Ken's Christmas Kleenex Box (Boxguy)

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Project by Boxguy posted 12-03-2012 02:27 AM 3645 views 16 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Pictured is a Kleenex box cover (5 1/2 x 5 1/2 x 5 1/2) with a Striped Mahogany top and corner splines, and Ambrosia Maple sides. For the past few months my buddy Ken has been coming to the shop to learn more about making boxes. He made this Christmas gift, and did such a nice job that I thought I’d help him post his box on this site. Click on here and scroll down for construction details. Click here and scroll down for details about applying the finish to this box.

I can’t make money selling these because they take more time to make than patrons are willing to pay for a Kleenex box, but they are a great way to use up scrap and are a nice skill builder. It takes a board 5 1/2 inches wide, 1/2 inch thick and 23 inches long to make the sides and a piece about 6 inches square to make the top. You could still make one or two of these for Christmas gifts if you hustle. I usually make 5 or 6 of these just for fun and give them away as presents. Again, use this link and scroll down for construction.

Thanks: As always, Ken and I would like to thank you for looking and a special thanks to anyone who leaves a remark, question, or comment. I will post replies to all your comments so check back for my rejoinders and answers. Keep boxing and keep posting.

-- Big Al in IN

23 comments so far

View sedcokid's profile


2737 posts in 4207 days

#1 posted 12-03-2012 02:49 AM

As always your box is gorgeous, wood, finish and workmanship!

Thanks for sharing!!

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3912 days

#2 posted 12-03-2012 02:55 AM

what a beauty ken, i would be right proud to have a sneeze and a need for a tissue from a box this nice, maybe this will give me an idea for next years christmas gifts, good job in spreading the skills al…grizz

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View DocSavage45's profile


8882 posts in 3451 days

#3 posted 12-03-2012 03:04 AM

Maybe you need a different clirntele? These are quite elegant. Keen Lines… :-)

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View a1Jim's profile


117909 posts in 4186 days

#4 posted 12-03-2012 03:12 AM

View vonhagen's profile


547 posts in 2973 days

#5 posted 12-03-2012 03:45 AM

nice job and being cold season i think they would sell like hot cakes.

-- no matter what size job big or small do a job right or don't do it at all.

View MikeyLikesIt's profile


17 posts in 2620 days

#6 posted 12-03-2012 03:54 AM

Beautiful looking box!

View MontanaBob's profile


872 posts in 3292 days

#7 posted 12-03-2012 04:23 AM

Outstanding…I can’t believe they don’t sell….everyone should have one on their desk…or end table…night stand…(shoot now I’ve got to make some of these).....

View Gshepherd's profile


1727 posts in 2810 days

#8 posted 12-03-2012 05:21 AM

Big Al, strikes again….. Another fine job there Sir…...

-- What we do in life will Echo through Eternity........

View Boxguy's profile


2864 posts in 2876 days

#9 posted 12-03-2012 05:47 AM

Chuck, thanks. I was the mentor, but Ken did all the work on this.

Griz, thanks. Sneezing? Spreading germs is like spreading woodworking skills…both are contagious.

Doc, I can sell these for about $50 to $60 dollars, but by the time my gallery gets the cut they deserve there just isn’t enough money in the work.

Jim, Ken and I thank you.

Vonhagan, I get real pleasure from giving these to people who have done nice things for me during the year like my mechanic or my barber or my waitress etc.

Mikey, welcome to Lumberland and thanks.

Bob, make a bunch. They are not difficult and don’t need lids, hinges, or a bottom. Sort of like an earthworm.

Rev., on Ken’s behalf thanks. I liked your write-up on your uncle’s visit and the goblet and the flying $50. I would guess the reddish wood was from a Redwood burl. Keep turning and keep ducking.

-- Big Al in IN

View SebLolo's profile


65 posts in 2825 days

#10 posted 12-03-2012 10:46 AM

Beautiful box Big Al. As always! Thanks for sharing details of construction. Your 2 jig are very interresting! There’s a long time I want to do some kleenex box for my friends and family, and I’ll now have all the necessary informations to do some like yours.
Thanks !

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 3121 days

#11 posted 12-03-2012 12:46 PM

Big another out of the park, home run, what a beautiful box,

I noticed you mentioned about cost, wood and time making them not cost effective what if you did what I do and obtain your wood from the field instead of from the lumber yard, via chain saw? Also making them simpler as in a simpler beauty, perhaps leaving out the splines taking shortcuts.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View Boxguy's profile


2864 posts in 2876 days

#12 posted 12-03-2012 04:23 PM

Seb, these Kleenex holders are fun and do make nice presents. Always good to hear from the French contingent of Lumberland. Guess you will be having an interesting Christmas this year with your new little one.

Blackie, I truly applaud your cutting and drying your own wood. It gives a new dimension to the pride you take in what you do. I really enjoy seeing the work you do and look forward to every post you make on this site. As I have said before you have brought back and extended the reach of band saw boxes on this site.

As an answer to your question…I really don’t buy much wood. I trade for almost all of it. These were made from scraps. You are right, of course, there are ways to make these pay, but doing “factory work” where I crank out products doesn’t appeal to me.

When I was a kid I did factory work for U.S. Steel in the summers to earn money for college, and was very grateful for what they paid me so I could continue my education. It was a better job and payed more than working in the slaughter house (my high school job). I don’t want to slight anyone who does these jobs they are useful work and jobs that really need doing. However, while doing these jobs, I found that I wanted to do something else for a living. My career was in education and I enjoyed going to school every day. Teaching children was a good use of a life, and I was happy doing it.

Blackie, excuse me for this, but I am going to launch into a philosophical musing in the next paragraph. But it is also an answer to your question.

At age 65 I have discovered that life is short. I have passed the tipping point were you start counting down instead of up. I’ll be very lucky to have 10 to 15 more productive years in woodworking. Things go wrong with your body at this stage of life, and you move on. My time in the shop is play, and I thank God that I have this time and health to play and enjoy the company of my wife, family, and friends. My goal now is to make the best boxes I can for as long as I can and have fun doing it. Thanks for putting up with this rambling answer.

-- Big Al in IN

View DocSavage45's profile


8882 posts in 3451 days

#13 posted 12-03-2012 04:46 PM


You say it well.


Your materials are from nature, and not pre milled. I really learned a lot in studying the business of woodworking including marketing. It has helped me when I had to return to my avocation to survive. :-)

In business, and economics, time is a major cost factor. I often break down costs, materials, and my time which like Al is becoming more valuable as the bio clock tics away. LOL! People want me to repair simple items and I say I will if they will do some of the more basic tasks, Like stripping the piece if they want me to redo it. I then explain cost and materials.

I challenged AL on his market as maybe he might do better in one that has more cash, and would value his pieces at higher level. He is using a gallery.

A few years ago when I had delusions of being commercial, like Charles Neil, I asked him why he didn’t use the more common but well grained woods. He replied..”It takes the same time and labor, but the returns are higher, because the customer loves more exotic woods.”

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder? Value is in the belief that what I am paying for is unique?

You guys are pushing the creative envelope and surviving. I am envious! LOL!

Along with my day job, I am doing woodwork, but functional maintenance and carpentry and still hoping for time to create. Thanks to you guys I have learned the art of thinking box!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Surfside's profile


3389 posts in 2782 days

#14 posted 12-03-2012 08:11 PM

Gorgeous! Nice work on the wood and finish.

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View AjayO's profile


27 posts in 4079 days

#15 posted 12-03-2012 10:37 PM

Very functional and nicely done box! I am inspired to make some myself as gifts.

-- - Ajay

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