A box for my boss

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Project by tsdahc posted 04-21-2012 01:02 PM 1587 views 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made this for my boss who is having a baby. This is my second box (not including my bandsaw box) that I’ve made and the first to use hinges. Learned a lot on this one, made a few mistakes but was able to recover from them. The top piece is curly cherry with about 2 coats of tung oil and 7 coats of gloss wipe on poly, tried to make it shine more than the rest of the box. The rest of the top is picture framed in walnut then dado into the sides which are made of sapele (sp). The bottom is a single piece of 1/4” walnut I left room for expansion, hoping it doesnt bust the box apart. The splines are walnut and maple. The rest of the box is done in two coats of tung oil and 2-3 coats of wipe on poly, then the whole box was waxed and polished. I used Soss barrel hinges which work well but they dont make the lid feel as solid as I’d liked, theres a little play in the hinge itself, maybe I should have went up one size, I dont know. I dont know if the next size up, bh104 would have been too big, my sides are about 5/8. Overall I am happy with it, she was exstatic about it, which is whats important.

Anyone think that the bottom piece will be an issue? I also left room on the cherry, a little too much room, had to make little walnut inserts for the inside of the lid to hide a gap in it, oops.

10 comments so far

View Woodbridge's profile


3691 posts in 2896 days

#1 posted 04-21-2012 01:39 PM

I think your box looks great.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3786 days

#2 posted 04-21-2012 02:38 PM

Your box came out really nice and I know your boss will like it. If your dado for the bottom is not to tight and you left a little room for expansion you should be ok since it is not a huge piece of wood that will expand. I always make the bottom insert about a 1/16 smaller all around and cut and fit a piece of wide rubberband in the dado to keep out bottom movement and eliminate and possible rattle. Spaceballs are usually too big for small boxes.

View robert triplett's profile

robert triplett

1566 posts in 3583 days

#3 posted 04-21-2012 03:25 PM

A great second box. you did a lot with this build. I use solid wood in all of my boxes. as Greg said, there shouldn’t be too much expansion is a box. I leave a little room and put a drop of glue in the center of each groove. His rubber band trick sounds like a good approach too. Good match of woods.

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

View doncutlip's profile


2832 posts in 4034 days

#4 posted 04-21-2012 04:30 PM

That is a very nice box

-- Don, Royersford, PA

View Boxguy's profile


2846 posts in 2745 days

#5 posted 04-22-2012 12:36 AM

What a thoughtful gift. This is nice work. The variation in spline size adds interest. The multi-piece top is a lot of work, but looks good. Like you, I still find that I am learning something new with nearly every box. This sure looks a lot better than my early work.

I sometimes glue in just one of the four sides of the top. Splined boxes are very stable and the sides don’t move too much. I have been using veneered Masonite for my bottoms. It is extremely stable and works well. For stability a continuous hinge is hard to beat. I cut down piano hinges to fit the box I am making and mortise them in with a router.

Keep boxing and thanks for sharing.

-- Big Al in IN

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3168 days

#6 posted 04-22-2012 01:11 AM

A beautiful gift box with an exceptionally fancy top. Good comments regarding the solid bottom. I’ve wanted to do this but have been afraid to. How thick is that walnut piece in the bottom? I also like Greg’s rubber band trick. I hate how those loose bottoms buzz when you’re sanding the box!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View cplant's profile


226 posts in 3042 days

#7 posted 04-22-2012 03:01 AM

beautiful work

-- "...if america is any indication, i was born into one great big vacation...." RMB

View doordude's profile


1085 posts in 3461 days

#8 posted 04-22-2012 04:23 AM

nice looking box. hope your boss likes it.

View tsdahc's profile


109 posts in 2829 days

#9 posted 04-22-2012 10:58 AM

Thank you all for the good comments. The top was a bit more work than my previous top (still need to post that box) but I think well worth it.

gfadvm, the bottom was 1/4 inch thick. I resawed it from some 8/4 and planed it down to its final thickness. I only glued one end of the panel so it would be able to move, left about 1/16th on all three sides. The top is glued in two parts. I wasnt as concerned with movement as much on the picture framed piece as I was the solid panels.

One of the major things I learned from this was never set the sides of the box up like dominos. I had starded sanding all the pieces and was setting them on their ends as I finished. Low and behold a mouse trap event unfolded and all 4 sides of the box fell over and onto my concrete floor. It damaged every single one. If you can call any part of that mishap lucky, it was that it damaged most of the parts where the top was going to insert. I had to go and cut about a 1/2 inch off and re dado the sides for the box. All in all I lost about an inch from the height of the box. It also set me back a day since I had to re finish some pieces etc etc. I only get about an hour a day to work on stuff so. But in the end it all came together.

View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3344 days

#10 posted 04-22-2012 11:23 AM

It’s a beautiful box. I’m sure that your boss will love it.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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