LumberJocks

How I Make a Tiny Square Box

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Blog entry by WoodMosaics posted 1868 days ago 9060 reads 26 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I will start this blog the same way I started the one on making a Lazy Susan.

Now before I get started on this little demonstration of how I do it, let me caution you on a couple things. IF you try anything like this, take the plate that your saw blade comes up through and close that hole completely up with a thin piece of wood. Make sure it is even with the top, with no gaps and no lips to catch the pieces. You want it smooth. Then with a “Hollow ground plywood blade” come up from the bottom so you have no gap between the blade and the wood. You may have to do this a couple times so the blade does not rub on the wood. You don’t want to use a blade with any set to the teeth or you will be throwing pieces all over the place.

You will be working close to the blade in some steps so you don’t want a big gap next to the blade. I started off using an old power saw and progressed up to a foot powered table saw. This gives me the advantage that IF I hit my fingers, my feet stop (I never have). You may not have that feature on your particular saw, so if you don’t have common since around power tools, stick to knitting.

Now if you want a closer look at anything in any of these pictures, you can click on the picture, it will take you right to the picture on my Flickr site, then click on the “All Sizes” at the top of the picture, it will make it bigger and bigger, or smaller if you want.

Making a Tiny Sq Box #1

I recently started using some Brazilian Satinwood that has perfect satinwood markings on the surface of the wood, so I thought I had to make several tiny boxes with some of it. All of my boxes are put together basically the same. The larger boxes I do lay out the pieces on the top out to the last row that goes over the edge. On the larger boxes I then measure out and cut it to shape then, they are not always the same.

On this box I wanted the same coloring as on my other Sri Lanka Satinwood box, the only difference is that I’ll start this one off with Wenge in the center. I would then use Pink Ivory, Black Palm (cut on an angle to give the dots of the end grain an elongated look to make it more interesting), Purpleheart and then Satinwood. I will use the Aunt Sukeys Choice quilt pattern on the top. It will have a mixture of half size pieces on the top and full size pieces on the sides. This first picture shows the different woods in the different size of strips that I will be using, along with the jig I use to cut the full size triangle. I have 3 other jigs I will use to cut the other 3 type of pieces on the box. (You can find more on the jigs and cutting my pieces on my “How I Make a Lazy Susan” set (or Blog))

Making a Tiny Sq Box #1

Making a Tiny Sq Box #2

After cutting the pieces and going over each one to make sure the fuzzy edge is scraped off I have them separated out ready to be put to use.

Making a Tiny Sq Box #2

Making a Tiny Sq Box #3

Knowing the exact size the design will end up I have the base pieces of the box already cut out, four sides and the top and bottom. Before I start gluing the sides of the base onto the top or bottom I make a mark on what will be the front or the back of the top and the bottom and put a number also on what will be the inside. This way I will know what top will go with which bottom when I cut them apart. With the larger boxes they will even be a little different shape because the pieces will go on a little different on each box so on the bigger boxes I cut the side pieces after I know what shape the box will end up. To look at the larger boxes they look the same but they are a little different. The top of one will not fit the bottom of another.

Making a Tiny Sq Box #3

Making a Tiny Sq Box #4

I use hot glue to glue the box togather as well as glueing the diamonds and triangles on to the base. I use “Super Amber” Hot glue sticks from Supergrit (or Red Hill Corporation) at;
http://www.supergrit.com/products/products_glue-hotmelt.asp

It has worked very well for my as I need a glue that sets up fast and holds.

Making a Tiny Sq Box #4

Making a Tiny Sq Box #5

I always shave off the glue that squeezes out as I put the sides on.

Making a Tiny Sq Box #5

Making a Tiny Sq Box #6

I use the long side pieces as the front and back of the box, and the short pieces as the ends or sides of the box. The over-lay also adds strength to the box as you can see in picture #32 the over-lay crosses the side joint and then the front and back over-lay crosses the side over-lay. This all adds strength to the simple butt joints that I use (time is money but to the buying public your time is worth nothing).

Making a Tiny Sq Box #6

Making a Tiny Sq Box #7

After I get the base together I draw some guide lines on the top and down the sides.

Making a Tiny Sq Box #7

Making a Tiny Sq Box #8

The first pieces I glue on this box are two triangles on the end, lined up on the marks, then shave off the glue.

Making a Tiny Sq Box #8

Making a Tiny Sq Box #9

Next I glue the diamonds on making sure the grain of the wood is going the way I want it to. I will use the grain of the wood to always make a uniform pattern on the box. To me the grain always has a right and wrong way to lay on each piece.

Making a Tiny Sq Box #9

Making a Tiny Sq Box #10

In gluing the pieces to the sides or ends of the box, they will hang over front and back. When I glue the pieces onto the front and back, they will go over the edges of the pieces on the ends and the pieces on the top will overhang on all sides.

The glue you see here will need to be shaved off

Making a Tiny Sq Box #10

Making a Tiny Sq Box #11

After the glue is shaved off it will look like this.

Making a Tiny Sq Box #11

Making a Tiny Sq Box #12

The end of the box will then look like this.

Making a Tiny Sq Box #12

Making a Tiny Sq Box #13

I will do the same thing to the other end of the box to make it like this.

Making a Tiny Sq Box #13

Making a Tiny Sq Box #14

Then taking it to the saw, I will cut off the overhanging pieces even with the edge.

Making a Tiny Sq Box #14

Making a Tiny Sq Box #15

So that the box is now like this.

Making a Tiny Sq Box #15

Making a Tiny Sq Box #16

I will then glue the pieces onto the front and back, using some of the other types of wood that I will have on the top to help tie the sides to the top.

Making a Tiny Sq Box #16

Making a Tiny Sq Box #17

After trimming off the glue and the overhanging pieces on top, the box will look like this, ready to put the design onto the top.

Making a Tiny Sq Box #17

Making a Tiny Sq Box #18

If I were to continue to use the full size pieces that I used on the sides, I would only have room for 8 diamonds and 12 triangles. Not enough room for the design that I want on the top. So I will use half size pieces and have 16 diamonds and 24 triangles to make my “Aunt Sukeys Choice” quilt pattern. After laying the pieces out I glue on the first two as a unit.

Making a Tiny Sq Box #18

Making a Tiny Sq Box #19

I will build the bigger square in the center, then go on out to the edge on one corner at a time

Making a Tiny Sq Box #19

Making a Tiny Sq Box #20

Following on around the box

Making a Tiny Sq Box #20

Making a Tiny Sq Box #21

To the last corner

Making a Tiny Sq Box #21

Making a Tiny Sq Box #22

Then shave off the glue.

Making a Tiny Sq Box #22

Making a Tiny Sq Box #23

You can see on this picture how the pieces are uneven with each other and rough as a cob.

Making a Tiny Sq Box #23

Making a Tiny Sq Box #24

I then take it to the belt sander and sand it even, starting with 80 grit and going on down to 120 grit.

Making a Tiny Sq Box #24

Making a Tiny Sq Box #25

At the last of this sanding step I will sand a 45° bevel on all of the corners to make rounding all the corners easier.

Making a Tiny Sq Box #25

Making a Tiny Sq Box #26

Now I mark all over it with a pencil, I do this as a final sanding gauge to make sure I get down below the glue I will be spreading all over it.

Making a Tiny Sq Box #26

Making a Tiny Sq Box #27

After it is sanded even and scribbled all over it with a pencil, I do this because I am going to mix fine sawdust and glue together and force it down into the cracks you can see in the close up if you look good at it. Then when I final sand the box so it is real smooth I will be sure and get below the glue by sanding off the pencil marks. Otherwise the glue will show up when you put the finish on, and you will have a real problem then. (I used to use the white glue but then in humid weather the glue joint would rise. I now use powdered resin, mix it with water, then that with the saw dust. It will stay smooth then and you won’t be having the glue joint rising on you.) (I have seen rolling pins from glued up wood that were smooth but after going through some damp weather you could feel every glue joint on the thing.)

Making a Tiny Sq Box #27

Making a Tiny Sq Box #28

After letting the glue dry it will be ready to final sand

Making a Tiny Sq Box #28

Making a Tiny Sq Box #29

These are the two sanders I use. I use the random orbit sander for the flat parts and the other to round all of the corners. A round corner is much more pleasing to feel than a square corner (that’s why GOD made woman round) and a round corner is much harder to damage than a square corner.

Making a Tiny Sq Box #29

Making a Tiny Sq Box #30

To me the rounded corners are more pleasing to the eye also.

Making a Tiny Sq Box #30

Making a Tiny Sq Box #31

I then take them to the band saw to cut them open.

Making a Tiny Sq Box #31

Making a Tiny Sq Box #32

I take out the glue on the inside and sand and round the saw cut

Making a Tiny Sq Box #32

Making a Tiny Sq Box #33

So it will then look like this.

Making a Tiny Sq Box #33

Making a Tiny Sq Box #34

I decide which side I like for the front and then mark for the hinges on the back.

Making a Tiny Sq Box #34

Making a Tiny Sq Box #35

I use a hollow ground plywood blade to first cut on the inside of the lines then sliding the box side to side a little at a time, I take out the rest, leaving a place for the hinge.

Making a Tiny Sq Box #35

Making a Tiny Sq Box #36

So, top and bottom the hinge will be inset.

Making a Tiny Sq Box #36

Making a Tiny Sq Box #37

I drill the screw holes and screw the hinge onto the bottom

Making a Tiny Sq Box #37

Making a Tiny Sq Box #38

I use a tiny bit of glue on some little sticks I have to glue onto the hinge to hold it open like it needs to be, then using a little glue on the lid where the hinge will go I put the lid on the box where it needs to be and let the glue cool. I then dig the bead of glue out of the screw hole and put the screws in and the lid is in place where it should be.

Making a Tiny Sq Box #38

Making a Tiny Sq Box #39

This will get the hinges onto the box.

Making a Tiny Sq Box #39

Making a Tiny Sq Box #40

This is what the box looks like at this stage.

Making a Tiny Sq Box #40

Making a Tiny Sq Box #41

Before putting any finish on I write this on the bottom, always listing the wood from the center out. I have sold trivets, 200 miles from home and had people contact me 10 or 12 years later after they have moved half way across the country, asking if I still make my items, and then had them buy 3 or 4 boxes from where I sell on the internet. It helps to be from a small town but they can still find you if they have a town.

Making a Tiny Sq Box #41

Making a Tiny Sq Box #42

I use varnish as my finish, I thin it about 20% and rub it in by hand. I will put a coat on each of these boxes and then go back to the first one and start rubbing it until it is kind of tacky, set it down and go to the next.

Making a Tiny Sq Box #42

Making a Tiny Sq Box #43

These have one coat on and I will put 5 or 6 coats on before they are done.

Making a Tiny Sq Box #43

Making a Tiny Sq Box #44

The next step is to take black velveteen and on all of the edges that will show I run a bead of glue along it and fold over about 1/8” as you see here. The long pieces will go around the sides of the box.

Making a Tiny Sq Box #44

Making a Tiny Sq Box #45

I will take a square piece and fold and glue it over a piece of porter board that I will glue onto the bottom and the top.

Making a Tiny Sq Box #45

Making a Tiny Sq Box #46

This picture shows all 5 pieces before I glue them into the box. The 5th pieces will cover the hinge when the lid is up, it will also keep the lid from falling back. It acts like a stop.

Making a Tiny Sq Box #46

Making a Tiny Sq Box #47

This picture shows the top side strip half glued in and the hinge cover glued to the top but not the bottom yet.

Making a Tiny Sq Box #47

Making a Tiny Sq Box #48

Top, Front and Side

Brazilian Satinwood is a naturally yellow wood that comes from South America. The Satinwood, when it is cut right, you can see the light move in the grain pattern as you move the box side to side just as on satin fabric. There are no stains on any of the wood that you see on this box. GOD did not limit himself to the brown tones when he made wood.

Making a Tiny Sq Box #48

Making a Tiny Sq Box #49

Top

Brazilian Satinwood is a naturally yellow wood that comes from South America. The Satinwood, when it is cut right, you can see the light move in the grain pattern as you move the box side to side just as on satin fabric. There are no stains on any of the wood that you see on this box. GOD did not limit himself to the brown tones when he made wood.

Making a Tiny Sq Box #49

Making a Tiny Sq Box #50

Top and Front

Brazilian Satinwood is a naturally yellow wood that comes from South America. The Satinwood, when it is cut right, you can see the light move in the grain pattern as you move the box side to side just as on satin fabric. There are no stains on any of the wood that you see on this box. GOD did not limit himself to the brown tones when he made wood.

Making a Tiny Sq Box #50

Making a Tiny Sq Box #51

Top and Back

Brazilian Satinwood is a naturally yellow wood that comes from South America. The Satinwood, when it is cut right, you can see the light move in the grain pattern as you move the box side to side just as on satin fabric. There are no stains on any of the wood that you see on this box. GOD did not limit himself to the brown tones when he made wood.

Making a Tiny Sq Box #51

Making a Tiny Sq Box #52

Side

Brazilian Satinwood is a naturally yellow wood that comes from South America. The Satinwood, when it is cut right, you can see the light move in the grain pattern as you move the box side to side just as on satin fabric. There are no stains on any of the wood that you see on this box. GOD did not limit himself to the brown tones when he made wood.

Making a Tiny Sq Box #52

Making a Tiny Sq Box #53

Box Open

Brazilian Satinwood is a naturally yellow wood that comes from South America. The Satinwood, when it is cut right, you can see the light move in the grain pattern as you move the box side to side just as on satin fabric. There are no stains on any of the wood that you see on this box. GOD did not limit himself to the brown tones when he made wood.

Making a Tiny Sq Box #53

Making a Tiny Sq Box #54

The box on the left here has the Brazilian Satinwood; it is a more bright yellow than the golden color of the Satinwood from Sri Lanka that is shown on the right.

Making a Tiny Sq Box #54

Thank you for looking,
Robin Tucker

-- It’s not so much what we know that causes the trouble, it’s what we know that’s not so.



9 comments so far

View sandhill's profile

sandhill

2077 posts in 2422 days


#1 posted 1868 days ago

Good blog Robin, I see how the jig is made now for cutting the parts. Simple but very nice I never would have thought of it.

-- Bob Egbert AKA Sandhill http://www.sandhillwoodworks.com/

View HokieMojo's profile

HokieMojo

2094 posts in 2226 days


#2 posted 1868 days ago

What a great blog! You do some great work. I wish there was an easy way to cover up the plywood edge when teh box is opened, but it is such a clean line, it doesn’t really matter. You really have an eye for bringing out the best in the tiny pieces of wood. The end result is so much greater than the sum of its parts. Thanks for taking the time to explain!

View PurpLev's profile

PurpLev

8473 posts in 2146 days


#3 posted 1868 days ago

nice blog,very informative, thanks for sharing the journey with us – that was a fun ride.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View TraumaJacques's profile

TraumaJacques

433 posts in 1999 days


#4 posted 1868 days ago

Robin you are the Man!!!!! By the way love your videos keep them coming>

-- All bleeding will eventually stop.

View mtnwild's profile

mtnwild

3474 posts in 2025 days


#5 posted 1868 days ago

Very cool, really wanted to see that jig of yours. Thanks for the instructions. You do great work.

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View Padre's profile

Padre

930 posts in 1987 days


#6 posted 1868 days ago

This is so cool! Thank you for posting it!

-- Chip -----------http://www.penmanchip.com-----------------Micah 6:8

View woodworm's profile

woodworm

14124 posts in 2089 days


#7 posted 1868 days ago

Thanks for sharing with us. So inspiring. I must try to make one, once in a life time, at least.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18613 posts in 2659 days


#8 posted 1849 days ago

wow.
thank you for sharing the process with us!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View Donna Menke's profile

Donna Menke

556 posts in 2764 days


#9 posted 1835 days ago

Absolutely excellent work, Robin, on the boxes, blog, and with your photos. Makes my fingers itch with wanting to make one like it. Thanks for sharing your process with us.

-- "So much wood. . .so little time!" www.woodworks-by-donna.com

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