New Wood Box with a Surprise

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Project by gdaveg posted 05-12-2022 10:15 PM 765 views 1 time favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was out of a project so thought a wood box using as much lumber as already had would be fun. The materials on hand largely determined the box size. 13.25” x 10” x 3.25” tall.

I had not done blind dovetails since 2019 for my jewelry box project that is posted on this site. Had a piece a curly maple little over 4 feet long, some 6/4 walnut strips and a design pattern that is in the front of my two table lamps just completed.

During the lamp build the design pattern was cut all wrong, it tapered from 1/2” to 3/16”. I think/know the fence slipped while cutting the lamp design strips. So I planed and sanded it to 0.10” thick.

Cutting the dovetails was done with a Porter Cable DT jig and 48 inches of 4” wide poplar squared and planed to match the box side dimensions.

The lid has a walnut frame that is rabbeted to provide a ledge to place an insert panel.

The lid insert panel is maple that had a slot just under 0.10” deep x 4.5” wide to match the design strip. The slot was cut with an overhead milling machine with a fly-cutter bit. It takes awhile to adjust to cut parallel to your board axis but not too hard. I clamped the maple board to the mill adjustable platform with 3 clamps. When nearing the end of the board had to stop and move one clamp to the other end to allow clearance of the fancy bit.

The bit would not cut the full with of the design inlay strip and when I moved the piece so the bit reached the full width the cut was just a smidge wide thus the need for wood filler in mahogany tone, also had on hand.

I leave AZ tomorrow morning and did not have time to install hinges now. Was thinking Brusso but jeez gad they are $52/pair now almost double the price since 2019. Wood craft has some knockoffs that go for $28 a pair, would love to find some stop hinges that are not so expensive.

You probably figured out the surprise by now, the bobby was just laying on a sandy area on an evening tour of the golf cart path.

-- Dave, Vancouver, WA & Tucson, AZ

12 comments so far

View Eric's profile


5838 posts in 1370 days

#1 posted 05-12-2022 10:27 PM

A beautiful box, I like the top with the pattern. The Curly Maple and Walnut go together well. Well done.

Safe travels on your return North.

-- Eric, building the dream. the "Loft"

View gdaveg's profile


569 posts in 699 days

#2 posted 05-12-2022 10:31 PM


Thanks for the positive comment. Really liked using the fly cutter bit and the mill. Here is another kitty picture
was getting too close for his comfort and he just got up and walked away.

the note to “please do not touch” was taped to the Porter Cable dove tail jig after I had it set on the poplar test pieces. Had the jig clamped to a table in the shop.


-- Dave, Vancouver, WA & Tucson, AZ

View Phil32's profile


1807 posts in 1401 days

#3 posted 05-12-2022 10:59 PM

Dave – The box looks really nice. I would have recommended slit-type hinges, but they call for a lid & box with the same outside dimensions and bevels to the centerline of the hinge side member.
I have a 92 year old brother who currently lives in your home town (Vancouver). He and his wife will visit us at Bainbridge Island in a few weeks. Like you, we went through several woodshop classes in Junior High.

-- You know, this site doesn't require woodworking skills, but you should know how to write.

View gdaveg's profile


569 posts in 699 days

#4 posted 05-12-2022 11:08 PM


That is also a very nice box! Are those slit style hinges on it? Will look them up. The hinges should be stout as the lid weighs a lot.

-- Dave, Vancouver, WA & Tucson, AZ

View therealSteveN's profile


10246 posts in 2071 days

#5 posted 05-12-2022 11:32 PM

Beautiful box. Plus being that close to a Bob Cat is something not everyone has experienced. :-)

-- Think safe, be safe

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

27828 posts in 4603 days

#6 posted 05-12-2022 11:51 PM

WOW, that’s a beautiful box, Dave. you sure are staying late. It must be over 100 there by now!!
You have a mill in Arizona??

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View oldrivers's profile


3151 posts in 3064 days

#7 posted 05-13-2022 12:09 AM

That is beautiful box kove the design on the top.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View Phil32's profile


1807 posts in 1401 days

#8 posted 05-13-2022 12:17 AM

We had a resident bobcat with kittens near my home in the Calif. mountains. I also met a mountain lion at close range while walking my miniature dachshunds. Fortunately I picked them up and headed back to the house before they even saw the big cat.

Dave – The carved “tool box” does have the slit hinges. They are thin, but quite sturdy ‘cause they’re supported by the wood on all sides.

-- You know, this site doesn't require woodworking skills, but you should know how to write.

View gdaveg's profile


569 posts in 699 days

#9 posted 05-13-2022 02:20 AM


Thanks for the comments.

The Bobbies are pretty special. Got friends here that live at the end of the community with a couple of miles to the next road. They have kitties all the time sunning themselves on the masonry benches. I am jealous of their bobcats.

Only a couple of days 100 so far, but hot, shop is air conditioned. Yes the shop has a Jet overhead mill, not digital but a lot like a router table that you work from the top side.

Wife and I were supposed to drive home leaving yesterday. My BIL had a medical issue and wifey flew back and said she will fly back and we will drive home together. So 4 full days in the shop, had to build something.

Looked up slit hinges on this site and see what they are. Really sturdy surrounded by wood I am sure.

I love this site and all the experience that is willingly shared.

-- Dave, Vancouver, WA & Tucson, AZ

View pottz's profile


26623 posts in 2482 days

#10 posted 05-13-2022 02:31 AM

dave your box is beautiful,love that southwestern look.dovetails are perfect for the box.nice travel home to some cooler weather.

-- 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 Calmudgeon's profile


719 posts in 2925 days

#11 posted 05-13-2022 12:20 PM

Lovely box. I like the pattern on the top.

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

View doubleDD's profile


11386 posts in 3540 days

#12 posted 05-13-2022 05:23 PM

Beautiful work on the box. Great wood combo and the design is tops.

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

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