Dovetail Greasebox

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Project by BillyD posted 01-01-2012 05:26 AM 3259 views 9 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So here are my entries for the GBOC.

A little backstory: I originally saw the grease box on Roy Underhill’s show about two years ago. Being a beginner woodworker (although I’m not sure sporadically doing some woodwork every 4+ months qualifies as being a woodworker), I thought it’d be a great project to try. I was discouraged after realizing I couldn’t saw a straight line by hand and never finished this small project.

So fast forward to a little under a year ago – I bought a decent backsaw and after seeing the Frank Klausz DVD about tool sharpening, I realized the importance of tuning a handsaw. I decided to try the grease box again and boy, did the new backsaw and tuning make a difference.

Along with the Frank Klausz DVD and Roy Underhill, I got a lot of inspiration, tips, and how-to instructions from Kari Hultman’s blog, The Village Carpenter (, and the numerous examples here on LJ (specifically, Mafe’s blogs on it). Thanks all!

The 3 I’m showing – I only know the one on the lower right is cherry but the other two are scrap wood that I was given. The purple and lighter colored dovetails I made from the wood of one of my used skateboards.

Finished with poly wipe and mineral oil.

Thanks for looking.

11 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118155 posts in 4553 days

#1 posted 01-01-2012 05:29 AM

Nice work Billy very nice look grease boxes.


View Max's profile


56000 posts in 5249 days

#2 posted 01-01-2012 05:50 AM

They all turned out great…

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

View MasterSergeant's profile


1441 posts in 3664 days

#3 posted 01-01-2012 03:02 PM

I like how they turned out, great work!

-- Kelly, woodworker under construction

View woodworm's profile


14477 posts in 4567 days

#4 posted 01-01-2012 03:12 PM

Very nice work.
But the two part cap does make me wonder if it has to do with unlocking-open function.
I am interested to know further (plan or simple drawing will do).
thanks for sharing.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View kiefer's profile


5812 posts in 3643 days

#5 posted 01-01-2012 06:24 PM

Nice design and build !


-- Kiefer

View Bertha's profile


13588 posts in 3669 days

#6 posted 01-01-2012 07:25 PM

Really attractive!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View Northwest29's profile


1706 posts in 3466 days

#7 posted 01-02-2012 12:23 AM

Very nice design. I too would like to know the purpose of the very top lid.


-- Ron, "Curiosity is a terrible thing to waste."

View Schwieb's profile


1914 posts in 4438 days

#8 posted 01-02-2012 02:00 AM

The GBOC is growing. Nice entry. I cherish the ones I made and some became gifts to friends.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View wb8nbs's profile


164 posts in 3669 days

#9 posted 01-02-2012 04:36 AM

-- The only difference between men and boys is the price of their toys.

View BillyD's profile


12 posts in 3368 days

#10 posted 01-02-2012 07:18 AM

Thanks for the comments, everyone.

Ron and Masrol – the link to the Roy Underhill video that wb8nbs posted will best show you the purpose for the 2 lids.

But here goes my attempt to explain: The bottom lid slides back from the top half of the dovetail key, so you can swing it open. In order for it to slide back, there is a slotted hole on the 2nd lid where the screw is. The top lid does not have a slotted hole there, just a simple drilled hole. So the top lid keeps the bottom lid locked into place, preventing it from sliding off the dovetail, until you swing it (the top lid) open.

Hope that helps.

View Northwest29's profile


1706 posts in 3466 days

#11 posted 01-03-2012 09:10 PM

Thanks BillyD, now I understand.


-- Ron, "Curiosity is a terrible thing to waste."

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