Pen Gift Box

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Project by Jim posted 04-18-2009 01:04 AM 1728 views 7 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve been searching for an quick & easy but nice Gift Box for giving away Pens. I searched everywhere finding very few. I even tried a few of my own designs, and finally came up with this one. It’s quick and easy to make and lends itself to producing in quantity. The single biggest challenge I faced was trying to get the holes for the small 6mm pin hinges precisely lined up so the top and bottom of the box line up perfectly. These hinges have zero room for error, I made a LOT of kindling trying to find a solution to this problem. One night laying in bed thinking about this I came up with this idea …

1. I take a 2”x5”x18” piece of walnut. I laminate a 2”x1”x18” strip of birch on either end.

2. I then run it through the thickness planer bringing it down to 1 3/8” thick

3. I slice the board into strips 2” wide so each piece has walnut in the centre and birch end caps.

4. (here is the hinge part) I put the blank about 3/8” from the fence on the drill press with the bottom side up. I drill a 6mm hole from the bottom at each end for the hinges. I need to make sure it does not penetrate the top. Because this is a solid blank at this point the hinge holes are perfectly positioned relative to each other. The distance from the back of the box needs to be exactly the same for each hole so use a fence on your drill press. The location from the ends is not critical, you can eyeball it.

5. I then sand the outside of the blank on the sanding station where I round over the ends for a nice soft look.

6. Next I split the blank down the middle on the band saw forming the top and bottom. A couple quick passes through the thickness planer flattens the rough surface, followed by a quick sanding. This leaves me with a top and bottom. Remember the bottom has holes going all the way through.

7. Over to the router station where I chamfer the inside back edge to a 45 deg angle so the box can open and I route the centre groove to the correct depth to hold the pen.

8. I insert a couple birch plugs into the holes in the bottom. I used birch for a contrasting wood but you could use the same wood if you want to hide the holes.

9. I apply a finish sanding to all the pieces, must to do this before assembly.

10. Flocking is applied to the inside groove

11. The separate top and bottom get a final finish, I used 3 coats of Shelac (1 lb cut).

12. Last of all a little epoxy is placed in the hinge holes using a tooth pick, the pin hinges inserted and box assembled.

-- Jim in Langley BC Canada ---

7 comments so far

View johnpoolesc's profile


246 posts in 3361 days

#1 posted 04-18-2009 01:16 AM

great looking box and thanks for the skill share, i may try one of those

-- It's not a sickness, i can stop buying tools anytime.

View papabear's profile


87 posts in 3347 days

#2 posted 04-18-2009 01:33 AM

Very nice looking box.

-- Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.

View Junji's profile


698 posts in 3383 days

#3 posted 04-18-2009 03:15 AM

Very nice done. I am sorry if I am asking a stupid question, but I couldn’t get what kind of hinge s you are using? From the picture, I can see a little, and looks very nice.

-- Junji Sugita from Japan,

View scopemonkey's profile


188 posts in 4164 days

#4 posted 04-18-2009 04:03 AM

I’ve been making similar boxes for my pens. An alternative way to align the small barrel hinges is to use a spacer and stops on your drill press. If you have a blank that is 6” long and want your hinges 1” in from either end, cut a 5” spacer. Place the spacer on the drill press up against the edge of the bit and bring up a stop on the other end and clamp in place. Then put the spacer on the other side of the bit and clamp a stop on the other side. Now just drill the blanks using the stops. Any minor deviation once assembled can be remedied at the sanding station for nice flush edges. Works great. Love the pen—looks like zebrrawood.

-- GSY from N. Idaho

View Jim's profile


253 posts in 3646 days

#5 posted 04-18-2009 05:12 AM

In response to the question from Junji re the kind of hinges I used. They are pin hinges are from “Lee Valley.
Lee Valley Pin Hinges

The Pen is a Zebrawood Fountain Pen

-- Jim in Langley BC Canada ---

View Junji's profile


698 posts in 3383 days

#6 posted 04-18-2009 05:32 AM

Thank you. I have never seen these before, but it looks really great for these small cases or boxes.
I have never seen selling here in Japan, but maybe I can find it somewhere, I will try!
Thanks again.

-- Junji Sugita from Japan,

View a1Jim's profile


117095 posts in 3578 days

#7 posted 04-19-2009 05:44 AM

Good fix on the hinges. Very nice pen and very nice box.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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