Eleven Grooved Box

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Project by wb8nbs posted 04-19-2013 11:54 PM 2880 views 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I own a Stanley 45 Combination plane. Two of them actually (long story). About a year ago the Dupage Woodworkers club started a small SIG of people who owned these tools. We met a few times, had a good time, and explored the tool but nobody could think of a real project.

I found one. Last fall, Roy Underhill in season 32 of “The Woodwright’s Shop” had an episode titled “The Eleven Grooved Box” in which he uses THREE Stanley 45s. You can view this at the PBS web site. This March, I set out to duplicate his project as best I could. The first two photos here are the final box in Red Oak. The third picture shows the Oak box along with four others I made while learning how to work the Stanley correctly.

The box design uses 45 degree miters at each corner with a cross grain spline inserted to add strength. Roy said cutting those spline slots in the end grain was the part that gave his students the most trouble. He was right. A millisecond of inattention and the slot is shredded.

So I did what any self respecting woodworker would do…. I made a jig. I’m sure Roy wouldn’t mind. Looking at the geometry of the problem, I realized the fault occurs when you let the plane roll to the left. The jig in the fourth photo rigidly constrains the bottom of the plane fence as well as the face of the fence. In the fifth photo you can see how the fence sits on top of the back stop. Sixth photo is one of the spline grooves cut with the jig.

More on the jig at “this wordpress page”:

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

5 comments so far

View SteveMI's profile


1175 posts in 4748 days

#1 posted 04-20-2013 01:45 AM

I have to admit there are a number of tools in my shop that were obtained just because they were cool and I thought there would be a day I’d do something with them. That 45 wouldn’t meet that standard.

On the other hand, it would be way, way, way cool to have in a display case.


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

View SuburbanDon's profile


487 posts in 4447 days

#2 posted 04-21-2013 02:27 AM

Very nice.

-- --- Measure twice, mis-cut, start over, repeat ---

View wb8nbs's profile


164 posts in 4146 days

#3 posted 11-10-2013 11:24 PM

I’ve finished a blog on making one of these eleven grooved boxes.

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

View Tim's profile


3859 posts in 3415 days

#4 posted 12-19-2013 12:45 AM

Nice job on the box. Maybe the old timers that did this stuff every day all their working lives were so good they didn’t need a jig, but that jig is pretty clever. The blog is pretty detailed too, thanks for posting that.

View wb8nbs's profile


164 posts in 4146 days

#5 posted 12-20-2013 01:04 AM

Thanks Tim. The main reason I made that blog was so that next spring when my garage thaws out enough to work, I can remember how I did the boxes.

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

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