Making a box

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Blog entry by JeremyPringle posted 01-11-2015 05:30 AM 7104 reads 3 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So this project is the first complete – hand tool only – start to finish, in my shop since selling my table saw. I have been ridiculously busy and have not had much time since the fall, so I picked a nice little box that will just let me mess around with my tools again and not take me months to make.

Of course, every project I make I like to start with a few goals. This box of course is no exception..
1. Cherry wood as the only ‘seen’ wood used.
..... That’s pretty much it… I really just needed to get in the shop and use the tools.

So I had to start by dimensioning the wood..

Crosscut rough material to length

Rip to rough width

Crosscut close to final length

Shoot to final length

I screwed a stop to my shooting board so I could plane all the pieces to final width

Smooth stock

Stock ready for joinery!!

Now.. because for some things I still think like I have power tools, I have found myself doing things the power tool way. One of those things is making the box, and then cutting the lid off after the fact. And that is what I did here as well.. I had to draw my layout so I could keep everything on order..

I have started to cut my half-blind and full-blind DT’s on the horizontal instead of the vertical position, I also have no issues with overcutting my lines because it makes chiseling way easier and faster, it was also very common back in the day when only hand tools were available, and its on the inside of the box… so who cares..

After cutting the pins and tails, I ploughed the groove for the bottom..

I used a vertical grain dug fir panel for the bottom and the substrate for the top. Glue up, I used OBG, its the best..

Check for square

Mark and cut the lid off

Plane and true up the lid to the bottom

Plough plane to cut the grooves for the trim

Since my only goal was to use cherry, and I wanted the trim to stand out a little bit, I decided to use white sap wood

I cut the trim with my inlay cutter with the knife blade installed

Install trim

Rip and install the lid trim..

Mark out, rout and install hinges

Ready for finish..

Now.. the box is not 100% complete at this time, I am still building the finish for the top of the box. I used 3 coats of amber shellac on the lid to give it more of the amber tone , and one coat on the rest of the box, then two more coats of clear shellac for the rest of the box, but the top is getting several more coats of clear until its perfect. I will post the completed box in the projects section in the next few days when I complete it.

Thanks for checking in..

5 comments so far

View molan's profile


142 posts in 2245 days

#1 posted 01-11-2015 05:39 AM

Looking nice! I know what you mean about being busy and not having time to do the things you want to do.

Your stock looks like it is about 3/8 thick ish. You didn’t mention how you dimensioned it to this thickness. Was it already pre done for you or was this all hand planed down to thickness or did you resaw it somehow?

View tinnman65's profile


1357 posts in 3437 days

#2 posted 01-11-2015 12:18 PM

Very nice work and no need for hearing protection the whole time. I like that bench you used to rip cut the pieces on.

-- Paul--- Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. — Scott Adams

View Schwieb's profile


1858 posts in 3484 days

#3 posted 01-11-2015 12:24 PM

Admirable effort. And done with hand tools. I should do so well with power tools. Nice blog Jeremy and a really fine box.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View JeremyPringle's profile


321 posts in 2497 days

#4 posted 01-11-2015 02:14 PM

Matt, it was some proud 1/2 stuff I had laying around from something a while ago, so it was all ready thicknessed, all I had to do was take the mill marks out.

Tinman.. my was bench is based off the one in Tom Fidgen’s book,

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 2508 days

#5 posted 01-12-2015 06:38 PM

Exceptional work. Thanks for taking us along for the ride.

-- Brian Timmons -

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