Basic boxes for after Christmas dinner party game prizes

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Project by bluekingfisher posted 12-18-2018 10:49 PM 1275 views 1 time favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I must confess these small boxes are not of my design. They are infact a direct translation from Doug Stowes book, Making basic boxes.
They measure 3” x 3” the lid being 3 1/2” x 3 1/2” with box walls 3/8” thick while the lids are 3/4” thick. The lids have a rebate creating a small 1/8” deep lip which fits snugly into the aperture of the box opening to ensure a friction fit as can be seen in photo 6.
The woods used include, Splated Beech, English oak, Birch, Walnut, Yew some sort of Mahogany and Acacia.

This Christmas we are having Christmas dinner at my parents house with my parents and my sister and her family. My wife likes to orchestrates after dinner party trivia games. I thought I would include my own game this year with the boxes handed out as prizes. I thought I would individually bag up some of the planes shavings from the boxes and a little Stick of the wood and ask the family to name the wood from the shavings and the little piece of wood. Each correct answer will win a box.

Of course everyone will win a box, I have them lined up for each individual, of course they don’t know that. E.g. The box with the marble effect lid (spalted beech) is for my wife. The white lid (Birch) is a little bland so I introduced some Acacia in the form of a cross the represent the Cross of St George flag (English fnational flag) for my English brother in Law.

It was the first time I got to use my relatively new table saw spline slitting jig as listed here in projects some time ago. It worked very well, I must say.

I also made up a small jig for cutting the mitred splines, again taken from Doug Stowes book.

A fairly straight forward build process all in all except for a small mishap when routing the rebate on the bottom of the lids, the router tore off a chunk from the lid of spalted beech. I suspect the wood had just decayed a little too much at that point. Unfortunately for me it was the only interesting piece I had left and of course it was for my wife’s box.

Scarfing a new piece to a corner is always a tad fiddly when working with small parts. I decided to clamp the remains of the lid to the bench, screw a baton parallel to the break line then used wedges to clamp the donor piece against the baton. The repair turned out well, particularly as the repair patch is a different species of wood, although it blends nicely with the spalting in the Beech.

The repair is to the top left hand corner, difficult to see even on close inspection.

I just need to,wrap them now.

Thanks for reading.

-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

9 comments so far

View therealSteveN's profile


1885 posts in 808 days

#1 posted 12-18-2018 11:21 PM

Nice boxes. A thought for you on wrapping is to put something inexpensive the person getting the box will get a kick out of, and just put a bow on top. If they act all excited about the box, just act shocked, ohhhh OK you can keep that too, it was just a box. I usually put a scratch off lottery ticket in mine with a wish they win big. My Wife always gives me away anyhow.

Nice work, thanks for posting.

-- Think safe, be safe

View Rick  Dennington's profile

Rick Dennington

6342 posts in 3428 days

#2 posted 12-18-2018 11:36 PM

Hey amigo,

You did a bang-up job on the small boxes….Your kinfolks will get a kick out of them…That’s a good idea to do something like that for a Christmas treat…..!! You used some “exotic” woods in building them…Now just a shekel in each one, and they will think they found a treasure….:)… And that spline jig worked just like a jig is supposed to work…..!!

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....!!

View bluekingfisher's profile


1311 posts in 3213 days

#3 posted 12-19-2018 04:30 AM

Steve/Rick. Thanks for the comments boys. Each one does actually contain a little gift, pertinent to them, just never thought to mention it.

The photos don’t do the design of Dougs boxes justice, down to the photographer and his poor use of shop lighting lol.

Thanks again for taking the time to comment


-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18422 posts in 3910 days

#4 posted 12-19-2018 08:38 AM

Look good David.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View BB1's profile


1251 posts in 1082 days

#5 posted 12-19-2018 02:54 PM

These are great and very thoughtful gifts. Very nice to personalize each one.

View bluekingfisher's profile


1311 posts in 3213 days

#6 posted 12-19-2018 03:41 PM

Bob & BB1. Thank you gents, much appreciated.


-- No one plans to fail, they just, just fail to plan

View majuvla's profile


13580 posts in 3101 days

#7 posted 12-19-2018 04:27 PM

Great looking various types of wood….I like angled cut on top sides.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Roger's profile


20965 posts in 3038 days

#8 posted 12-20-2018 11:46 AM

Hey David. Long time since I’ve been here. Looks like you’re having the time of good living in the shop. Your boxes are super nice. Hope you’re totally enjoying your retirement. I hope to get back in the shop and make some dust in 2019. Work/Play safe. Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year to you and yours.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View RituGupta's profile


12 posts in 33 days

#9 posted 12-27-2018 03:51 AM

The boxes may be called basic, but you still have to have a certain amount of skill to make sure that the construction has been executed well! It could be basic, but messy with corners all uneven and untouched and that would make all the difference! I think you did a pretty good job with yours so don’t sell yourself short!

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