For BOXGUY - my box of mistakes

  • Advertise with us
Project by lumberjoe posted 07-25-2012 10:00 PM 2896 views 2 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

First off, Huge thanks to boxguy. He gave me so much good advice I feel like I owe him money. With that said, there are a lot of mistakes.

The vitals:
This is made from some really curly oak I had.
It’s 10”x12” and about 3” tall.
It is mitered and splined. The splines are spalted maple, although the “splating” just looks like defects
Every edge but the front (supposed to be the back) is rounded over.

Things I like:
1 The top! I think I did a great job matching up the grain on this beautiful wood
2 The finish. It came out great. Danish oil. the last 3 coats applied using 1000 grit wet sandpaper to seal off the pours in the oak a bit. There is also 3 coats of wax applied with steel wool and buffed out with lambs wool.
3 The overall dimensions and fit. The top is even to the sides and back

Thinks I don’t like:
1. I suck at miters. The corners are terrible
2. Poor choice for a spline wood. Next time I will use something darker or lighter
3. The hinges. I wanted to use barrel hinges, but because the miters are terrible, I didn’t feel like spending 15$ on hinges for this box.
4. I chopped the hinges on the front of the box, not the back. So now the back is the front. Also. I LOVE those wood river chisels. They impress me every time I use them.

I will use it to store my chisels.

This represents a lot of firsts for me:
First Mitered box
First ever attempt at splines (I posted the spline jig I made)
First rabbeted bottom
First time I assembled the whole box and cut the top off.

I’ve found my router came in really handy. I used a flush trim bit to even up the top after it glued. I also used to to trim down the splines after the glue set, and of course for the round over.

It was a good effort, but riddled with mistakes. I can’t wait to start on the next one though! My only regret was cutting into this curly oak. The good thing is there is plenty more at the Mill. Overall I can’t complain too much. This was pretty ambitious for me and I almost pulled it off


20 comments so far

View b2rtch's profile


4892 posts in 3561 days

#1 posted 07-25-2012 10:13 PM

Joe, do you know that there is limit on how many post you can post each day.
How many post did you post just today?
By the way, the box looks very nice.

-- Bert

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2761 days

#2 posted 07-26-2012 12:20 AM

Thanks Bert! I wasn’t aware of the limit. I am working my way up to your post count :)


View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 2921 days

#3 posted 07-26-2012 12:41 AM

Well…................I think you did a great job on this box. As for the miters….....practice, practice…that’s what has helped me a lot and also someone’s “saying” after their name here on LJ’s states…..treat each step of your project as if its the most important step and then when you finish, you will have a nice project. Again, I think you did a great job. Keep on keepin’ on.

And keep them posts coming! LOL Couldnt resist!

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

View Greenman's profile


25 posts in 3553 days

#4 posted 07-26-2012 12:44 AM

All your comments sound so familiar, the box looks beautiful.

As the creator you know what you were trying to achieve and the box didn’t quite meet the mark, but all of your comments show you have learned so many things that will make your future efforts better.

Others will admire your handy work and creativity.

-- Howard, South Australia

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2761 days

#5 posted 07-26-2012 12:44 AM

I’ve been making a lot of miters with scraps lately and am getting much better. Thanks for the tips. I agree that practice is key. Also my CMS is garbage. I have been practicing on the table saw a lot lately. My problem is keeping the piece from “jumping” slightly with the ATB ground blades first make contact and grab it. The guy at my local woodcraft gave me a good tip I am going to try – back my sacrificial fence on my miter gauge with sandpaper.


View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2761 days

#6 posted 07-26-2012 12:49 AM

Thanks Greenman. I had high hopes for this one, but should have dialed it back since almost everything I did was brand new territory for me. I’ve actually never even chopped a hinge mortise with a chisel until this box.


View Kookaburra's profile


748 posts in 2737 days

#7 posted 07-26-2012 12:49 AM

You are CERTAINLY your worst critic! The wood is beautiful and you really showed it off with that expansive box top.

I will agree about the splines – I am not sure I would ever use a piece of spalted wood for splines. It seems the splines are just to small to do the spalting justice. Something much darker or lighter would show off more. That said, all you have done is make them recede into the overall box – hardly such a crime when you have this lovely oak to show off!

Personally I would be proud of this box – the finish really makes the figuring stand out.

-- Kay - Just a girl who loves wood.

View CasinoDuck's profile


34 posts in 2645 days

#8 posted 07-26-2012 01:32 AM

I see nothing but an awesome box. Great job!

-- I have a fever, and the only perscription is, more COWBELL!

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2761 days

#9 posted 07-26-2012 01:46 AM

Thanks for all the compliments. In addition to using a better contrasting wood for splines, I think I am going to use a full kerf blade to cut them. I wish I could just use one blade from my dado stack, but the instructions say both end blades must be used at all times. Also if you notice there are splines in the lid – that was a mistake. I flipped the box in the wrong direction.


View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30442 posts in 2851 days

#10 posted 07-26-2012 02:31 AM

With your “mistakes” it still looks better than some of mine. Good job.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Dusty56's profile


11852 posts in 4201 days

#11 posted 07-26-2012 02:52 AM

That Curly Oak top is so sweet to look at !
I’m sure your chisels will be happy in their new home , Joe : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3821 days

#12 posted 07-26-2012 03:41 AM

I think you really did a very nice job…You have already listed what you like and do not like about this box. The best solution for me personally is to study how to enhance and expand all that you do like and correct and improve what you do not like. I always find it important to carefully study every tiny detail of what I make and write down my thoughts for the next project so I do not forget while it is fresh in my thoughts.

View Boxguy's profile


2857 posts in 2780 days

#13 posted 07-26-2012 04:58 AM

Joe, Thanks for the tip of the hat, but you did all the work. I think you did a fine job here and I really like the grain in the top. You tried a bunch of new things and there will be always be stuff you will feel you could do better on, but that is the way all of us feel.

I’ll bet there isn’t a person on this site who doesn’t look at the last box they made and say, “I can do better on the next one if I just change….” It looks to me like you have all of the basic techniques well in hand and everything from here on out will be much more familiar and more fun. But the learning curve is always with us.

Keep this box. It will be important to see it later. When I look at my first real box, I see most of the elements of what I am doing today. Your first real box is always a benchmark. All things considered, you should be quite proud of this and all you have learned while building it. That is one of the great things about building most boxes…you can always just build another one and you won’t have months of work invested. Keep boxing and keep posting. Thanks for sharing this part of your journey with us.

-- Big Al in IN

View lumberjoe's profile


2899 posts in 2761 days

#14 posted 07-26-2012 11:29 AM

Thanks Boxguy! As mistake riddled as it is, This is something I will see and use quite a bit since my chisels are going inside. Also when I look at the pictures, I really wish I had a band saw. That 3/4 top is just too thick.

Overall I am pretty excited about box making. This proves I can do it. As I mentioned before I was always afraid to attempt a lot of elements in this box – especially splines and the cut the top off method. I am pretty happy with the hinge install too. I’ve never successfully done middle hinges and I got the mortises chopped with only chisels and it lined up perfectly on the first shot.

On to the next one!


View Roger's profile


21011 posts in 3317 days

#15 posted 07-26-2012 12:05 PM

Mistakes…....... ??? that’s all just a part of this gr8 hobby. If you wouldn’t of pointed em out, some would never be noticed. Don’t beat yerself up

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

showing 1 through 15 of 20 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics