Golden Boxes

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Project by Mark Whitsitt posted 01-18-2011 07:06 AM 4179 views 7 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here are three boxes I made using my Golden Ratio Dividers (GRDs) and my Bevel Sled.

The first two boxes are made out of crown molding. I simply ripped the crown bevels from the edges of the molding to make the working stock. I picked up the molding at our local Habitat for Humanity ReStore the cheap!

—The first box, with the lid, was actually the first box I made with the second version of my bevel sled posted recently. It is red alder molding, with a piece of red alder stock cut to size and rabetted to fit the top of the box. The handle on the lid is just a little piece of padauk, hand chamfered with a block plane and glued to the top.

After ripping the crown bevels off the molding, I simply used the shortest dimension of the GRD to measure the width of the rough stock, the second largest dimension to determine the length of the short sides, and the longest dimension of the GRD (the arms farthest apart) to determine the length of the long sides.

This is the box I had the most trouble with on the bevel sled because the profile of the molding does not lie flat on the sled plattens. When I pushed the sides through the blade, the workpiece moved, despite the clamp. this made the miter joints pretty sloppy. But to salvage the work, I filled the gaps with wood filler and it looks mostly acceptable. I finished with Danish Oil and Paste Wax.

The second box is the first one I made on the original version of my miter sled. Like the first box, it is crown molding and was laid out using the GRD. It is just pine with a natural oil I picked up in a sample tube at the local Woodsmith Store and paste wax. This one’s profile laid flat on the sled and I got really nice miter joints. I’m using it on my bench as a “little crap” box for stuff like drill bits, driver bits, and such.

The third box is a final “Proof Of Concept” box made from QS Red Oak plywood I scavenged from someone’s dumpster… thanks, Steve! I wanted to make a box without a profile on the face to make absolutely sure the bevel sled was set up right and I could get a good square set of miter joints… IT WORKED!!!

Again laid out with the GRD, I had to use some iron-on oak veneer edging to cover the plywood edges. I couldn’t really do that with the top edge of the box and bottom edge of the lid and keep the box closing properly, but if you don’t look too closely, it doesn’t really look that bad after finishing.

The top of the box was cut off after after gluing up, and I also experiment with cutting the lid with a lip by cutting a groove on the inner faces of the sides prior to glue up, and then cutting a groove just below that on the outside after glue up. It was pretty successful, but not a great looking cut because I was dealing with plywood after all.

This box was also finished with danish oil and paste wax, and I added some bargain bin brass hinges and a clasp.

The bottoms of all three boxes, and the top of the plywood box, are all random scraps of 1/4” hardwood veneer MDF scavenged from various places.

I have a little more crown molding to work with and plan to make some gift boxes with it. I thought it was a pretty cool project. Hope you enjoy them!

God bless,

-- -- "there are many good reasons to use old hand tools, but moral superiority is NOT one of them..."

9 comments so far

View bill merritt's profile

bill merritt

203 posts in 4296 days

#1 posted 01-18-2011 07:55 AM

Very well done, like your ideas. Keep making them, they make great gifts. Good job.

-- Bill Merritt -Augusta Ga. woodworker

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 4071 days

#2 posted 01-18-2011 02:48 PM

Your doing some good work. Your miters look clean and crisp.

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View Maveric777's profile


2694 posts in 4083 days

#3 posted 01-18-2011 03:33 PM

Fine collection of boxes Mark. Well done on the use of the Golden Rule…. I really need to try and incorporate it more into my work.

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 4081 days

#4 posted 01-18-2011 03:35 PM

Well done.

As a math nerd (retired actuary) I’ll offer a comment on the golden ratio. If you divide the rectangle with a line that creates a square, the remaining portion of the rectangle has the same proportions as the original rectangle. The ratio is 1:(1+5^.5)/2.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Maveric777's profile


2694 posts in 4083 days

#5 posted 01-18-2011 03:39 PM

Rich…. I think you just gave me a head ache trying to understand that one….lol… J/k

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3873 days

#6 posted 01-18-2011 03:54 PM

Congratulations on these boxes, Mark. You did a very nice job on them. I especially liked the one made out of crown. I just purchased some t-nuts to make a jig that I had to have. It just occured to me that you could make a couple of back up boards, or leveling boards with t-nuts in them so that you could have four support screws coming up from underneath to help you hold the crown molding level. The thickest part of the crown would rest on the sled and four other spots would rest on the screws. Anyways, you made some very nice looking boxes. Congratulatiopns.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Mark Whitsitt's profile

Mark Whitsitt

86 posts in 3986 days

#7 posted 01-18-2011 04:09 PM


Unfortunately, I’m out of molding like that, but if I run across it again, I was thinking of using small pieces of rigid foam insulation as shims to keep it parallel to the platen surface. But I really like the idea of the t-nuts with adjustable support screws! I’ll have to think on that! Thanks!

-- -- "there are many good reasons to use old hand tools, but moral superiority is NOT one of them..."

View ratchet's profile


1391 posts in 4794 days

#8 posted 01-18-2011 05:18 PM

Nice work Mark! Those boxes look great. You have a flair for proportion…or at least a good proportional

View skippyland's profile


158 posts in 3698 days

#9 posted 03-02-2011 03:40 PM

Very nice work, Mark. Projects to be proud of.

-- Skip from Batavia, purveyor of fine and exotic sawdust & chips.

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