Sliding Top Keepsake Box

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Project by sansoo22 posted 05-04-2021 07:28 PM 638 views 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Brief Summary:
This was a Christmas gift I made “last minute” for my Mom. Its constructed of old growth reclaimed pine with a maple top and interior veneers. The bottom is simple 1/4 baltic birch ply with a red felt lining. The maple top is book matched to the best of my current ability at doing such a thing. That was my first attempt at resawing on my less than stellar Craftsman 12” band saw. I used exposed mahogany pins just for decoration. The rounded edges were not intentional at first but mandatory after a bone head mistake. I’m surprised I managed to fix it.

Longer Story:
In late November I was taking a short cut through the wood aisle at Home Depot to get to the register unhindered by the meandering suburbanites that seemed to be lost all throughout the store that day. I spotted a piece a Maple out of the corner of my eye that didn’t seem to fit with the normal BORG offerings.

Now I know its not as cool as tiger or curly maple but for Home Depot grade maple it was still pretty interesting grain to me. And considering it was a full 8ft 1×6 with that grain throughout I figured I could make something cool with it.

Now I will fully admit my ambition for woodworking far far out weighs my current skill set. My original plan was to make a sliding top box with big chunky Greene & Greene style box joints that were of course cut by hand. I had never attempted this before so I spent close to two weeks trying to figure it out. Between the wood choice for the box and my inexpensive chisels that kept rolling edges it was a big fail.

By now I’m starting to run out of time. So I have to come up with some sort of plan. The most recent joint I have “mastered” was the locking rabbet joint. Not the prettiest pig in the pen but father time doesn’t give a shiny rats ass about my ambition. Back to the drawing board as they and I sketch up my new plan. Crap…none of these cuts can be done on the table saw as they aren’t thru cut dados. Option A setup the router table with stops or go old school.

I chose the old school approach with a fresh Veritas iron. All of my time working with and testing planes just made it more comfortable than trying to do a complex setup on the router table.

If you’re going old school on the dados then of course you go old school on your maple top.

Because I’m cool and use hand planes I’m now REALLY running out of time. Box is fully assembled and looking awesome…all I have to do is glue in the veneers without cocking it up. Now any rush job is not complete without one bonehead mistake. So I get my veneers glued in and get clamps on one of the long sides. I realize I forgot to grab the rest of my clamps. Not thinking I turn my back to the box sitting at the edge of my bench and as soon as I turn I know it’s going to fall off the bench. Yep I hear it crash. Assuming the worst I slowly turn around expecting it broke. To my surprise it held together with only a giant dent in one of the top edges.

How the hell am I going to fix that?

Woodpecker’s EZEDGE to the rescue is how I fix that. Swap out the cutter for my 1/4” round over and presto magico no one even knows it happened.

Box fully assembled Dec 20th. Giving me 3 days to apply 3 coats of Waterlox and wax this pig late Christmas Eve. Get up early on Christmas day to wrap it before heading to my folks house. Followed by a few month vacation from the shop because I totally burned myself out trying to do to many gifts this last season. Lessons learned a plenty on this one.

8 comments so far

View 987Ron's profile


2168 posts in 556 days

#1 posted 05-04-2021 08:00 PM

Nice box, also a a great story. Mom should be proud.

-- Ron

View Jeff's profile


237 posts in 625 days

#2 posted 05-04-2021 10:14 PM

Well, welcome to spring. Very good with the hand tools. Up until a few years ago my Mom still had the napkin holder that I made with hand tools ( a backsaw, hammer, and finish nails ). That was when I was 7 or 8.

View corelz125's profile


3717 posts in 2216 days

#3 posted 05-05-2021 12:46 AM

Nice looking box and good story. About time you put some of those shiny tools to some wood. That’s all part of the process making mistakes and figuring out how to fix it.

View woodbutcherbynight's profile


10387 posts in 3649 days

#4 posted 05-05-2021 01:39 AM

Excellent work, trails and all. Looks fantastic.

-- Live to tell the stories, they sound better that way.

View Andre's profile


4733 posts in 3046 days

#5 posted 05-05-2021 03:54 AM

Love these long write ups, lots of details to make it easier for us to attempt on our own:)

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View therealSteveN's profile


8832 posts in 1814 days

#6 posted 05-05-2021 04:16 AM

Excellent box, wonderful story.

-- Think safe, be safe

View Madmark2's profile


3093 posts in 1828 days

#7 posted 05-05-2021 04:36 AM

Very nice.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View HokieKen's profile


19349 posts in 2378 days

#8 posted 05-05-2021 02:18 PM

Nicely done. The pine and Maple look mighty good together :-)

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

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