Exposed Spline Box

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Project by Spuds posted 01-30-2009 02:52 AM 2989 views 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is an exposed corner spline box made from hard maple and cherry, the box measures approx. 6” square and 9” tall.

To make the box I started by edge gluing a couple of maple panels together since I did not have any 9+ wide boards. From this glue up I cut the 4 sides for the box leaving them a little wide. I then cut those to the correct width when I cut the 45 degree bevels on them. With the bevels complete I cut slots in to the heals of the bevels to accept the splines.

The splines were made from a glue up of cherry. Its important to note that to keep the box strong the grain of the splines needed to run across the short side and along the length (bend easy along the 9” length and be very stiff side to side). With the splines cut and fitted I glued up the box making sure to keep the four sides in order so that the grain of the board wrapped around the box. You need to get glue down in the slots so the splines are held very well, once the box is complete the splines are all that hold the box together.

To expose the splines you have to cut slots in the corners, to do this I made a fixture which held the box with the corners pointing straight down. I then slide this across along the table saw to cut the slot. This was a ‘sneak up on them’ situation, I as I did not want to cut into the splines. When I had just a sliver of maple remaining I sanded the rest of the way to expose the cherry.

To complete the woodwork, all the edges received a chamfer to soften the overall form.

The finish on the box is a three part exercise. I started with a coat of boiled linseed oil to pop the grain. This was followed by a coat of clear shellac to give more depth to the grain and expose any sanding opportunities. This was covered with several very thin coats of lacquer. Once the final coat was dry it was sanded with 0000 steel wool to get the sheen right.

-- Steve

8 comments so far

View SteveKorz's profile


2134 posts in 3684 days

#1 posted 01-30-2009 03:09 AM

That is an interesting design, I really like it because it is different. It looks great!

-- As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17) †

View Grant Davis's profile

Grant Davis

770 posts in 3878 days

#2 posted 01-30-2009 03:53 AM

That is different and I like it as well. Thanks for posting.

-- Grant...."GO BUCKEYES"

View Tom Landon's profile

Tom Landon

69 posts in 3722 days

#3 posted 01-30-2009 05:41 AM

Yes, an intriguing design. I’m kind of a “form follows function” kind of guy so may I ask what was the inspiration for this ? Do you have a particular use for the box?

-- Tom Landon, Lakeland, Fl. When you're through learning, you're through.

View FlWoodRat's profile


732 posts in 3879 days

#4 posted 01-30-2009 12:41 PM

Spuds…. I like it. Do you mind if I borrow (I really mean STEAL) your design concept?

-- I love the smell of sawdust in the morning....

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4130 days

#5 posted 01-30-2009 01:34 PM

love it.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View BarryW's profile


1015 posts in 3876 days

#6 posted 01-30-2009 07:54 PM

yeah, that is different…is there a lid?

-- /\/\/\ BarryW /\/\/\ Stay so busy you don't have time to die.

View motthunter's profile


2141 posts in 3769 days

#7 posted 01-30-2009 09:10 PM

cool joint!

-- making sawdust....

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3304 days

#8 posted 04-14-2009 07:47 PM

Your design is a great example of thinking outside the box, literally! I wish I could think up things like this.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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