Weekend Box That Almost Wasn't

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Project by CharlieM1958 posted 05-27-2013 05:59 PM 2152 views 7 times favorited 28 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I guess I’m finally getting the hang of this style box, since I was able to turn this one out from start to finish in 3-4 hours labor between Saturday and Sunday.

The primary wood is spalted beech, and the trim is bubinga. I didn’t originally intend to bevel the very bottom of the box, but I had some tearout on the final trimming of the bubinga bottom, and the bevel seemed like the best way to deal with it. The finish is BLO, buffed out on my three-wheel system.

Now for the confession: In some sort of weird brain malfunction that I still do not comprehend, I cut and glued up the four sides of the box, only to realize that something didn’t look quite right when I took off the clamps. I got out my combo square and my scale, and sure enough I had somehow managed to cut one of the short sides of the box about 1/8” longer than the other. Considering the short sides are only 4.5 inches, that’s fairly significant. I debated taking it apart and starting over, but then I figured since the beech was fairly soft, I’d take a shot at sanding the box into square.

Squaring up the box on the belt sander turned out to be pretty easy. Of course that still leaves the inside of the box out of square, but it’s really not noticeable. And I’m calling it a design feature because it assures the lid can only be put on the correct way. Turn it 180 degrees and the keeper is not going to fit into the box.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

28 comments so far

View patron's profile


13648 posts in 3737 days

#1 posted 05-27-2013 06:05 PM

win some
fix some

either way

nice box

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View JL7's profile


8738 posts in 3361 days

#2 posted 05-27-2013 06:39 PM

I like it Charlie…...square or not, gives it some character…

-- Jeff .... Minnesota, USA

View SPalm's profile


5333 posts in 4278 days

#3 posted 05-27-2013 06:50 PM

Looks nice Charlie.
Boy, that kind of mitered corner bead will show any misalignment. You handled it well.
Nice recovery.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View CharlieM1958's profile


16283 posts in 4614 days

#4 posted 05-27-2013 07:04 PM


Steve, the key was to square the box before doing the corner beading. That way, the beading actually disguises the fact that the box has been squared up on a sander.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3704 days

#5 posted 05-27-2013 07:36 PM

Awesome looking box Charlie…the woos combo works well together and you did an excellent job of saving the mistake.

View RibsBrisket4me's profile


1554 posts in 2901 days

#6 posted 05-27-2013 07:53 PM

really nice!

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 2908 days

#7 posted 05-27-2013 08:06 PM

Nice box Charlie and glad to see you overcame your mistake, I wasn’t so lucky, I was doing a jewelry box with a necklace holder measuring 7” wide x 5” deep x 14” high, it was one of my bandsaw wraps, the inner core was alder, the front and back were bubinga and the sides were purple heart (butt joined) well when all sides were glued and dried I had some edge overhang that needed to be sanded down well instead of doing it the right way by sanding it, I thought I could cheat by way of taking it off with a straight edge router bit with a bearing, ah boy was I wrong it took a good size chunk out out, not repairable so I had to scrap the whole project, am now starting over, what a waste of good wood but a learning experience.

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

View Karson's profile


35188 posts in 4796 days

#8 posted 05-27-2013 08:15 PM

That’s what happens when you try to set a speed record. :>}

Nice recovery Charlie.

We were having a fingerjoint class at our Woodworking club. I had a piece of Cherry that had been split into two 3/8” slices. But, the piece was tapered 2 1/2 at one end and 2” at the other. So I cut the wood so that all corners would match and then I cut 2 less fingers on the short end. I got the box all together. It was a challenge but all 4 corners are a different height but the lid sits on perfectly.

Learning new skills will really help you when you screw up something really important.

But it would have been a shame to loose that spalted beech.

Great box.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View degoose's profile


7255 posts in 3750 days

#9 posted 05-27-2013 08:25 PM

Like the corners…love the spalting

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View CharlieM1958's profile


16283 posts in 4614 days

#10 posted 05-27-2013 09:13 PM

Yeah, Blackie, Karson’s right… every time you try to cut corners it ends up biting you in the butt.

I’m still not sure how I mis-cut those sides. I always cut the first side according to the measurement I want, then I cut the opposing side using the first piece as a template. When I finish mitering the second side, I place the two sides together to check that they are identical in length. It’s a pretty foolproof system normally. The only thing I can see is that two things went wrong: I didn’t line up the cut correctly on the second side, and my eyes were playing tricks on me when I held them next to each other to check the lengths.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View CanadianWoodChuck's profile


402 posts in 4309 days

#11 posted 05-27-2013 09:37 PM

Still looks great – nicely done

-- Wood Chuck (Bruce)

View jeffswildwood's profile


3926 posts in 2373 days

#12 posted 05-27-2013 11:58 PM

That box is beautiful. I do see anything wrong with it. I found that if you never make mistakes, you never learn how to fix them.

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 3086 days

#13 posted 05-28-2013 12:40 AM

Beautiful spalted beech and very cool corner treatment. Not sure that I would have “fessed up” to the measuring error. Stop blocks are my friend!

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

View amagineer's profile


1415 posts in 2993 days

#14 posted 05-28-2013 01:26 AM

We all make mistakes, Charlie, that is what makes life interesting. The spalted Beech is great. I like the Bubinga corners.

-- Flaws are only in the eye of the artisan!

View NormG's profile


6435 posts in 3400 days

#15 posted 05-28-2013 01:32 AM

We wold have never known. Great box, love the corner details

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

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