Recipe Boxes for my granddaughters

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Project by jjoe posted 01-02-2021 12:47 AM 949 views 2 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Last Christmas I made a recipe box for my daughter. I guess she liked it because this year she asked for a recipe box for each of her daughters. How can you say no?

The boxes have lids milled from a Chestnut tree harvested from my yard that the older girls used to climb. Two of the boxes are milled from some curly maple firewood that my Dad saved about sixty years ago. One of the boxes is made entirely from my Chestnut tree. Two of the boxes have grain matched at all four corners, one I messed up and the grain only matches at three corners. I hope most people won’t notice that unless I point it out… The splines are some walnut that was in a scrap box. They are finished with lacquer from a rattle-can and sanded to 1000 grit before polishing with wax. They feel very nice to the touch.

The boxes hold 4×6 recipe cards that I printed on cardstock that was cut to size at Office Depot. I made some dividers to separate the main dishes from the desserts. The hinges are from Amazon and are inexpensive ones that should be strong enough to last for years, and I have spares if they don’t. I like the way they mortised into the walls of the lids and boxes, they fit pretty well. I will probably use them again for small boxes.

These were an enjoyable project I was able to complete. If I were trying to sell them to a stranger I think I would die an early death from the stress. You guys that market your projects amaze me with your level of perfection and complexity of designs. Thanks for letting me share mine here.

-- Just a Joe

13 comments so far

View BurlyBob's profile


9344 posts in 3512 days

#1 posted 01-02-2021 01:03 AM

Thanks Joe for posting these. My daughter wants a recipe box of the same size. You’ve given me a very nice example to work from. My compliments to you. Your boxes are superb and will be treasured by your daughter and granddaughters.

View Rodrick's profile


47 posts in 421 days

#2 posted 01-02-2021 02:04 AM

Very nice and beautiful wood grain. You just gave a gift that will be passed down for generations.

View AJ1104's profile


1370 posts in 2905 days

#3 posted 01-02-2021 02:48 AM

Great job designing and building these boxes. I love the historical significance of the wood you used to pass on to your granddaughters. They will cherish them forever.

-- AJ

View BB1's profile


2468 posts in 2094 days

#4 posted 01-02-2021 03:35 AM

Wonderful gifts! The use of the chestnut from your property gives these an extra special meaning. Projects that pull back memories are the best! Thanks for sharing.

View therealSteveN's profile


8900 posts in 1820 days

#5 posted 01-02-2021 06:55 AM

Nice boxes, great wood. I imagine smiling cooks all around.

-- Think safe, be safe

View Peteybadboy's profile


4017 posts in 3196 days

#6 posted 01-02-2021 12:17 PM

Those are very nice!

-- Petey

View HarveyDunn's profile


417 posts in 2977 days

#7 posted 01-02-2021 12:49 PM

Those are lovely, and the back story is charming.

How did you make the mortise for the hinges?

View Calmudgeon's profile


516 posts in 2673 days

#8 posted 01-02-2021 12:53 PM

Beautiful grain on the wood. Very nice job.

-- "As are the things we make, so are we ourselves." - Lin Yutang

View Woodtodust's profile


85 posts in 3083 days

#9 posted 01-02-2021 01:22 PM

Ditto what BurlyBob said only substitute daughter-in-law. Very nicely done.

-- Bill...Richmond Hill, GA--"83% of all statistics are made up."

View recycle1943's profile


5860 posts in 2868 days

#10 posted 01-02-2021 03:22 PM

All are very nice in their own individual way. I do find my eyes gravitating to the curly boxes tho -

-- 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 jjoe's profile


38 posts in 2581 days

#11 posted 01-02-2021 07:35 PM

Those are lovely, and the back story is charming.

How did you make the mortise for the hinges?

- HarveyDunn

I worry about mortises. The box and lid are glued as one, so they fit perfectly… then you cut the lid off and do the mortises and hope things still line up. There’s probably a sure-fire trick that I have not been able to find on YouTube, but I haven’t found it yet. I use my router table. These hinges are 6mm so I use a 6mm bit. It’s easy to set up the depth and length for the first hinge on the box, but then you discover that that set-up will only work for the opposite side of the lid. So you have to do a second set-up for the other side of the box and lid. That for me is a bit scary because if it’s not dead-on the lid won’t fit perfectly. I made test-cuts on scrap wood and crossed my fingers. Then you have to install the hinges and any leeway that you may have had is hard to adjust since the lid is open when you are drilling the holes. Those screw holes are small and I find it’s hard to line everything up when the lid is open. As Ant on Wheeler Dealers would say, “it gets a bit fiddley”.

I’d love to hear how others do it without the stress :-).

-- Just a Joe

View jjoe's profile


38 posts in 2581 days

#12 posted 01-02-2021 08:40 PM

All are very nice in their own individual way. I do find my eyes gravitating to the curly boxes tho -

- recycle1943

My Dad had a pickup truck load of that curly maple “firewood”. I remember when we picked it up, I was about 10 years old. He was a highly skilled wood-turner and made hundreds if not thousands of turnings with that wood. He specialized in miniatures when he was older and gave most if them away to friends. My sister and I both have display cases with some of his finest. Mine has 140 miniatures in it. Many of these turnings have paper-thin edges. I wish he could have shown his projects on Lumberjocks. He would have really enjoyed that.


-- Just a Joe

View OzarkSawdust's profile


149 posts in 1045 days

#13 posted 01-04-2021 08:08 PM

Fantastic! I really like the recipe boxes!! I guess I’ll have to make some for my granddaughters. Great job!!

-- Gary -

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