This Tack Trunk was my first major woodworking project. I wanted to build it with box joints for strength since it was to be used in a barn environment and could be roughly handled. The only bolts used were for the hinges and handles. The only woodworking tools I had were a circular saw and a router. All boards had to be rough cut with the circular saw and then trimmed square with a router straight bit. This was my first time to use oak and to purchase wood from a woodworking shop versus the Home Depot. It was exciting to work with wood with the bark still on it.
The design was a simple box with a deep lid. The bottom is oak plywood fit into slots around the lower panels. The lid is oak plywood fit into rabbits around the lid and thin brass banding between the plywood and hardwood. Each side panel had to be built-up from three boards with glue and biscuits. The router and a straight edge guide produced very good edges which glued up well, although the process was slow. Once assembled, trimmed to final size ready to box joint. I bought a jig to go with the router, but it did not maintain equal spacing like advertised. The max cut it could make was 3/4-inch was was alright since I was using 3/4-inch hardwood. I had to cut and shim to get good joints on all eight joints. I don’t know if it was the jig or the little portable router stand I was using, but I won’t do that again.
While assembling the joints I realized that 3/4-inch hardwood is not 3/4-inch. I should have realized much sooner, but didn’t. The ends of the box joints were sub-flush, but I had a solution. Belt sander. As you can see, the joints became smooth with a lot of sanding. The panel surfaces were actually slightly concave which is not very noticeable (but I know it is there). However, the surfaces became marked and, even with lots of finish sanding, the stain took some of the streaking of the sanding lines.
All hardware was beefy. Hinges were brass door hinges, handles are recessed with springs to keep handles in place. Finish is a brush-on stain was exterior poly for protection.
Bright side: it is easier to get the wife to buy into a planer when you can point to a project where it really would have helped, and it might be useful in future projects she might envision…