Dovetail Box

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Project by Brian S posted 05-09-2011 12:22 AM 2445 views 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my first box, and my first time doing hand-cut dovetails. I really enjoyed it. It’s not as hard as I thought it would be to make a usable joint, but making everything fit really snugly is going to take a lot of practice, I can tell. My first try certainly isn’t perfect, but I think that it is ok. The box is a gift for my wife for mother’s day (she’s almost a mother, and this was almost finished by the beginning of mother’s day, so it works out).

The design is based on plans from the most recent Woodsmith magazine, with some changes. I opted to use dovetails instead of splined miters for the corners, my box is about half the size of theirs, and the lid design on mine is quite different, using a piece of solid walnut instead of veneered plywood. Plus I took this opportunity to get better acquainted with my hand tools, instead of using the table saw for most of the work.

The sides of the box are ash, and the top insert is walnut. I finished it with some boiled linseed oil. Inside the bottom is covered in blue felt. Thanks for looking.

-- Brian

6 comments so far

View ShopTinker's profile


884 posts in 3277 days

#1 posted 05-09-2011 01:58 AM

Nice little box. I’d say for your first try those dovetails turned out great.

-- Dan - Valparaiso, Indiana, "A smart man changes his mind, a fool never does."

View robert triplett's profile

robert triplett

1566 posts in 3613 days

#2 posted 05-09-2011 07:30 AM

Nice first box. It has some issues, but overall you did good! I like that you changed the design a bit and used a combination of woods.

-- Robert, so much inspiration here, and now time to work!!!

View prompt's profile


340 posts in 3102 days

#3 posted 05-09-2011 06:11 PM

Beautiful gift.

-- Elhan, Azerbaijan

View itsmic's profile


1419 posts in 3627 days

#4 posted 05-09-2011 06:17 PM

Nice first box, wonderful gift for Your Wife, much of woodworking has much to do with kindness, You are on the right track, thanks for sharing

-- It's Mic Keep working and sharing

View Brian S's profile

Brian S

108 posts in 3102 days

#5 posted 05-10-2011 12:44 AM

Thanks everybody for the kind words. It’s very encouraging to post such a simple project and get some feedback.

-- Brian

View devann's profile


2250 posts in 3201 days

#6 posted 05-16-2011 11:32 PM

Good job making the box. You picked a cool design and made it a wonderful little project. Your first dovetails look better than mine. I used mine to light a fire.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

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