Scrap Box

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Project by EarlS posted 03-23-2021 11:25 AM 962 views 1 time favorited 30 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made an inlaid storage box for the 2021 Suprise Swap. My recipient was CraftersDaughter. The interior is lined with cherry. There are 3 storage trays inside the box, made from maple. Overall dimensions are 15×16x9. Finished with Arm-R-Seal and buffed out with some wax.

There were 2 criteria for my swap item. First, use only scrap pieces for item. Second, and more difficult, make something that would be useful for the wide range of interests in the swap group. I spent a lot of time looking at LJ projects and considering that some folks use mostly hand tools, while others use mainly power tools, some do lathe work, others don’t. Some I didn’t know anything about. Finally I decided on a storage box that would be big enough to store 10” saw blades, or hand planes, maybe even lathe tools. I settled on interior dimensions of roughly 12×12x8.

Generally, I make Prairie style inlay patterns, but in keeping with my decision to try to make something that would appeal to the diverse group I kept the pattern less style specific. I did choose to make a different pattern for the front and back and the left and right sides.

Lots of gluing:

Completed panels:

Once the panels were glued together, which is a process that takes several days, I put some new blades on the planer and gingerly planed them to 3/8” thick. At the same time, I ran some cherry thru the planer for the interior face of the panels. The outer and inner faces were glued together to make 3/4” thick panels.

The legs are cherry, tapered with rounded over pyramid tops. The panels are set into the legs using a mortise and tenon.

Box glueup:

The rails and stiles of the lid are beveled, with an inset panel of Chechen (I think) and walnut on the back. Rather than having the lid sit on top of the sides and legs, it sits between the side panels.

One thing to note, I should have added a chain to hold the lid open at slightly more than 90 degrees. As it is, it flops open all the way. The hinge was a left over piece that has been waiting for a project.

The trays are dovetailed, 1/2” maple, with cherry plywood bottoms. As for the rest of the wood, there is a little bit of everything in the inlays. I also managed to use quite a lot of the small exotic wood scraps and a fair number of cherry and maple cutoff pieces as well.

All in all, it was a fun build. I hope CraftersDaughter enjoys the box and gets plenty of use out of it.

I have a couple of inlay panels that didn’t quite work out for this box, plus more scraps that will be used to make more inlay boxes to hold small tools, continuing the idea of finding uses for scraps in my shop.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

30 comments so far

View BB1's profile


2221 posts in 1971 days

#1 posted 03-23-2021 11:54 AM

Beautiful box! Great detailed description of the build.

View MrWolfe's profile


1618 posts in 1246 days

#2 posted 03-23-2021 12:01 PM

Beautiful work Earl!
What a great box to receive for the swap.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

7739 posts in 1705 days

#3 posted 03-23-2021 12:12 PM

Dang! That’s some pretty scraps, Earl! Definitely not just another box.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View OzarkSawdust's profile


147 posts in 921 days

#4 posted 03-23-2021 12:27 PM

Awesome looking box! And it gets rid of scraps too!

-- Gary -

View doubleDD's profile


10438 posts in 3166 days

#5 posted 03-23-2021 12:48 PM

An idea well put together. Reminds me of a magical box. Nice work.

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

View Bobsboxes's profile


1670 posts in 3787 days

#6 posted 03-23-2021 12:51 PM

Great use of scraps, well done.

-- Bob in Montana. Kindness is the Language the blind can see and deaf can hear. - Mark Twain

View oldrivers's profile


2593 posts in 2689 days

#7 posted 03-23-2021 12:52 PM

Beautiful, Great design and wood combinations, good job.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View hairy's profile


3275 posts in 4655 days

#8 posted 03-23-2021 01:14 PM

WOW!! you got some time in that one. Way to go!!

-- You can lead a horse to water, but you can't tie his shoes. Blaze Foley

View recycle1943's profile


5494 posts in 2745 days

#9 posted 03-23-2021 01:14 PM

Earl, I’ve stacked and glued my cutoffs and scrap pieces many times but have never come up with such a beautiful eye catching project.
Very Well Done !!

-- 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 HokieKen's profile


17968 posts in 2261 days

#10 posted 03-23-2021 01:25 PM

Fantastic work as always Earl. Just a downright useful and beautiful box!

-- I collect hobbies. There is no sense in limiting yourself (Don W) - - - - - - - - Kenny in SW VA

View 987Ron's profile


1402 posts in 439 days

#11 posted 03-23-2021 01:53 PM

Love the box and the use of various woods.

-- Ron

View pottz's profile


17656 posts in 2107 days

#12 posted 03-23-2021 02:52 PM

nice work earl you really hit the scrap pile hard on that one.she’s gonna love it.

-- 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 Redoak49's profile


5274 posts in 3111 days

#13 posted 03-23-2021 03:02 PM

Great and interesting box.

View splintergroup's profile


5304 posts in 2345 days

#14 posted 03-23-2021 04:19 PM

I had to chuckle when you mentioned lathe tool or saw blade storage! This belongs on a dresser, not in a dusty shop 8^)

Love what you can do with “scraps” Earl, another classic prairie production!

View BillGo's profile


174 posts in 257 days

#15 posted 03-23-2021 04:39 PM

I’m with Splint! I would never use this in the shop. This is way too nice! I love it. The only way I would put saw blades in it is if I started storing my saw blades in the living room! Very creative. Well done!

-- Bill - in New Hampshire

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