the box i rounded over with a 9-1/2 block plane. That pine was just too brittle to hold a crisp clean edge.

I think that’s it for this one. Not super happy with how it turned out but she loves it so that’s what counts. And i learned a lot of things NOT to do next time around.

9 comments so far

View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile


2224 posts in 466 days

#1 posted 01-07-2020 10:39 PM

Looks pretty good from where I am sittin, Sansoo. You said “small box,” but it is a fair sized box, she can fit alot in there.

Anyway, she┬┤ll never notice all the “little” things that annoy you about it.

“to hide some ugly,” that is very funny.

-- Wildwood by Brian Johns: The Big Bang: Nothing - exploded into Everything. Thanks to Nothing.

View metalbot's profile


23 posts in 442 days

#2 posted 01-07-2020 10:45 PM

That’s a great looking box.

“And i learned a lot of things NOT to do next time around.” – story of my life!

View sansoo22's profile


1289 posts in 573 days

#3 posted 01-07-2020 10:54 PM

Thanks Brian – She cleared a spot on top her dresser as soon as i gave it to her so i think shes happy with it.

Thanks MetalBot – learning from my mistakes is how i do everything as well. I could take a class on wood working but I have a hard time listening to anyone about anything ever. Ask my dad…he will tell you the same.

View pottz's profile


12365 posts in 1903 days

#4 posted 01-08-2020 12:54 AM

sounds like you scored some nice points with that what were you saying again,sorry i wasn’t listening :>)

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View swirt's profile


5651 posts in 3891 days

#5 posted 01-08-2020 12:56 AM

Clever use of table remains. It came out great.

-- Galootish log blog,

View mel52's profile


1746 posts in 1183 days

#6 posted 01-08-2020 01:46 AM

Looks good to me. Great job !!! Mel

-- MEL, Kansas

View recycle1943's profile


4812 posts in 2541 days

#7 posted 01-08-2020 02:05 AM

the real challenge is to make something so nice out of limited supplies and you prevailed

-- 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 doubleDD's profile


9809 posts in 2962 days

#8 posted 01-08-2020 03:04 PM

That’s a fine job you did on the box. Even if yo had some teachings, it better to learn from mistakes.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View sansoo22's profile


1289 posts in 573 days

#9 posted 01-08-2020 11:56 PM

thanks for the compliments everyone. its a big confidence booster and i really appreciate it.

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