Birthday Gift Box

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Project by ChuckV posted 04-24-2011 07:19 PM 3812 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 the products of wealth push you along on the bow wave of their spiritless undying selves.” ― I. Anderson

26 comments so far

View bigike's profile


4048 posts in 2706 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


1767 posts in 2836 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


3292 posts in 3241 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


115167 posts in 2995 days

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

Super birthday present, beautiful

-- Custom furniture

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 2726 days

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

Well done and a first class birthday present…

View Eagle1's profile


2066 posts in 2482 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

1566 posts in 2522 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


4243 posts in 2578 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


5249 posts in 3300 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


11800 posts in 3106 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


822 posts in 2556 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


16862 posts in 2606 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


16229 posts in 3636 days

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

Great design, construction, and wood selection!

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

View WoodGuyNC's profile


114 posts in 2385 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

1593 posts in 2669 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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