Chunky Slab-Lid Boxes

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Project by Dekker posted 2455 days ago 2315 views 11 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch

These were the second pair of boxes I have made this year (at least before the snow fell). They are made of walnut with bird’s eye maple slab lids. The keys are actually dovetail keys made with some leftover bird’s-eye maple. Once again, my joinery is improving but getting better. Finished in tung oil/varnish blend.

The details of its construction are covered in my blog.

Again, I am disappointed that I will have to wait until spring before I can get out to my shop!

-- Dekker -

20 comments so far

View YorkshireStewart's profile


1106 posts in 2525 days

#1 posted 2455 days ago

A lovely honest design that shows off the wood so well. Attractive chamfer around the top and I do like the dovetail keys. If it ever snows here, I doubt I’ll take the ten paces to the shop!

-- Res severa verum gaudium - True pleasure is a serious business.

View SPalm's profile


4783 posts in 2506 days

#2 posted 2455 days ago

Nice ‘chunky’ box. I like it. The keys really do kick it up.

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3808 posts in 2646 days

#3 posted 2455 days ago

Is that design in a book somewhere?
I am sure I have seen it before.


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View Chip's profile


1904 posts in 2717 days

#4 posted 2455 days ago

When I first saw the pics in thumbnail form I thought the boxes might be too chunky. But on closer inspection, your approach to the lid and the spline make these boxes right on. I really, really like that large, single spline. More great work Dek.

-- Better to say nothing and be thought the fool... then to speak and erase all doubt!

View Betsy's profile


2913 posts in 2520 days

#5 posted 2455 days ago

Dekker – it looks great.

Bob#2 the design looks like the one in David Freedman’s book. That’s where I took my pecan box from and this looks similar. Dekker has added dovetail keys which I think makes this box look so much better than plan keys or no keys at all.

Dekker – why no shop time coming up?

-- Like a bad penny, I keep coming back!

View Karson's profile


34869 posts in 3025 days

#6 posted 2455 days ago

Decker Great little box. Not all boxes have to be big enough to put all your goodies in. A simple, one item box is just great.

I have never thought about a slab of wood for the top. A great idea.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware †

View cajunpen's profile


14375 posts in 2690 days

#7 posted 2455 days ago

Beautiful box Dekker. I really like your top and finger slot.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View Blake's profile


3437 posts in 2499 days

#8 posted 2455 days ago

The joinery is excellent! I have never tried dovetail keys before. I really like that look.

-- Happy woodworking!

View Dekker's profile


147 posts in 2505 days

#9 posted 2455 days ago

Bob#2/Betsy yes, the plan was from a book, but I don’t recall which. I had photocopied the pages I needed when I first saw them (months ago?) and just pulled out the pages for the project. The copies are what I work from in the shop. I guess I should mark the source on my copies!

The dovetail keys were an excuse to buy a tiny dovetail bit and it was a learning experience to cut the key itself to the right width. Lesson learned? Do NOT cut the key channel the full depth of the bit… When you later cut/shape the key, you use the same bit to make the slopes, and then adjust the key’s width by reducing its height… Unfortunately, if you’ve cut the channel the full depth of the bit, you can’t afford to lose any of the key blank’s height! Not sure if it is explained clearly, however I’m sure I’ll remember not to do that again… took two tries to get it right!

Betsy: No shop time coming up because the snow has started to fall up here… I’m working in an unheated garage, and my quartz heater can only do so much. A secondary reason is that my baby girl keeps my wife busy all day, and I’d like to spend some time with them… Maybe in the new year, the baby will let me work outside more!

And thanks for the comments everyone.

-- Dekker -

View CharlieM1958's profile


15683 posts in 2843 days

#10 posted 2455 days ago

Taking a look at you blog, and seeing the finished product, it shows that you are a stickler for precision. Really nice work! I have not yet raised my level of patience to these heights, but I’m working on it.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View miles125's profile


2179 posts in 2630 days

#11 posted 2454 days ago

Neat little box. Also shows there no such thing as wood scraps!

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

3962 posts in 2688 days

#12 posted 2453 days ago

Karson and I will attest to that, Miles.
Nice little box Dekker. The dovetail keys do set it off nicely. I hate miters, so I think you have done splendidly, and I like the finger relief in the front and the chamfer. It lightens up the chunkiness.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Karson's profile


34869 posts in 3025 days

#13 posted 2453 days ago

I don’t know if you have ever seen this jig before. I bought one 10 years ago and have never used it. It would make the cutting and keys for your box very simple.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware †

View Jiri Parkman's profile

Jiri Parkman

950 posts in 2437 days

#14 posted 2422 days ago


-- Jiri

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 2499 days

#15 posted 2422 days ago

Love the dovetail keys.

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