Men's Valet Box

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Blackie_ posted 08-12-2014 06:24 PM 1696 reads 15 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve had a few ask how I make my hybrid open top men’s valet box, mitered joints mixed with bandsaw box. This is a design that I came up with one day while out in the shop and just let it take shape and made some changes along the way, under each picture I have given detail on what’s taking place and the procedure.

Laminated boards to create a working block, square up the block sides using any means necessary, you want the block as square as possible.

I like to use knotty Alder as it’s inexpensive to use, with setting so the edge grain is facing you mark top and bottom of the block.

With the block edge grain facing up mark a 3/8” boarder on both sides and the bottom, locate the center of the block and mark a 3/8” boarder then mark the cut outs for the drawers, on the very top right side mark a 1/4” to the center of the block shown in picture, this is to be cut and will become the false bottom door, this needs to be cut first before cutting the block out for the hidden area.

There is no cutting off the back or the front as you’d do for a normal bandsaw box.

I use an adjustable square to make all marks with.

The shows where I’ve cut the false bottom door away from the box.

Next cut out the hidden area, so that it looks like the one shown in the picture above.

Showing the false bottom door laying across the bridge, after the hidden area has been cut out.

On the drawers that you cut out, only cut the rears of the drawer not the front 1/4” – 3/8” which ever you prefer.

Using a plug that was cut from one of the drawers measure 3” either side and cut it in half this will be come the small tray, remember to cut the front and the back off for the tray and when cutting leave a center divider for finger grab.

Remove the front and the back by cutting 1/4” away then cut the drawer out, finish with sanding and glue the front and back piece back on, be sure to do this to all of the drawers.

Once you’ve cut the hidden drawer out of the large drawer cut both the front and the back off 1/4” to create the drawer.

These are the lines to cut for the hidden drawer and the tray after the front and back have been removed.

Turn the box over onto it’s back and mark a line on the bottom of the box dead center of the center boarder between the drawers you will need this for a reference later.

Measure the box allowing for the miter over hangs on all corners the cut your panels for the box, miter all corners on the panels and do trial fits until you are happy with the fit.

With the panels still strapped to the box turn it over onto it’s back and using the reference line as a guide, mark a line on the bottom edge of the front panel.

Measure the drawer openings on the face of the box and allow 3/16” over lap for the drawer stop, then using the reference line on the bottom edge of the front panel, bring it up onto the face and mark your line to the top edge of the front panel the finish marking the rest of the face slabs to be cut.

Cut your slabs out, these will become the fronts for the drawers.

Showing after they’ve been cut

line them up tape them together as you would a normal box, flip over and allow the glue to soak into the grain 2 mins

reapply the glue to the miters and also all along the back wall of the box and the side walls of the box and just the portion on the face that is covered by the front panel.

Wrap the panels around the box and use ratchet straps for clamping the panels to the box making sure everything is aligned.

Once you’ve got the drawers sanded and finished the backs glued on once dry and Once box is dried flip over onto it’s back and drop some 1/8” spacers into the drawer holes so that the drawers protrude above the box face, take some paper towels wad them up place them into the drawers so that the drawers are a nice snug fit against the bottom of the drawer void bottoms, you want the drawer to be laying flat against the bottom and not loose so to make sure you get the right fit with the drawer front.

Add glue to the fronts of the drawer face place the drawer front on top and tape it down tight allow to dry then test fit them by pulling in and out.

Put the drawers back in tape them down and mark where the splines are to go and cut the splines.

Here shows how the splines are glued in.

The finished box.

Time to add the magnets to the bottom of the tray, mark the center of the tray and measure 1/2” away from the edge, from the center mark measure out each direction 1” and mark the hole to be drilled.

You want the magnets to be flush with the bottom.

Flip the false bottom door over, using the drill press drill the marked holes just deep enough so that they don’t come through the top side and add your magnets in making sure they are in the right rotation to match the tray magnets positive and negative.

Add your plugs and your done.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

9 comments so far

View hotncold's profile


733 posts in 517 days

#1 posted 08-12-2014 06:38 PM

Wow Randy! That looks like a Mensa puzzle to me.
Fantastic work!

-- Dennie - Tennessee

View DocSavage45's profile


6415 posts in 1815 days

#2 posted 08-12-2014 06:39 PM

Whoa! Nice! Going to be a favorite of mine. Lots of steps. How long does it take you without the pictures? LOL!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Boxguy's profile


1779 posts in 1240 days

#3 posted 08-12-2014 09:10 PM

Blackie, great job of explaining how to do this. I know how much time it takes to take the pictures, crop them, and write the commentary. You may find it easier to simply refer questions to this write-up than to keep doing the same answers over and over. You really have this system down pat!

I see you are using straight pieces in your splines. This method is an easy way to cut them on your bandsaw and have much less waste on precious spline material. The secret is that after each cut you flip the spline stock over to make another triangle. Keep boxing and keep posting.

-- Big Al in IN

View Blackie_'s profile


4195 posts in 1485 days

#4 posted 08-12-2014 09:22 PM

Thanks Big Al, I like that jig.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View Roger's profile


17296 posts in 1777 days

#5 posted 08-12-2014 10:19 PM

Very cool, Randy. Thnx for the detailed how-to. I may do my version of something like this in the future. After doing my “plain” version for a few Christmas gifts last year, I’ve been wanting to go the extra mile and do something similar to what you do. Good stuff man.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe.

View HillbillyShooter's profile


5363 posts in 1265 days

#6 posted 08-12-2014 10:21 PM

Very nice explanation with great photographs to show your process. This is really helpful to show all the intricate work that actually goes into crafting one of your fine boxes, and would make a great sales aid to help customer appreciate your artistry. Thanks for sharing.

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

View JayG46's profile


132 posts in 831 days

#7 posted 08-13-2014 12:58 AM

Thanks for sharing, Randy. This is a great tutorial of a really cool process that you’ve developed. Your valets are unique and I’ve always wondered how you managed to combine the two kinds of boxes. Keep up the good work.

-- Jay Gargiulo, Naples, FL "Once you understand the way broadly, you can see it in all things."- Miyamoto Musashi

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5168 posts in 2685 days

#8 posted 08-13-2014 01:45 AM


-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

8428 posts in 1893 days

#9 posted 08-13-2014 06:58 PM

Very beautiful!


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics