Boxguy Goes With Camo!

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Project by Boxguy posted 11-27-2013 07:29 AM 8246 views 41 times favorited 32 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Thanks, to all who take time to look at projects. I always enjoy reading and replying to questions and comments from you out there in Lumberland. I will respond to all who “have your say” in the next 24 hours. So check back for feedback. Please note that there is a list of tutorials on specific techniques at the end of this posting.

Pictured is a (6 x 11 x 6) jewelry keeper made of Ambrosia Maple with Ebony corner splines and using Venetian blind slats for dividers. Fellow Lumberjock, Maplerock (Jerry), made a box like this and I really liked how it looked. He was kind enough to give me a board of his Ambrosia Maple and I made one too. It has amazing colors. Though it doesn’t show well in the photographs, this box even has a green similar to that used in camo clothing. All the techniques used to build this box are detailed in the notes at the end of this posting.


Focus: Using a 3/4 inch or so roundover bit to round the corners of a box really helps accentuate the grain as it runs around the box; however, for the grain to match at the corners you need to cut the four side boards to length first…and then undercut the 45 degree angles second. After routing I then use 80 grit sandpaper to remove any glue residue, burn marks, and chipped wood. With this 80 grit and a random orbital sander I can sculpt a more gentle curve at the corners. Rounded corner also can take a beating better than sharp corners. They don’t chip and dent like sharp corners do.

Above is another example of matched and rounded corners.

This picture shows the same rounding technique applied to both the top and the corners. Be aware that I have been accused of making my boxes look like used bars of soap.

Keep boxing and keep posting.

Tutorials: For methods used to make boxes like those pictured above just click on the blue links below. They are arranged by topic.

Combining Wood Colors:
Jig for 45ing corners:
Routers and Rounding edges
Organizing a glue-up table:
$5 band clamps:
Adding splines to a box:
Making a jig to cut spline slots:
Measuring for spline slot cuts:
Making splines with a simple jig:
Installing an attached top: like that pictured above.
Cutting off the box top and sizing piano hinges
Adding finger indents:
Mortising and installing hinges:
Tips on making trays: for inside boxes:
Finishing tips:
Swapping Wood By Mail:

-- Big Al in IN

32 comments so far

View robscastle's profile


8346 posts in 3535 days

#1 posted 11-27-2013 08:06 AM

Nice looking box

I think the correct term is going Commando and I didn’t really want to know anyway.

There is a historical tradition associated with the term.

Other wise Nice Box! and I will check out your tutorials !!

-- Regards Rob

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30659 posts in 3669 days

#2 posted 11-27-2013 08:33 AM

Beautiful wood, awesome build

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Boxguy's profile


2905 posts in 3598 days

#3 posted 11-27-2013 10:03 AM


Robert, thanks for the correction. Of course, you are right. I have edited the post as a result of your observation. I appreciate the help. It is what I get for working too late. Hope the tutorials are a help.

Monte, you are up late. Thanks for the nice words.

-- Big Al in IN

View Tom Godfrey's profile

Tom Godfrey

488 posts in 3506 days

#4 posted 11-27-2013 10:13 AM

Great box as always and really appreciate all the detail information with all your post. I have learned a lot from you and trying to follow in your footsteps. Not at the point where I feel like I can post my boxes yet but I have a couple that I have been working on.
Nice to see you posting again, seems its been a long time since your last post.
Hope you and your family has a great holiday season.

-- Tom Godfrey Landrum South Carolina ([email protected])

View aussiedave's profile


3114 posts in 3155 days

#5 posted 11-27-2013 10:51 AM

As always another excellent box and really beautiful wood and finish. I always look forward to seeing your next creation, you are a Master of your craft.

-- Dave.......If at first you don’t succeed redefine success....

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14193 posts in 5313 days

#6 posted 11-27-2013 11:04 AM

one of my favorites. sweet

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View robscastle's profile


8346 posts in 3535 days

#7 posted 11-27-2013 11:52 AM

Good work there “Big Al”

Makes sense now with a tag like that I would be going Commando too!!

I wanted to see a tutorial on the curving of the box edges, I couldn’t find one ?

-- Regards Rob

View Dave Haynes's profile

Dave Haynes

203 posts in 4684 days

#8 posted 11-27-2013 12:38 PM

Excellent!! My wife threw away some wooden slat type blinds last year and I confiscated them and put them under my workbench. I thought that I could make box inserts with them but never did. You have now inspired me with your latest box. Great job!

-- Dave Haynes, Indiana,

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4197 days

#9 posted 11-27-2013 01:08 PM

This is a wonderful box made of beautiful wood and nicely done. You are very talented and thanks for the tutorials.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View R_Stad's profile


451 posts in 3174 days

#10 posted 11-27-2013 01:53 PM

Another beauty Al. Thanks again for your generous sharing of knowledge, tricks, and tips.

-- Rod - Oregon

View doubleDD's profile (online now)


10909 posts in 3374 days

#11 posted 11-27-2013 02:31 PM

Al, the box is beautiful and the ambrosia is highlighted by your great finish. The tray is also a perfect fitted match. Very talented.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Boxguy's profile


2905 posts in 3598 days

#12 posted 11-27-2013 03:39 PM


Tom, thanks for the kind words. I have a tendency to make a bunch of boxes, put just one coat of finish on them, and then start working on another box. I am caught up (almost) now. I liked your keepsake box. Happy turkey day to you and yours.

Aussie Dave, thanks for the high praise. Your doll display case is really elaborate. Thanks for sharing that.

Dan’um, have you considered that some of the tiles and copper plates you have so beautifully framed would also make great tops for boxes? I really like what you do. Thanks for the comment.

Rob, I have added a tutorial to the list at the bottom of the posting thanks to your comment. You can see some of the equipment I use and some more information about rounding corners at this site.

Dave, I use recycled slats from the Habitat Restore. The dividers are half lapped and glued. I use a Forrester #2 grind 1/8 inch blade to cut the slots. It gives a nice tight fit. You must have the dividers intersect at least two places so they don’t float around. My customers prefer an asymmetrical grid because it lends itself to different pieces of jewelry.

Charles, that is an impressive array of hand tools your link displayed. You might want to add “box” to your list of beginner projects. Thanks for the nice comment.

Rod and Dave, thanks for the nice observations and comments. I’ll say more to you when I get back from my Pre-Thanksgiving haircut.

-- Big Al in IN

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 4639 days

#13 posted 11-27-2013 03:45 PM

Hello Al…that is a really great looking box and the Ambrosia Maple really has a distinctive grain that further enhances your excellent work. Have fun in your shop and I hope you do well in the Turkey Eating Competition tomorrow….I am planning to take first place…

View Dave777's profile


303 posts in 5400 days

#14 posted 11-27-2013 03:46 PM

Really like the overall look of this box and as always enjoy the tips . Gaining experience even when I can not get to the shop by reading your posts. I need to find a way to put some of your tips to good use. Thanks for taking the time to share your talent.

-- the stone rejected by the builders will become the capstone

View jumbojack's profile


1691 posts in 3955 days

#15 posted 11-27-2013 04:36 PM

Very nice Al. I dont see your signature chain stay on this one. I am pleased to see you posting again.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

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