simple quick box #1: TUTORIAL , SIMPLE BOX , FAST

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Blog entry by patron posted 06-20-2010 08:23 AM 4009 reads 16 times favorited 47 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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after i posted this box , which took a total of about 5 hours in time , but two days , because i didn’t have the handle and clasp
i got enough comments to post a tutorial on it’s building process , so here goes .

thanks for looking .

this is the finished box

i start with the wood for the whole box
straight and milled to thickness all the same ,
the top and bottom are wider here ,
and the length of the body must be long enough ,to take the width into account for the ends .

i cut the body and t/b in half , and mark them from the first corner where the cuts will be
1- 2×2 -3×3 -4×4- 1, so i don’t lose the wraparound grain or flip one over latter by mistake ,
and cut them accordingly .

setting up the dado blades to just slightly over thickness of the wood , and using a fence face board ,
i set the saw to just slightly wider (1/32”) than the wood thickness ,
this makes it easier to sand the rim of the box later , instead of sanding the top to the sides ,
the height of the blades roughly equal to half the wood thickness ,
i just used this photo to illustrate the saw set up ,
the boards are actually rabbeted face down .

the sides are rabbeted on all edges and ends , the ends only on the top and bottom .

they fit together in this fashion .

and when the top and bottom are cut to length ,
are clamped together like so .
a note here , snug the clamps so they don’t move to much ,
but don’t tighten until all have been placed ,
the glue needs to flatten , and all parts need to move together ,
before any piece is trapped open slightly , then all together .

sand and round over any everything ,
this is where i do my finishing , if it gets messed up , i can re-sand and refinish ,
until i get it right .

i cut the box open on the band saw ( it can be done on the table saw as well ) .

and have both parts ready for smoothing the cut marks off of ,
i use a machine sander , but have done it by hand .

this is the part i don’t like ,
cleaning any clue in the corners . chisel here carefully

now i realign the top and bottom and apply the hinges , ( i use stop surface ones ) .

so here we are , as i didn’t have time for this particular box to finish it regularly ,
i used wax . they can do what they like over in maine where it is being given in the morning ,

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

47 comments so far

View Jordan's profile


1400 posts in 3153 days

#1 posted 06-20-2010 08:41 AM

I like that and I’ll refer to this blog – when I get that many clamps!!!! I like that wide belt sander too.


View doordude's profile


1085 posts in 3011 days

#2 posted 06-20-2010 08:51 AM

nice box, it’s horrible to get that resin glue off isn’t it? thats a cool wide belt sander. predessor to the “time saver”
wish i had one.

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3064 days

#3 posted 06-20-2010 11:16 AM

David, glad to see I’m not the only one who has problems with left over glue. Must be because we use ‘enough’. I’m sad to say that this is one of the few things I use a chisel for these days.

I’m more of a wood machinist than a woodworker I guess.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3362 days

#4 posted 06-20-2010 12:52 PM

Great blog David. Now if I only could use a dado blade on my tablesaw. I guess routing is the way for me. Can’t you use masking tape to avoid the glue problem? I’m usually too lazy to mask off inside corners myself, so I’m being a hypocrite here, but I’m usually sorry I didn’t afterward! Lol.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View ellen35's profile


2738 posts in 3460 days

#5 posted 06-20-2010 01:16 PM

Nice box as usual, David… and a great tutorial.
I have some aromatic cedar that is 1/4 inch tongue and groove… do you think I can glue them together to get 1/2 inch stock and will it work on a box like this? I’ve never worked with cedar before and your box makes me want to try it.

-- "Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good." Voltaire

View SPalm's profile


5320 posts in 3910 days

#6 posted 06-20-2010 01:27 PM

Nice blog David. The thickness sander is a good idea.

Something I have been doing recently to help with glue clean up is to Pre-apply some sanding sealer to the inside box surfaces (not the joint areas) and lightly sand it smooth before assembly. Minwax version is no-stir and cloth wipe, so it is really easy. Drys in two hours. The glue does not stick as bad, and the glue lines are a lot more hidden.

Thanks for the tutorial,

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Cher's profile


954 posts in 3121 days

#7 posted 06-20-2010 01:53 PM

Thanks for the blog David. You make it look so easy but then again you are a master at this.

-- When you know better you do better.

View Cher's profile


954 posts in 3121 days

#8 posted 06-20-2010 02:01 PM

Thanks for the blog David. You make it look so easy but then again you are a master at this.

-- When you know better you do better.

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 3802 days

#9 posted 06-20-2010 02:16 PM

Great blog as always David. Thanks buddy for the nice blog. I am sure it will help a lot of people.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View Maveric777's profile


2693 posts in 3104 days

#10 posted 06-20-2010 02:20 PM

Cool and informative blog David…..

P.S. You reminded me how bad I want a drum sander…

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4428 days

#11 posted 06-20-2010 02:46 PM

David a great blog opn the construction.

Nice build.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Monty Queen's profile

Monty Queen

1593 posts in 3280 days

#12 posted 06-20-2010 03:26 PM

David: Happy Fathers Day, Great build, fantastic craftsmanship.

-- Monty Q, Columbia, South Carolina.

View tyskkvinna's profile


1310 posts in 3014 days

#13 posted 06-20-2010 03:38 PM

I’ll admit I had to read this three or four times.. but I think it finally sunk in. :-) My fuzzy brain had trouble with the idea of the rabbeting, but I think I’ve got it now. (Was overthinking, as per usual)

I think I can do this! I’m going to try.

-- Lis - Michigan - -

View donjoe's profile


1360 posts in 3059 days

#14 posted 06-20-2010 03:52 PM

David, great blog that will be a big help. Thanks.

-- Donnie-- listen to the wood.

View patron's profile


13609 posts in 3369 days

#15 posted 06-20-2010 03:56 PM

thank you all for the comments .
the main reason i can’t do any inside ‘fixes’ ,
is that these particular boxes ,
with the cedar (and cedar lining) ,
are made for people in the native american church ,
to hold feathers and other religious paraphernalia ,
if i seal the interiors , first or last ,
the effects of the cedar is lost ,
and the mites and germs from feathers can eat them over time .
i may try wax sometime , if it comes of with mineral spirits .
i would have to mask the glue areas first ,
apply wax , take off the masking , do the gluing .
six of one , half a dozen of the other ?
i made a cedar box for an old man once ,
he put contact cement in it , and some fuzzy material ,
the inside lost the aroma of the cedar permanently !

sorry if there are any confusing areas here ,
let me know , i will make them better ,
and any ideas that spring from this ,
let us know , we can all use the help .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

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