Birthday Gift Box

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Project by ChuckV posted 04-24-2011 07:19 PM 3534 views 38 times favorited 26 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This box is a birthday gift for my sister-in-law. It is based on a design in the book “Box-Making Basics” by David Freedman. I made it from curly maple and black walnut. The dimensions are about 10” by 5” and 4” in height. I finished this box with Danish Oil.

The plans in the book use biscuits to join the carcase pieces to the legs. I used mortise and tenon joints instead. Here are some pictures of the joinery that I used. The pin in the first photo is used as one of the two hinges for the lid.

The legs are tapered on the two outside faces. I rigged up a shooting board to make the tapers with a hand plane. Here are some pictures of the contraption that I came up with. After fine-tuning it on a test piece, this method worked very well on the small legs.

When it came time for glue up, I realized that clamps might not work well because of the tapered legs. I could have made some more tapered pieces as shims to create flat clamping surfaces. But, I decided that I should not need all that much pressure when gluing. If I did, that would mean that I messed up something earlier. I had good results using eight rubber bands.

Locating the holes for the pins in the sides and lid was the most exacting part of building this box. Since the lid is meant to be flush with the carcase top and there is a reveal all around, there is no where to hide a misalignment. The goal is 1/32” reveal on the sides and 1/16” on the front and back.

-- “And it's only the giving that makes you what you are. ” ― I. Anderson

26 comments so far

View bigike's profile


4047 posts in 2377 days

#1 posted 04-24-2011 07:23 PM

very nice work, I love how you added the blog into the post great work.

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View MShort's profile


1757 posts in 2506 days

#2 posted 04-24-2011 07:32 PM

What great birthday present. Thanks for the pictures of assembly.

-- Mike, Missouri --- “A positive life can not happen with a negative mind.” ---

View blackcherry's profile


3251 posts in 2911 days

#3 posted 04-24-2011 07:49 PM

Exceptional build and just a beauty of a box. Well done on posting as well…BC

View a1Jim's profile


113823 posts in 2665 days

#4 posted 04-24-2011 07:54 PM

Super birthday present, beautiful

-- Custom furniture

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 2397 days

#5 posted 04-24-2011 08:50 PM

Well done and a first class birthday present…

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 2153 days

#6 posted 04-24-2011 08:55 PM

Well done there. Let me see when is my birthday?

-- Tim, Missouri ....Inside every older person is a younger person wondering what the heck happened

View robert triplett's profile

robert triplett

1546 posts in 2193 days

#7 posted 04-24-2011 09:30 PM

Wow, that is nice. I have some parts cut with a similar box in mind. The description of your process will help a lot. thanks

-- Robert, so much inspiration here, and now time to work!!!

View rance's profile


4197 posts in 2249 days

#8 posted 04-24-2011 09:32 PM

Very nicely done. And oh, my favorite clamps-Rubber Bands! :) Nice B/D present.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View SPalm's profile


5185 posts in 2970 days

#9 posted 04-24-2011 09:42 PM

Very very nice. I really like it. Simple yet funky.

Thanks for the step by step. I agree with you clamping strategy.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Dusty56's profile


11781 posts in 2776 days

#10 posted 04-24-2011 10:12 PM

Well done ! The wood combo is beautiful : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View hjt's profile


791 posts in 2226 days

#11 posted 04-24-2011 10:30 PM

What can I say that has not been said already except to tell you that you missed my birthday (April 3rd.) Guess I can be expecting one in the mail soon.

Your comment up the gluing explains why I need so much clamping pressure – I seem to screw up in the beginning, middle, and at the end!

-- Harold

View Ken90712's profile


16034 posts in 2277 days

#12 posted 04-24-2011 10:35 PM

What a great job on this… Love the finish you did and your pics are great. Well done.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View CharlieM1958's profile


16143 posts in 3306 days

#13 posted 04-25-2011 02:02 AM

Great design, construction, and wood selection!

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

View WoodGuyNC's profile


111 posts in 2055 days

#14 posted 04-25-2011 03:37 AM


-- You can't buy salvation, it's a free gift from God.

View Monty Queen's profile

Monty Queen

1585 posts in 2340 days

#15 posted 04-25-2011 05:09 AM

Awesome job on the box, beautiful craftsmanship

-- Monty Q, Columbia, South Carolina.

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