Raised Panel Box

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Project by Timmy2Hands posted 06-29-2016 11:30 PM 1360 views 14 times favorited 25 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a simple, yet elegant, box with reinforced mitered corners, a raised panel lid, and grain matching around the outside.
The box is 4” tall 6” deep, and 10” wide.
It’s made with hard maple and walnut and I used hand tools only.

You can find a complete tutorial of this build in the guild at

Here are some pictures of the build.

Straightening and flattening one edge before I rip cut.

Rip cutting with my new frame saw. Here is a link to my frame saw build

I don’t have a tail vise on this bench, but I find that a wonder pup from Veritas and some batons work really well as an alternative and get out of my way when they’re not needed.

I used my plow plane to cut two grooves for the top and bottom panels.

I cross cut the board into the lengths needed for the box sides. This will carry the grain around three of the four corners.

I rough cut the miters on the bench hook using a “donkey’s ear” attachment to hold it at 45 degrees.

I then move the donkey’s ear back to the shooting board to clean up the cut to the line.

It’s now time to work on the top and bottom panels. I’m working with 3/4” stock and one panel needs to be brought down to 5/8” and the other will be 1/2”

I cut a 1/4” x 3/8” rebate around the edges of the 5/8” panel, leaving me a 1/4” x 1/4” tongue to fit in the grooves of the box sides.

I cut a raised panel detail on the 1/2” panel, this will become the box lid.

Even a small box has four corners, so I think eight clamps will be enough.

I used my tenon saw to cut slots on the corners to reinforce the miters. I also hand planed thin strips of walnut for the splines. (0.041”)

I then used my tenon saw to cut off the lid of the box.

When I was about half way done, I inserted my card scraper into the kerf to keep it from closing up on me as I finished cutting the opposing side.

Some sandpaper glued to a piece of glass got the mating surfaces flat and true.

Routing out the hinge mortises.

The hinges are from Horton Brasses

A few coats of Watco Danish Oil and some wax and we’re done.

-- Tim

25 comments so far

View Billp's profile


802 posts in 3617 days

#1 posted 06-30-2016 12:07 AM

I’m impressed all by hand. That’s one sweet looking box.

-- Billp

View doubleDD's profile


5053 posts in 1461 days

#2 posted 06-30-2016 12:13 AM

A lot of effort with some fine results. Nicely done.

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

View Handtooler's profile


1355 posts in 1550 days

#3 posted 06-30-2016 12:50 AM

WOW!, that’s one beautiful box. And, your hand tool working skills are something to be envied in this day of power tools. You’re a fine woodworker. Thanks for the tour of how you accomplished this masterpiece.

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343

View kiefer's profile


4873 posts in 2084 days

#4 posted 06-30-2016 01:17 AM

A fine handcrafted box !
You should be full of pride doing this with hand tools only .


-- Kiefer

View Boxguy's profile


2121 posts in 1685 days

#5 posted 06-30-2016 04:32 AM

Tim, great work. The raised top panel is a nice touch. I liked your added photos of the process, and admire your dedication to working with hand tools. I am glad you have the muscle power to do this. There is something noble about your hand-tool quest. Keep boxing and keep posting.

-- Big Al in IN

View Charles Holland's profile

Charles Holland

63 posts in 114 days

#6 posted 06-30-2016 04:39 AM

that’s a sweet looking box.

View Timmy2Hands's profile


108 posts in 382 days

#7 posted 06-30-2016 04:41 AM

Big Al, Klaus, Russ, Dave, and Bill,

Thank you all for the kind words. I’m not sure I would call this one a masterpiece, more like a learning experience.
I always learn new things with each new project.

I like the quietness of hand tool work and I’ve found that if my tools are sharp my muscles don’t have to work as hard as it looks.

-- Tim

View albachippie's profile


757 posts in 2453 days

#8 posted 06-30-2016 12:21 PM

That’s a fantastic box Tim. I love the detail you put in to your post. I also had a look at your frame saw post also. Two excellent projects and posts. Thanks for sharing,


-- Garry fae Bonnie Scotland -

View splintergroup's profile


719 posts in 640 days

#9 posted 06-30-2016 02:10 PM

100% meat power only, a worthy goal on it’s own but with a fine end product to show for it. Very well done!

View Lenny's profile


1469 posts in 2945 days

#10 posted 06-30-2016 08:34 PM

That’s wonderful craftsmanship in general but considering it’s made with only hand tools, that takes it to another level. Well done! Question: There is a photo where the box is taped but the lid panel (and maybe bottom too) is not in. Was that just a “check the fit” tape up?

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View Timmy2Hands's profile


108 posts in 382 days

#11 posted 06-30-2016 08:37 PM

Hey Lenny,
Yes, I had just finished cutting the miters and needed to check that they were tight and square.

-- Tim

View theoldfart's profile


7933 posts in 1869 days

#12 posted 06-30-2016 10:54 PM

Very nice addition to the portfolio Tim. Really well done.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View Mean_Dean's profile


4930 posts in 2565 days

#13 posted 06-30-2016 11:44 PM

Great looking box! I like the woods you chose, and the raised-panel lid! And good on you for the hand tool only work—I’m sure your neighbors appreciate that!

-- Dean

View Timmy2Hands's profile


108 posts in 382 days

#14 posted 06-30-2016 11:49 PM

Thanks Kevin, It’s always good to hear from you.

Dean, I always say you can’t go wrong with walnut and maple.
But, maple can be a little bland some times, so I made sure to highlight that really nice grain inclusion right on the front panel.

-- Tim

View CFrye's profile (online now)


8560 posts in 1257 days

#15 posted 07-01-2016 02:42 AM

Beautifully done, Tim. Really like the thin splines, keys(whatever they’re called). Is it easier to get a flat bottom on the thin notches? The relatively thick ones I cut once(1/8’?) were pretty ragged. Coulda been my saw needed sharpened… Excellent placement of the inclusion, btw.
Thanks for sharing.

-- God bless, Candy

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