Boxguy Embraces Diversity

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Project by Boxguy posted 05-19-2013 05:53 AM 3698 views 11 times favorited 45 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Pictured: A 12×5 x 5 inch tea box for 40 bags, or a card box for 8 decks, or a plain box with this unit removed. This box can be all the above. Hence the title about embracing diversity.

A foil wrapped teabag and a standard deck of cards have the same height and width dimensions. So, I thought I would design a box to sell that could be diverse and do both jobs. It should sell to two different markets…tea drinkers or card players. The Venetian blind dividers lift out as a unit for cleaning, or if you just want a plain box.

Woods: The top of the box is American Walnut with a Honduran Mahogany strip sandwiched between two strips of Hard Maple. (Another time I’ll go through this process, but the hints are to start with a thick board and resaw it after the glue dries.)

The corner splines are sucupira, and the sides are quarter-sawn White Oak.

Focus: The 8 Venetian blind dividers are held in place by an insert that looks like this (above). In this post I would like to look at a jig designed to make this insert.

Here you can see the basics of the jig. It is made like a standard jig for box joints. You cut the first slot, put that cut slot over the extended (piece of blind) peg in the jig, and then cut the next slot. Notice the jig rides on two rails, but also rubs along the fence to take virtually all of the play out of the movement. There is also a stop fastened to the fence so you don’t cut too far forward and endanger your hand or cut the jig in two. For safety the blade is buried in the 2×4 piece with a cap on it so you are not in any danger of cutting your hand as the blade travels through the jig’s fence. The protruding placement peg is on a separate piece (walnut) of wood to help adjust it easily…then it is screwed to the jig fence when the projecting peg is in the right position.

This view shows that I have written the directions for using the jig and the dimensions for the box build on the jig itself. That way if I build more of these next year I’ll know just what to do.

Since my blade is 1/8 inch thick and Venetian blinds are 1/8 inches thick, I get a nice tight fit for the dividers in the insert.

The finished product looks like this.

Thanks: As always thanks for looking, and a special thanks to all who take the extra time to make comments or ask questions. I do respond to all your comments and question made within 24 hours of posting so check back for answers and responses. Keep boxing and keep posting.

-- Big Al in IN

45 comments so far

View cathyb's profile


843 posts in 4055 days

#1 posted 05-19-2013 06:18 AM

Pretty cool. I like that tray.

-- cathyb, Hawaii,

View mariva57's profile


666 posts in 2815 days

#2 posted 05-19-2013 06:23 AM

Box with esteemed workmanship. Compliments.

-- The common man thinks. The wise man is silent. The stupid man discusses.

View Boxguy's profile


2879 posts in 3078 days

#3 posted 05-19-2013 06:32 AM


Cathy, thanks. I think of it more as an insert since some other boxes feature a true tray. I am looking forward to your posts on your “scraps” project.

Mariva, thanks. Always glad to hear from the Italian contingent of Lumberland. I especially liked your hexangular box.

-- Big Al in IN

View DocSavage45's profile


9009 posts in 3653 days

#4 posted 05-19-2013 08:50 AM

You get better with each project!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Hawaiilad's profile


3374 posts in 3832 days

#5 posted 05-19-2013 08:54 AM

Allot of Love put into making that box Al. Very nice

-- Larry in Hawaii,

View sedcokid's profile


2737 posts in 4409 days

#6 posted 05-19-2013 09:09 AM

Al, another beautiful box. Great workmanship as well! My question is where do you find Venetian blinds for your dividers?

Thanks for sharing

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View Boxguy's profile


2879 posts in 3078 days

#7 posted 05-19-2013 09:36 AM


Doc, always good to hear from you, thanks. I do keep trying; however, “Not every day is fit for verse.”

Larry, these were fun to make. The major problem was figuring out the exact dimensions so the design worked. I like your work with Koa. It is such a beautiful wood.

Chuck, Thanks. You asked, where do I get Venetian blinds? It takes some looking because most of them are now made of plastic. My best sources are the Habitat Restore, Salvation Army stores, and consignment stores that specialize in areas of surplus materials for contractors. If you can catch them remodeling a restaurant…that is a great source too. Sometimes Home Depot will have a sales table of wooden blinds they have miscut. Two or three blinds of different colors will last me for years. Spending time looking sure beats planing, sanding, and finishing them from scratch.

-- Big Al in IN

View deon's profile


2522 posts in 3837 days

#8 posted 05-19-2013 09:54 AM

great work!

-- Dreaming patterns

View Tim's profile


273 posts in 2669 days

#9 posted 05-19-2013 10:00 AM

Awesome idea. Great job.

-- No tree was harmed in the making of this project...... wait a minute, yes there was, uh oh

View ellen35's profile


2749 posts in 4243 days

#10 posted 05-19-2013 10:35 AM

Very nice work. I love the top and the size is interesting.
I’d be most interested in seeing how you made this… is there maybe a tutorial in your future?

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View Danal's profile


88 posts in 3037 days

#11 posted 05-19-2013 11:21 AM

Very nice. Wanting to add an element to some keepsake boxes and I really like the banding. Thanks for the inspiration.

-- Dan

View pmelchman's profile


85 posts in 3965 days

#12 posted 05-19-2013 11:28 AM

a great example of fine workmanship!!!!


-- Patrick

View RoyN's profile


4 posts in 2685 days

#13 posted 05-19-2013 11:28 AM

This is a beautiful box. The top seems to be glued tightly to the frame. What about wood movement?

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 3323 days

#14 posted 05-19-2013 11:29 AM

Very… Very nice big Al and I do look forward to knowing how the inlays work, I’ve been wanting to Dab into this thanks for taking us on your journey and sharing.

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

View TimWood's profile


196 posts in 3053 days

#15 posted 05-19-2013 12:08 PM

Al….been missing you bud. Nice project. I like the contrasting woods – light and dark. My wife and I play dominoes with some friends. Dominoes come in a tin. A box like yours would be nice.
“The corner splines are sucupira”.....picture Gomer Pyle looking at Sargent Carter with that blank look.
Me and Gomer ask – “Say whut?” .......I’ve never heard of that.
Like Blackie said…...tell us about the top of the box and that ‘sandwich’. :) Thanks for the inspiration!

-- Tim Harrelson

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