Dovetail Utensil Box

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Project by Tim Anderson posted 12-03-2013 03:42 PM 2683 views 6 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a dovetail box that I made for the purpose of holding utensils in my kitchen, such as large spoons, ladles, spatulas and the like. It was also to practice making hand-cut dovetails and finishing. The dovetails were all made with nothing more than a saw and chisels and a marking template I made as my first attempt at woodworking a few months back. I also made a tiny square to check them for square as I went. It’s not perfect, and I have some gaps and splitting on a couple of the joints, but all in all I’m happy with how it turned out as my first ‘real’ project (real in this case meaning ‘not a tool to be used to make other projects’).

The cross beams are just half-lapped together with square notches cut into the sides for them to rest in (again with a saw and chisels). It’s all held together by wood glue, and only wood glue. The bottom was actually made from two boards that I jointed by hand and glued together, then I glued the whole thing to the sides. I’m not too worried about wood expansion, as it’s only 8” long, but hopefully it doesn’t pop off at some point down the road. If it does, I could always dowel it into the base and hope that’d hold better.

I finished it with two coats of shellac that I mixed myself from flakes. It seems to have worked out well, despite a couple bumps I still need to sand off. This is also my first attempt at finishing a project. Sorry for the lack of progress photos. I didn’t have my phone on me while I was making most of this project. I’ll try to keep a better log on the next one. Lots of learning going on. Next stop: breadboard ended cutting board town.

-- -Tim, Salt Lake City, UT, USA

6 comments so far

View waho6o9's profile


9095 posts in 3857 days

#1 posted 12-03-2013 04:25 PM

A lot of fine joinery going on there Tim!

The chamfers on the edges of the top dividers
is a nice addition.

View albachippie's profile


773 posts in 4315 days

#2 posted 12-03-2013 04:38 PM

Nice work. Simple but elegant. Great job on those dovetails too. I really like this project,

-- Garry fae Bonnie Scotland

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 3572 days

#3 posted 12-03-2013 09:39 PM

Nice job and a heck of a lot better than the silly little baskets used at my house!

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View Sanding2day's profile


1018 posts in 3126 days

#4 posted 02-21-2014 06:47 PM

Awesome work Tim +1 to HillbillyS’s comment… Wood beats out plastic without doubt and great joinery used/finished product attained…

-- Dan

View b2rtch's profile


4921 posts in 4328 days

#5 posted 02-28-2014 01:27 PM

Very , very nice.
We have to meet one of these days

-- Bert

View Buckethead's profile


3196 posts in 3149 days

#6 posted 04-27-2014 07:10 PM

This is a nice project, Tim. Useful, and clean work. Good design as well! Original, but not strange. Well done.

-- Support woodworking hand models. Buy me a sawstop.

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