More boxes????

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Project by SteveMI posted 05-02-2012 05:18 PM 2611 views 2 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

These are basic 6” square by 3” tall boxes with 45 degree corners. I used a dado blade on the sides to insert the top and bottoms. I cut the top off after the corner glue dried. Woods used for the sides are Walnut, Cherry and Maple. The lid insert and bottom are Ash. The overlays are Bloodwood and Maple.

The lid designs started from experiments with double bevel cutting with a scroll saw. That ended up in an inlay. After a couple of weak fit situations I decided to try an “overlay” style and it didn’t come out too badly at all. these particular boxes had the overlay cut on a CNC with 1/16” spiral bit. No real reason a scroll saw couldn’t be used. I’ll post the real inlay double bevel box later.

Finish is spray can semi-gloss lacquer and Briwax. I intend to use Polyacrylic water based on the next set with a HVLP gun.

The Celtic Heart and Dove use colored stone from Michaels craft store which was posted in another project on LJ.

Glue up of the corners done with the blue tape method and worked great. Just need to have good 45s.

The 45s were cut with an Incra 1000SE on the table saw with the sides vertical. That took quite a bit of attention to initial calibration and setup at first. Any vertical variation on the miter fence results in fire pit fuel.

Sides started with 1” thick stock and then I cut them down to 1/2” walls, but left the lid top at the full 1” for 5/8”. Think about a letter “L” when done. All the dado and cuts were done before cutting the board to segments to miter. I used Titebond III for the longer open time. An early prototype box caused me an issue using Gorilla where the glue was setting too quick for my full assembly of the sides.

After a lot of false starts with hinges I came to the conclusion that for this size box hinges looked oversize unless I used the 5mm barrel hinges. A friend suggested tabs to keep the lid oriented and just have a lift off lid. So, I used some 3/16” sticks and cut triangles on the scroll saw. It was another big learning curve on getting the tabs located for a decent fit.

Thanks for looking.

-- Being sawdust or first surface awe are dependent on the tool kerf

12 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118334 posts in 5074 days

#1 posted 05-02-2012 05:21 PM

Very nice boxes Steve,the tabs are a very cool idea.


View jeanmarc's profile


1899 posts in 5213 days

#2 posted 05-02-2012 05:22 PM

Great design.nice work

-- jeanmarc manosque france

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

4549 posts in 4058 days

#3 posted 05-02-2012 05:29 PM

You make wonderful boxes. Well Done


-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View Martyroc's profile


2712 posts in 3803 days

#4 posted 05-02-2012 10:45 PM

Nice boxes Steve, I’m partial to the heart box made of walnut, really nice contrast with the Maple & Bloodwood.

-- Martin ....always count the number of fingers you have before, and after using the saw.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 4187 days

#5 posted 05-03-2012 01:34 AM

Those are all nice. Can’t decide which I like best: the walnut heart box is beautiful but I raise doves so I really like the dove boxes. Honestly, I like em all!

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

View David Craig's profile

David Craig

2137 posts in 4605 days

#6 posted 05-03-2012 06:04 AM

Nice set of boxes Steve. With all the learning behind you, you can now concentrate on the production. My own personal fave is the Celtic heart. Overlay is a good idea to go with so many boxes. Have you experimented with inlay on the CNC also?

-- There is little that is simple when it comes to making a simple box.

View Boxguy's profile


2905 posts in 3764 days

#7 posted 05-03-2012 09:22 AM


This is good work. It looks to be commercially viable. The celtic heart is especially nice. I would consider making some boxes oblong and adding some kind of interior works for tea bags, or jewelry. Another market is a smaller square format for ring boxes. The rest of your work looks so nice, you might want to upgrade your veneered top if you can find a source of wood within your price point or switch to solid wood. It sounds like you are set up for production. There is also a growing market for urns for loved one’s and pet’s cremains and those don’t need hinges…just removable bottoms.

When assembling boxes, I have better luck applying a long strip of tape to outside of all four sides that have been lined up and sanded on the inside. I flip the taped-together sides over with the bevels up, then apply glue, set the top and bottom in the dado and roll the whole box up into a unit ready to band clamp. It goes fast. Tightbond Molding and Trim glue works well for me and doesn’t run. It does need spreading with an acid brush to bond well.

Thanks for sharing your methods of work with us.

-- Big Al in IN

View SteveMI's profile


1175 posts in 4791 days

#8 posted 05-03-2012 12:57 PM

gfadvm – I have a second dove standing up that I am working on. I’ll post picture when done for you.

David – Inlay isn’t that tough, but people I have shown the overlay to seem to really like the 3D feel of it better. Actually the scroll saw can produce tighter corners and details on inlay than the CNC in most cases.

Boxguy – I use that assembly technique (sure I read it on LJ) with exception that I use four sections of 2” tape rather than one long one. I have one oblong (6” x 10”)and one 8 sided frame cut. These will need me to overcome my fear of hinges. The 8 sided happened due to a knot in the center of board that made me either consider a real small square or the 8 sided, story to be continued.


-- Being sawdust or first surface awe are dependent on the tool kerf

View BillyJ's profile


622 posts in 4700 days

#9 posted 05-03-2012 02:15 PM

Great work. I like the design and execution. I agree with you – raised is better. Having done a couple, those who received them like the proud wood. However, to each their own. Again- very nice work!

-- I've never seen a tree that I wouldn't like to repurpose into a project. I love the smell of wood in the morning - it smells like victory.

View Ivan's profile


17331 posts in 4364 days

#10 posted 05-03-2012 03:41 PM

Very nice details on top.Very good looking boxes.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 5379 days

#11 posted 05-03-2012 04:47 PM

WooHoo. Nice.
I like the Celtic heart. The overlay looks great.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View BenDupre's profile


816 posts in 1985 days

#12 posted 05-29-2017 04:33 PM

Very nice boxes

-- The problem with communication is the illusion that it has occurred. – George Bernard Shaw

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