I dont have time to write a lengthy tutorial but I do have a few photos and will write a word or two to help you get started.
This style of box was first made by me using plans from the October 1997 American Woodworker and authored by Dave Freedman.
I made a rectangle box about 12” long x 5 1/2” wide x 2 1/2” tall.
I used miters for all the corners instead of butt joints as he shows. Nothing wrong with butt joints, they are what I used in the “Palm boxes ”
they are much simpler and plenty strong for small boxes like these. I just opted for mitered corners prefering the continous grain wrapping around the box.
As I have mentioned before, make a test box to try out everything first. This is mine.
Its a bit more difficult to cut away the ends to allow for the lid. With the butt style ends you simply make them shorter in height.
I cut the ends down by flipping the box over and cutting down about an inch and cutting away about 3/8” along the inside edge of the front and back, creating a ledge for the lid to sit on. I cleaned up the saw kerfs using the router.
I pinned the corners with small dowels. I hid the brass hinge pins behind the top dowel and spaced the others equally after getting that one located.
I made my own dowels since I couldnt find anything small enough, 1/8” that is.
I dont remember what I read or saw in my years playing with wood, but something niggled at my brain and helped me come up with a way to make my own.
I played with several ways to make a small dowel and came up with this, and it works slick.
I took a thin piece of steel, an old hinge was the only thing I could lay my hands on, and screwed it to my bench to keep it immobile. I then drilled a 3/8 hole in the counter and drilled a 1/8 hole in the hinge and placed this hole over the larger one in the counter, which keeps the dowel from binding up and breaking off. I sharpened the cutter in the hinge by boring a recess over the 1/8 hole with a larger but which thinned out the steel. I then cut a small notch in one edge using a triangle file. Just play with it until something works.
To make the dowel stock, I ripped strips on the bandsaw down to about 3/16, chucked them in my cordless and rounded them over on the drum sander like this:
Then I sharpened a point on the end and slowly fed it into the cutter like this:
Cut the lid blank to a snug fit, but leave it long until after you fit the handle and cut it in two parts.
Make a bottom frame if you like and add corner blocks as needed to attach screws up into the bottom.
Glue or pin or use mortise and tenons to attach the lid, but remember that when its cut apart a teneon joint will show at the edges, so it needs to be done perfect, or you can line the edges as I did. Rough shape the handle a cut a notch for it to settle down into. Cut the lid in two pieces, straight like I marked out here.
or wavy like this. The line was just to guide me on the entry and exit cut as it went through the bandsaw.
Add accents like these bloodwood strips if you prefer, like these. Final shaping or sanding will remove the chips.
The lid is hinged after its cut in two pieces.
Space it up off the box ends about 1/16, place masking tape as a spacer between the lid faces and tape it all into place very securely. Drill a 1/8 hole at all 4 corners for brass rod. Mark the lid-to-body orientation for refitting into the correct location.
Place roofing nails or long rod stock in each hole so you can easily remove them when fitting the lid.
You will need to carefully round over the bottom edge of the lid so it will swing up and stop just off vertical. Do this slowly and allow for final sanding and for the thickness of finish. You will need to pull the pins and sand a little and retry several times to get it just right.
Sand or shape as desired. Finish with lacquer, its easy and doesnt darken the wood like oil, or use bear fat, hamster milk, paint, or whatever you prefer.
Hope this encourages you to try one of these boxes.
-- If I can do it, so can you. www.artboxesbyandy.com