Bandsaw Box #1

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Project by RandyMorter posted 01-17-2011 08:08 AM 2655 views 3 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I decided to try out a bandsaw box today (1/16/2011) with the new Grizzly G0555P bandsaw…

I promised I’d make another box for another granddaughter so this will be it!

I did this in about 12 hours, although I worked on another box at the same time, went up and bought more wood, ate, etc. This is my first bandsaw box and I made a couple of goofs but I think it’s still okay.

I watched a video on YouTube that showed how to make them and he said you can’t screw them up. My wife kept reminding me of that but I still found a few ways to screw it up.

I created the main design using Google Sketchup. The size was limited to less than 6 inches tall (I don’t have the riser) and I only had one piece of cedar that was about 7 inches long. So the final drawing dimensions were 6-7/8×4-7/8. I had some scraps around that I could do that size, and for a PROTOTYPE I thought it’d be fine…

In my design the original drawers had too sharp of a radius for the 1/8 inch blade to cut. So, I ended up with the somewhat offset drawers but in the end I think I like it better.

I wanted to try to add a hidden drawer too but tried to figure that out on my own which is what caused a couple of problems. It works out in the end, although the drawer isn’t really hidden. I think I’ve got the cut’s figure out for making a hidden drawer so I’ll try it again as another PROTOTYPE. The main thing is I should have had the entry and exit cuts for the drawer on the INSIDE of the main case.

I used a magnet for the drawer pull on the hidden drawer and put a steel screw in the end of a dowel for a “key”. If I had a drill press (or better skill with the handheld) I’d try to make a little hole for this key to be kept in, accessed from the back of the main drawer.

My wife put the felt liner in for me (she was bored). On this project we put it in before the sides were glued back up on the drawers and it turned out pretty good.

I finished this with Watco Danish Oil, Natural, that I decided to try from Woodcraft. I got a pint of it and a pint of Tung oil but seem to like the Danish better. I wish I’d gotten one with some stain in it too. I am still following up with a couple of coats of spray lacquer. I like this better than the polyurethane.


Lessons learned:

1. Use as little glue as possible in the glue up. I tried, and used a brush to spread it around, but it both ran (which was really no issue here) and caused what looked like voids in the joints. I did joint and plane the pieces (two pieces of 2×6 and a piece of cedar fencing for the face). The dry fit was fine, it was just after they were glued that it didn’t look tight. My other thought was the new Harbor Freight clamps may not have applied enough pressure. I’ll use bigger clamps next time as well as try to use less glue.

2. Plan ALL of the cuts in advance. Write them down (briefly) if necessary.

3. These projects take a LOT of sanding. I don’t have a spindle or other permanent sander, so I mounted my little Ryobi belt sander upside down in my table vice and was able to accomplish a lot of the sanding with it. I’d still be sanding if I hadn’t done that.

4. Adding metal hardware sure makes the project look better.

5. It’s demanding cutting with the 1/8 inch blade. I need to practice staying on lines.

6. Slow feed rate for this type of project is good. I was tempted to try the slower speed on the saw but it looks like a PITA to switch over.


Update 1/20/2011

I’ve started another band saw box and just wanted to post the picture of the glue up of it. I like it much better. Thank you all very much for the generous advice – I used a lot less glue (the little bit of squeeze out in the picture is all that there was), and more and stronger clamps. I didn’t get 8 clamps but I got 6 on it! I also sandwiched the block in between two other pieces just so they could take the damage from the clamps if there is any. One set of clamps doesn’t have the orange protectors. I thought all my clamps did but I guess I’ll have to get some for the pair.

-- Randy Morter, Phoenix, AZ

12 comments so far

View gcodom's profile


7 posts in 2656 days

#1 posted 01-17-2011 09:29 AM

I would have thought you would have used more clamps. If it were my project, I would have used at least 8 of them. I find more clamps with less force on each individual clamp glues up more evenly. At least, that has been my experience.

View clieb91's profile


3520 posts in 3898 days

#2 posted 01-17-2011 02:48 PM

Randy it turned out pretty good. Multiple lessons learned for the next ones which is always very good. Look forward to seeing the future ones.


-- Chris L. "Don't Dream it, Be it."- (Purveyors of Portable Fun and Fidgets)

View Paul Pomerleau's profile

Paul Pomerleau

309 posts in 2656 days

#3 posted 01-17-2011 02:55 PM

That is an excellent looking box, I just finished my first one this past week-end and it didn’t turn out as nice as yours.
I don’t seem to have the imagination to draw out a good flowing pattern and I don’t like copying others so mine usually turns out kind of square.
I really like yours.
I had the same problem with gaps and just opened another blog on the subject.
As you can see in the picture, I used pretty much all my clamps and pressed them on as tight as I can, but others have said that it is caused by the softwood and thin material, I used pine and cedar 1” boards.
I’m thinking of making a press next if I’m going to be making projects like this often.
I like your drawer pulls, again I had a hard time trying to come up with something that would fit the boxes.
Keep up the excellent work.

-- Close to Ottawa Ontario Canada

View Jonathan's profile


2608 posts in 3014 days

#4 posted 01-17-2011 05:21 PM

Seems like you can never have, and almost never use too many clamps. I have also found that the HF clamps can’t tolerate or apply much pressure. The first time I used them, I broke one and was only squeezing with one hand.

I think this is a great first attempt and will be curious to see where the creative process takes you on your next one. Now you’ll be able to take the lessons learned here and continue to create.

I just made my first bandsaw ox last month as a Christmas gift and certainly had my share of learning lessons as well! My first bandsaw box

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View TonyWard's profile


748 posts in 4291 days

#5 posted 01-17-2011 10:57 PM

Well done. I agree far too much of the wood glue – it only adds to the amount of sanding required!

Keep on with your designing, the concept of a hidden drawer is a good one and well worth developing.

Tony Ward

View RandyMorter's profile


228 posts in 2653 days

#6 posted 01-17-2011 11:28 PM

Thanks for the comments and suggestions. I’ll have to get some more and better clamps (I can hear my wife now!). I have 4 good bar clamps but it looks like I could use 4 more. I did find the little HF clamps worked okay for glueing the back and front to the drawers. They’re the first tools I’ve tried from HF and I am not terribly impressed, but I knew I wasn’t paying much. (I mainly went there to get their spray adhesive and floor mats which I saw someone else raving about and they had them for $5.99 for a 4 pack).

Is there a way to remove glue once you’ve squirted it out? Like a paper or regular towell? I tried but didn’t have much luck (I’m sure it’s better not to get too much in the first place).

-- Randy Morter, Phoenix, AZ

View Jonathan's profile


2608 posts in 3014 days

#7 posted 01-18-2011 12:28 AM


I would recommend that you not wipe excess glue with anything when it is still wet. You won’t be able to get it all off and will only be pushing it into the pores of the wood, creating finish adhesion issues.

The best way to remove most of the excess glue (besides not using too much to begin with) is to let it tack up, then scrape it off before it sets up completely. You want to wait until it’s gummy/hard, then scrape it. You can get most of it that way, then you may still have so sand or scrape a little of it once it’s dry. That has been the best way that I’ve found to deal with it.

Keep in mind, you do want a little squeezeout, as you don’t want to starve the glue joint. You just don’t need as much as the above picture shows.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View Jonathan's profile


2608 posts in 3014 days

#8 posted 01-18-2011 12:36 AM

In the case above, I suppose you could wipe a bit of the squeezeout off so it doesn’t glue itself to the table, as long as you haven’t reached you final dimensions for your block of wood. Then you can shave a little bit off each edge on the tablesaw.

The idea is to get a consistent bead of glue that squeezes out all along your joint, but not so much that it runs all over everything, so really, you shouldn’t have to wipe it.

Just don’t wipe a milled joint that you more or less have it cut and set the way you want it, or you will have finish adhesion issues.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View Hawk9's profile


57 posts in 2760 days

#9 posted 01-18-2011 04:24 AM

Regarding the glue-up pic: too much glue and I would have put at least 4 or more clamps per side. I’ve had good luck using the HF clamps for this type of gluing. I just use a lot of them and just clamp, not squeeze the heck out of them.
I really like your eye for design. Flowing and natural. Someimes it’s easier to make 3 or 4 bandsaw boxes at once by rotating thru cutting, glue and clamp and then cutting while the glue dries on the 1st one. By the time you cut the 3rd or 4th box the first one is dry and ready. I like both using felt and flocking. Bandsaw boxes are like imagination: unlimited. And they can be addicting.
Have fun.

View itsmic's profile


1419 posts in 3082 days

#10 posted 01-20-2011 06:12 PM

Nice box Randy, your design is practical and attractive. Gluing and sanding, well, that’s a lot of fun, most of the suggestions above should help reduce glue problems, I use the wait some and scrap off method, but also use caution not to put too much on, and with just a bit of ooze out, I use a soft cloth with precise swipes to take off the excess with out spreading it anywhere else, soft wood is much more absorbent than hard wood and is more reactive to glue absorption. You have a real flair for woodworking, thanks for sharing

-- It's Mic Keep working and sharing

View RandyMorter's profile


228 posts in 2653 days

#11 posted 01-20-2011 06:55 PM

Thanks It’s Mic!

I’ve started on 3 or 4 more bandsaw boxes, this time out of redwood (which I’ve never used but my wife liked the looks of). I picked up a couple more good clamps and will try to use less glue and better clamps (I may still pick up a couple more. I’ve got 6 F-style clamps now from Jorgensen and Craftsman).

I’m also making the new boxes a bit longer but otherwise I’m going to use the same basic design. It seems like I’ve got good comments on it so why not use it some more?

-- Randy Morter, Phoenix, AZ

View Jonathan's profile


2608 posts in 3014 days

#12 posted 01-20-2011 07:18 PM

Keep them coming Randy!

Nothing wrong with trial and error either. It’s a great way to grow and push your own skills and ideas to the next level, if you so choose.

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

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