Box Making #7: Boxguy Big Al's SPLINE Box begins

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Blog entry by robscastle posted 05-19-2018 08:17 AM 2803 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 6: Off cuts/Scraps put to use Part 7 of Box Making series Part 8: Boxguy Big Als Box frame commences »

This is a project I committed to “quite some time ago” and every time I post a box Big Al reminds me about it.

So after seeing Tooch present his Box I thought it best to get on with it.

It started with some rummaging through my stash of Top End Timber bits, I found some that should do the job nicely.

So just what is this exotic timber you ask, well I think its a bearer from a pallet, anyway it looked nice so into the table saw it went, I simply just saw jointed it then sliced it up.

After that into the thicknessser they went, then I layed them all out and decided which piece to use where.

the sides of the box I wanted to bookmatch, (make that grain match) and put them aside and started on the lid.

Its a basic design with 30 deg angles to provide a raised section.

The lid frame I cut the ripped 30 deg angles with the table saw and the 30 deg 45 deg ends on the combination saw using a 30 deg jig to hold every so I could get very accurate results.

The two sections of the box lid top were glued together and 30 deg angles on all sides cut on the Table saw.

Once I was happy with the dimensions I used my Kreg table to hold everthing in place for the glue up.

Now I am not sure how you actually clamp up something like this so I just taped it all together.

Note: There were are no splines harmed in this part.

Next will be the box frame itself and of course some of Big Als famous splines.

-- Regards Rob

6 comments so far

View Boxguy's profile


2898 posts in 3430 days

#1 posted 05-19-2018 01:13 PM

Robert, this looks like a good start. Of course it is a missed opportunity. There looks to be room for splines somewhere in this process already. To put splines in a tray you have to use an open, one-sided jig instead of a trough. You can see the splines in an angled side in this project from 6 years ago. I don’t think I ever posted that technique it was still early days for my LJ write-ups.

This is how I solved making tray sides with a strap clamp. Of course not many Lumber Jocks are into welding as well, but it worked for me. That Craig clamp is the berries. I haven’t noticed you using it before. Nice job there. I don’t think I have ever made a box starting with the top, but it makes sense in this case. Onward and upward to the splines. I am eager to see the next step and the splines you add. Keep boxing and keep posting.

-- Big Al in IN

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10963 posts in 5214 days

#2 posted 05-19-2018 06:04 PM

Very COOL project in process…

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View robscastle's profile


8118 posts in 3366 days

#3 posted 05-19-2018 09:06 PM

Big Al: Hey you know what Big Al when I finished it I looked at it and wondered if I could squeeze in a few splines!

So before I progress too much more on it, what say you as to how this could be done? and how many would you use?
Why did I start on the lid first?
Well the answer lies in my inexperience in this type of construction.
I also decidied that the most complex part was going to be within the lid and in my initial mental design concept, I figured that with so many compound angles it was possible that I would screw up on something somewhere, and needing repairing resulting in an overall size change to fix it, and if that happened the lid would be too small for the box frame thus ruining the project.
So I made the start at the most difficult part and of which was the section I had the least experience with.

The Kreg Clamp Table, Funny story time
I bought it when I was making the Shoe Rack cabinet went to but a packet of screws for the job spied this while I was there and being due to being completely annoyed with having to work on my rickety old bench and my clamps constantly jumping off on me and not being able to clamp up work accurately, for all the pocket holes. It got a good work out there and I was pleased with the purchase.
Mind you it cost an absolute fortune but was worth it in my mind.
I initally went to buy a box of hardwood screws and came home with the Kreg Table and the Kreg screws minus $400 or thereabouts!!!
The purchase was mid way through the blog so it may not have gotten in the pictures.

Your links:
I went back and took a look at the links you posted too, ... food for thought there, thats for sure, thank you.

Joe: Thanks stand by for a possible spline addition to the lid.

-- Regards Rob

View crowie's profile


4766 posts in 3113 days

#4 posted 05-20-2018 06:46 AM

You’re heaps gamer than I Rob.
I’m even tentative about doing an ordinary box, let alone something this fancy.

-- Lifes good, Enjoy each new day...... Cheers from "On Top DownUnder" Crowie

View LittleBlackDuck's profile


7579 posts in 1983 days

#5 posted 05-20-2018 07:42 AM

Hey rc... that looks like one helluva large jewelry box… you been lying about your wealth or are you planning a few nightly clandestine visits to your local jewelry shops.

..... Now I am not sure how you actually clamp up something like this so I just taped it all together…..

It’s times like these that I resort to biscuits (and a cuppa tea and let someone other bunny build it)... otherwise like Big Al, make jigs and cauls though I would limit my “assistants” to timber…. and heaps of tape….

That Kreg table gives you a start… as you can sneak up on the angles with clever use of clamps… I know it’s hard, but try not to glue all sides in one go… maybe one join at a time, just make sure everything stays square.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View robscastle's profile


8118 posts in 3366 days

#6 posted 05-20-2018 08:09 AM

I can assure you it isn’t as simple as it looks, lots of behind the scenes work going on, ...and reading up on Matthias Wandel’s angle and slope chart. Calm as a duck but paddleing furiously under the surface comes to mind.
Thanks, mate and stay tuned as the splines in the lid started today!

Wealth? ...wealth you say, I have been skint since the loss of my wallet!!
I might put some router bits in it, ... so Tungsten is as good as it wiil get there.

Yeah I wondered about the common sense factor of glueing everything up in one go, but kept blundering on.
As luck had it I managed to get away with it this time, but agree one joint at a time is the go.

I spent all day Sunday doing what I will have to call “fiddling” about, as most of the wood I cut went into the Otto bin as I was trying to replicate Boxguys metal frame only using timber.
I could get it to match at the bottom or at the top but I could not get it to match overall.
Try try try …fail fail fail
I eventally I gave up (lovely day here in brisbane today so why waste it) and decided to drink beer instead, as I just could not understand how it was done.

I do know how a helix on a crown seal works though !... hic ! ha ha

-- Regards Rob

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