Vintage style Pencil Box

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Project by jumbojack posted 03-27-2015 03:19 PM 1790 views 6 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have built several of these really cool pencil boxes, they are always a hit. Not just with the youngsters either. It seems the nostalgic look transports the olders to carefree days.
I actually made three in this run and two were gobbled up before I could get photos. They are made from spalted Birch. This was a neighbirhood tree that died and I was fortunate enough to harvest.
The crawlie things that helped kill the tree left a little depression that I used as a finger grab on the lid. Normally I use a 9/16 Foerster bit to cut a little half moon for the finger grab.
The second photo shows the 12 degree compound cut, I used the band saw. The compound cut locks the box together when closed. It is 12 degrees both ways. The box has two layers and pivots on a 1/4” dowel that runs from the top to within 1/8” of the bottom.
The lid is 1/8” and rides in a 1/8” groove. I ease the edges of the lid with a block plane a skosh so the lid slides pretty easy. You want some friction to keep the lid closed.
I finished them all with a few siblings of Watco.
Thanks for looking.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

8 comments so far

View Jerry's profile


2889 posts in 1846 days

#1 posted 03-27-2015 04:06 PM

Jack, this is really beautiful and creative work I like it very much. I also wanted to thank you for the Shopsmith dust cover and the photos. I almost have my dust collection system up and running in the shop so I will be testing this over the next few days.

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be.

View majuvla's profile


13350 posts in 3065 days

#2 posted 03-27-2015 04:12 PM

Indeed true vintage, very realistic. Interesting way of opening.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

21715 posts in 3303 days

#3 posted 03-27-2015 09:42 PM

Nice work, Jack. Not every one is using an I phone and still use pencils. I’m one of them!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Boxguy's profile


2756 posts in 2465 days

#4 posted 03-28-2015 05:51 AM

Jack, nice work here. Looks like you had fun. Here is one that I made that is similar. Are these the same steps you used to make yours?

-- Big Al in IN

View jumbojack's profile


1685 posts in 2822 days

#5 posted 03-28-2015 02:45 PM

Al, these are much easier to make no dados or grooves and no sliding doves. The sides are milled to 5/16. The ends 1/2. The top middle and bottom to 1/8. The sides and ends are grooved at 1/8 the middle is glued into the sides and end the bottom glued on. Fit and slide the top in and cut the box length wise just below the middle. The top half is then crosscut at 12 and 12. The short part gets glued back on. The long end of the top is then clamped to the bottom getting a tight fit and a dowel hole is bored for the hinge pin a 1/4 dowel.
It is a fun project, I usually batch them in groups of three or four. They go fast.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View helluvawreck's profile


32087 posts in 3064 days

#6 posted 03-28-2015 03:08 PM

I love the wood and it’s nicely done.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View Boxguy's profile


2756 posts in 2465 days

#7 posted 03-29-2015 03:35 AM

Jumbo, I like your technique. Thanks for the reply.

-- Big Al in IN

View Roger's profile


20952 posts in 3001 days

#8 posted 03-29-2015 12:44 PM

I like em jack

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

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