Two Boxes

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Project by lanwater posted 02-06-2014 07:09 AM 3972 views 19 times favorited 42 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was another exciting project I finished just in time for last Christmas.

I am sure some LJ’ers will recognize the design of Martyn (BritBoxmaker) .
His Blog on the construction is here:
Thanks Martyn!

I tried one box without the top crossing strings to see how it would look. My wife is certain I forgot the strings (she might be right…).

wood: Walnut and Maple and Cherry

finish: wipe on satin poly gel from General Finishes

dimensions: 3 3/8×3 3/8 x 2 3/4 , 1/4 thick (second box slightly smaller since it’s missing the strings)

I did lose some pictures, my SD card seem to have lost some memory cells :)


I printed Martyn’s blog and pretty much followed it with a couple small differences.

I used my long sled to slice the pieces diagonally. That was a mistake since the piece is not supported at the end of the cut as seen below:

I switched to my crosscut sled.
Since I am making 2 boxes, I Started by cutting the 4 squares , 2 each of walnut and maple. Sliced them diagonally, stacked them up securely with double sided carpet tape, affixed them to a 1/4 inch plywood square that served as a carrier.
I proceeded to cut 2 arcs. I also cut the cherry strings that will go between those as seen in the 4th picture in the collage below (not the same thickness as the blade kerf Steve) :)

I then build a jig that will help in the glue up out of plywood

The 8 resulting pieces (4 per box) were cut again to get back my 45 degree since things moved during glue up. The cherry strings were also trimmed as well.
The whole thing was re-glued again as seen in the fourth picture

The resulting 4 pieces were trimmed on more time and resawed

I screw up the grain match somewhere here when I flipped the pieces to get the layout in the top right below. I probably mixed the pieces from both boxes as well since I number both boxes pieces starting with “1” (:

I glued up those thin pieces by sandwiching them between the edge of the glue platform and nails; raised the pieces a tiny, drove the nails, applied glued and pushed down on the pieces.
That resulted in the clamping pressure needed. You can see the glue squeeze out in the bottom right picture.

I chickened out and did not glue all four pieces in one shot. Instead I glue each half first then the whole. I used a small piece of white plastic laminate scrap to keep them separate.

I saw this technique somewhere online a couple of years ago and used it here.

Once the glue dried up and the pieces sanded, I applied a couple of coats of wipe on poly.

I then proceeded to cut the V groove on the router table.

I used a box cutter to separate the 4 corners.

All folded and taped up.

View of the inside of the lid.

The bottom was cut out of salvaged wood from a pallet. I think it’s pine but I am really unsure. All I can say is it sands really easy and it’s very soft. At a quarter inch thick it breaks with little pressure. One broke on me.

After careful measurement of the box top inside, I used the same technique as above and we get the bottom.

With some light sanding of the sides, it fits pretty nice.

Cut the shallow grooves (1/16 deep) needed for the air to escape when you close the box, and the air to go in when the box is opened.

Added some mitered walnut pieces around the bottom and we get those 2 boxes.

If you feel it’s very confusing, you are not alone, I feel the same way.
I did not take any notes and I am writing this over a month later…
Luckily you can refer to the source, which is very well written, for build instructions :)

I had fun building those 2 boxes.
Despite all the mistakes I made they came out ok; that’s a tribute to the fool proof process/technique Martyn came up with.

Any questions or comments are welcomed.

Thanks for looking.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

42 comments so far

View mafe's profile


12609 posts in 3939 days

#1 posted 02-06-2014 10:33 AM

I think they came out fantastic!
Really a fine work and what a wonderful documentation, I feel like making one.
Wonderful boxes.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View clarkey's profile


468 posts in 3906 days

#2 posted 02-06-2014 10:59 AM

Not your ordinary box ,it looks great . You must have spent a fair amount of time to build it,good work.

View steve_in_ohio's profile


1195 posts in 2460 days

#3 posted 02-06-2014 11:18 AM

very cool looking boxes, awesome work

-- steve, simple and effective

View Jake's profile


850 posts in 2480 days

#4 posted 02-06-2014 11:28 AM

I need a router table and a bandsaw so badly… Awesome looking boxes!

-- Measure twice, cut once, cut again for good measure.

View RogerBean's profile


1605 posts in 3803 days

#5 posted 02-06-2014 12:16 PM

Nice work.

-- "Everybody makes mistakes. A craftsman always fixes them." (Monty Kennedy, "The Checkering and Carving of Gunstocks", 1952)

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3654 days

#6 posted 02-06-2014 12:34 PM

Nicely done.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View Maveric777's profile


2694 posts in 3926 days

#7 posted 02-06-2014 12:52 PM

Very handsome work!

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View plantek's profile


314 posts in 3649 days

#8 posted 02-06-2014 02:07 PM

Very nice…

-- If you want it and it's within reason... It's on it's way!

View Bobsboxes's profile


1447 posts in 3513 days

#9 posted 02-06-2014 02:43 PM

Very well done, great looking boxes.

-- Bob in Montana. Kindness is the Language the blind can see and deaf can hear. - Mark Twain

View shipwright's profile


8581 posts in 3647 days

#10 posted 02-06-2014 03:10 PM

Well done and well planned.
Martyn is a great resource here.
Congrats to you both.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View Philip's profile


1277 posts in 3388 days

#11 posted 02-06-2014 03:30 PM

Great looking Boxes! Hats off to Martyn for sharing his techniques.

-- I never finish anyth

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 3335 days

#12 posted 02-06-2014 04:08 PM

That’s some really exceptional work! Well done.

-- Brian Timmons -

View lanwater's profile


3113 posts in 3784 days

#13 posted 02-06-2014 05:20 PM

Mafe: Thanks for your kind words my friend.

clarkey: I had several project running at the same time for Christmas gifts so I did not keep track of time. I would say the most time consuming part is the glue up.

steveinohio: Thanks!

Jake: I hear you. The router table is indispensable in my opinion. I use my bandsaw the least in the shop. Thanks for the comment.

RogerBean: Thanks!

Roger: Did you change your avatar? Thanks!

Maveric777: Thanks You!

plantek: Thanks!

bugz: Thank you!

shipwright: You are a great resource as well. It always a learning experience to read your post. Thank you!

Philip: Thanks! I agree. Martyn does not hold anything back. I am sure he spends a great deal of time writing his blogs.

BTimmons: Thank you!

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3716 days

#14 posted 02-06-2014 05:22 PM

Very nice designs and fine work. Congratulations.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Diggerjacks's profile


2328 posts in 3988 days

#15 posted 02-06-2014 05:52 PM

Hello lanwater

Another very great project

You are a master

The design is very original and the realisation is very beautiful

Thanks a lot for the link and all the pictures ( also we can better appreciate the work )

Thanks a lot for sharing

-- Diggerjack-France ---The only limit is the limit of the mind and the mind has no limit

showing 1 through 15 of 42 comments

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