Boxguy Cuts Some Corners

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Project by Boxguy posted 01-08-2016 06:35 AM 1690 views 6 times favorited 32 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Thanks, as always. I deeply appreciate all of you who have taken time to look at this project. I do take time to reply to those who “have your say” on this and other projects. Your comments and critiques are always appreciated and make posting projects fun for me to do.

Pictured is a jewelry box (9 1/2” L, 6 3/4” W, 5” H ). The top, bottom, and splines are Louro Preto from Brazil. The sides are Hard Maple from Maine. The sides of the tray are Curly Maple from Kentucky with Black Walnut splines from Indiana. The bottom of the tray is figured Anegre from Ghana, Africa. The dividers are made from a wooden Venetian blind from Goodwill.

Story: So I woke up one day last week thinking about building boxes and began to remember some things from my tenth grade geometry class of some 52 years ago. Of course the first thing I remembered was the cute girl that sat in front of me in that class. Then I started thinking of symmetrical shapes for boxes. This box shape is symmetrical three ways. You can draw a straight line from three different corners and have the same shape on the both sides of the line. Then I figured out that as long as the opposed sides matched in length and angles I could make a box in lots of shapes. Stars, hexagons, octagons, all sorts of weird shapes began to dance about in my mind, but I got up and drew this shape and began to make some parts longer and some shorter.

I had this scrap of Louro Preto that wanted to be a box, so it began to size the box to fit that scrap of wood. I grabbed a calculator and began figuring out the square root of the sum of the squares of the two sides and I soon had the dimensions I needed to use up the scrap I had. Boy, are calculators a better deal than slide rules and tables. The sides wanted to be 4 3/4, 6, 3 1/4 and so they are and so it is.

Technical Details: This box is symmetrical. The opposing sides are the same size with the same angles. When you are laying out this box, it is difficult to get all the angles correct. I found that marking the board ends with blue and red chalk helped. I cut the blue ends with a 45 degree angle and the red ends with 22 1/2 degree angle

The biggest challenge on this project was crafting the tray. It has to have the proper shape and the proper size to fit inside the box. There are lots of things to keep track of when you are working with this many small pieces and this many odd angles.

One of the tough decisions on this box was deciding where to put the finger lift. If I position the lift in center of the whole lid, like this picture shows it, the lid balances well on your finger, but if I had moved the lift to the left a bit and centered it on that particular side of the box, it may have looked better.

Guess I’ll drift back to sleep. I never know what box I’ll dream up tonight…could be interesting. Keep boxing and keep posting.

-- Big Al in IN

32 comments so far

View HuckD's profile


298 posts in 1135 days

#1 posted 01-08-2016 06:55 AM

Outstanding! Design, fit and finish are just beautiful.

-- Visit my Youtube Channel:

View DocSavage45's profile


7656 posts in 2263 days

#2 posted 01-08-2016 07:50 AM

It’s you in a new way! I LIKE IT!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Hawaiilad's profile


2885 posts in 2442 days

#3 posted 01-08-2016 08:57 AM

I sure like your new box Al.

-- Larry in Hawaii,

View Boxguy's profile


2122 posts in 1688 days

#4 posted 01-08-2016 10:03 AM


Huck, thanks. I hadn’t thought much about the fit, but you are right the fit did turn out well. Using a press for clamping the top and bottom, and a band clamp for the side pieces, and being able to run pieces through my dual drum sander to even them on top and bottom, all contribute to the fit being this precise. It was nice of you to notice and comment on that.

I like all the jigs you have posted on this site. I spent more time making jigs and fixtures than I spent making boxes my first year into this adventure.

Doc, thanks. You are right. I am using my same techniques, but applying them to different parts of the box-building process. Sort of like having the right string, but the wrong yo-yo. I can tell you this, a box in this shape takes a lot more concentration than building a rectangular box.

Wow, I don’t think I ever had a capitalized, bold, and italicized COMMENT before, Doc, thanks.

Larry, thanks for the kind words. From looking at your projects, I see you too have discovered the joy of having a grandson to make toys for. Aren’t grandchildren fun? Sometimes my grandson makes me feel like my father has been re-born.

-- Big Al in IN

View tichtot's profile


37 posts in 463 days

#5 posted 01-08-2016 11:00 AM

An additional masterpiece which inspires me. :) Congrats!

-- Tichomir Toth, Slovakia,

View Glastron's profile


14 posts in 426 days

#6 posted 01-08-2016 11:10 AM

Beautiful box Alan, very creative, I went back into your projects clear back to the marble box and they all are awesome, this box here took some creativity.

AKA Blackie

View rejo55's profile


186 posts in 1663 days

#7 posted 01-08-2016 12:13 PM

Not only is this an outstanding box, Al, I also love your writing style. Great job on both!

Have a good’un,

-- rejo55, East Texas

View Joe Weaver's profile

Joe Weaver

507 posts in 3107 days

#8 posted 01-08-2016 12:44 PM

very well done, its beautiful

-- Joe, Ga

View  woodshaver (Tony)  's profile

woodshaver (Tony)

3938 posts in 2774 days

#9 posted 01-08-2016 01:01 PM

Another masterpiece! Beautiful work! Very nice design!

-- Tony C UAW, St Augustine FL, My high school shop teacher said "You can do it"... Now I can't stop!

View Boxguy's profile


2122 posts in 1688 days

#10 posted 01-08-2016 01:30 PM


Tichtot, thanks for the complement. You do such beautiful work on your boxes that I am inspired by you as well. Keep boxing and keep posting.

Blackie, I miss seeing your work. You always seemed to take your style on to another step forward. Your work evolves and improves all the time. Hope you are still happy in your new shop.

Joe, thanks for noticing. I have worked at making boxes interesting and have worked to make my postings interesting as well. Nice of you to comment.

Joe Weaver, thanks for taking time to comment. 40 postings is a lot of work. Your router trays, bowls, cutting boards and pizza scoop are impressive work.

Tony, thanks for the kind words. I liked you coin and candy dispensers. They looked like fun.

-- Big Al in IN

View helluvawreck's profile


22677 posts in 2287 days

#11 posted 01-08-2016 01:43 PM

Al, you are so creative and I love your work and designs. Your craftsmanship is always a delight to see.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View doubleDD's profile


5062 posts in 1464 days

#12 posted 01-08-2016 02:00 PM

Big Al, I have to say that I have thought of making some (out of the box) shapes as this. Just too busy thinking about it than doing it. Now I know how they will look, not bad at all, but with your craftsmanship, you can turn anything into beautiful. I like the long splines you have instead of just on the corners. Well done.
p.s. I hope the cute girl that sat in front of you in class didn’t in any way look like the shape of this box. We might start worrying about you.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View wood2art's profile


23 posts in 2268 days

#13 posted 01-08-2016 02:39 PM

Looks like a winner to me. Nice job.

-- Jim, Minnesota

View pottz's profile


769 posts in 405 days

#14 posted 01-08-2016 03:28 PM

man that is a gorgeous design i love the way you tweeked it good job thinking outside the box pun intended.also nice way to do some recycling with the old see a lot of boxes on this site but this is a 5 star job.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View RootandBranch's profile


240 posts in 525 days

#15 posted 01-08-2016 04:01 PM

Excellent. You always inspire me to up my game.

-- Don, -

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