by our very own "Donna Menke"

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Review by MsDebbieP posted 05-06-2010 11:19 AM 3336 views 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
by our very own "Donna Menke" No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

May, 2010
this review is from the May, 2010 issue of our eMag

The Ultimate Band Saw Book by our very own Donna Menke

As always I am as fascinated by the author’s story as I am the book itself. Reading about Donna having the balance of a mother’s push to try new things along with a father’s guidance at doing a job well, to using art, math, and engineering skills to create the plans for the band saw boxes, well, I was hooked from the start! I knew the book was going to be amazing.

Why a bandsaw box? Donna states in her book: “they don’t require a shop full of expensive tools; they have unlimited design potential and they are easy to make”. Three very good reasons to give band saw boxes a try.

Before getting started on the projects, the reader gets a look around the tools that will be used. Several pages, with many accompanying photos, show the woodworker all about the band saw components, blades, set-up information, and basic “how to” strategies.

Perhaps my favourite section is that of “Design Considerations”. Personally, I get bored at repeating projects so I imagine that after I try the boxes included in this book that I will be returning to the design section to guide me through future creations. This is a real asset to this book.

Unlike many project books, Donna’s book is filled with pages of tips and construction information. I would say that about one third of the book is about the “how to” information, walking you through everything you would need to know to build a band saw box. The twenty-two projects (I think that is how many there are) also come with a variety of photos, sketches, and step-by-step directions.

I am very impressed with the book and although I haven’t found the time and a little bit of courage to make that first box it it definitely on my list for projects to be made this year. How can I go wrong? Donna has provided everything I could possibly need to know.

Overall impression: two thumbs up!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

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5 comments so far

View ellen35's profile


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#1 posted 05-06-2010 12:39 PM

Agreed… excellent book… very inspirational (in the woodworking sense).

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

View CreekWoodworker's profile


409 posts in 4107 days

#2 posted 05-06-2010 01:48 PM

I also have the same book. Bandsaw boxes are a lot of fun to make. I got the courage to try it with some oak scrapes I glued up. I figured once I was done I would throw it away and start one for keeps. But the box turned out so nice my wife has it sitting on her dresser.

What I’ve found about bandsaw boxes is mistakes are easy to recover from. If you go off your line just slowly bring it back on… keep the cut smooth… don’t go back and re-cut on the line (unless its the outside of the box). Only sand the inside of the box cavity lightly so the drawer will fit tighter… on that topic have a lot of sand paper. Bandsaw boxes do require a lot of sanding. When you think you have sanded the outside enough then sand it more. The finish will bring out any bandsaw marks.

About the only way I think you can go wrong (besides ignoring bandsaw safety) is to forget to cut out the back before cutting out the drawer core or forgetting to cut the front and back of the drawer off before cutting out the drawer cavity.

Jump in they really are fun!

-- Mike ...Success is often the result of taking a misstep in the right direction

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#3 posted 05-06-2010 03:30 PM

Just have a go at it Debbie. You’ve nothing to lose and everthing to gain.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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876 posts in 4107 days

#4 posted 05-07-2010 02:45 PM

I have Donna’s book. Last few months it is sitting next to my favorite chair in the living room, so I can look through it often. Her book has already inspired me to try some new band saw box techniques. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in band saw box making. I also enjoy her engaging and pleasant writing style.

-- Art | Bradenton, Florida

View hairy's profile


3084 posts in 4342 days

#5 posted 05-11-2010 11:02 PM

I have that book, it is very good. I made the bird box that’s in the book. I hope to try more someday. It’s worth the price.

-- Genghis Khan and his brother Don, couldn't keep on keeping on...

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