First Box

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Project by Zallut posted 06-29-2011 04:15 PM 1335 views 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well here it is my first finished box, it went to my mother because she needed a special place to store all of her keepsakes from her dad who recently passed. I know I have a long way to go but it’s a start at least and enough fun for me to have completely caught the wood working bug! It was made using western cedar and cherry. The cherry came from my parents homestead and was cut and milled down to rough cut by my father. The cedar was some that I had laying around after another project that I scrapped so I figured I could reuse the wood for this box. I learned one very important thing from this project and that is hinges are a pain in the butt to use! I had tons of fun and can already see ways to make the next box better than the last. The best part is that I have about two truck fulls of cherry and aromatic cedar that my father had cut and dried, but never used to practice on before I get into having to buy wood for later projects.

-- Zallut "Sandpaper and stain can make you the woodworker you ain't"

7 comments so far

View Joanne's profile


186 posts in 3193 days

#1 posted 06-29-2011 04:46 PM

Very nice job and I’m sure your Mom loves it!

-- Joanne, New York,

View Razorbak91313's profile


89 posts in 2640 days

#2 posted 06-29-2011 05:12 PM

Very nicely make box for your first shot. You must have some previous woodworking experince to do such a nice job on the first shot.
And yes, hinges are the devil’s way of mocking us. At least i think so…, I hate hinges. Maybe I need to get a bunch of cheap hinges of various shapes and some scrap wood and just practive monuting the hinges over and over and over and over….and over again.

-- Turning good wood into even better wood jewelry.

View skippyland's profile


158 posts in 2687 days

#3 posted 06-29-2011 05:16 PM

Nice first box…it must be nice to be able to “practice” on cedar and cherry!

-- Skip from Batavia, purveyor of fine and exotic sawdust & chips.

View ghazard's profile


382 posts in 3505 days

#4 posted 06-29-2011 05:54 PM

Looks great! Excellent job!

-- "Hey, you dang woodchucks! Quit chuckin' my wood!"

View Zallut's profile


5 posts in 2558 days

#5 posted 06-29-2011 06:35 PM

Thanks for all the positive comments guys and gals! Yes Razor I have to agree that hinges are of the devil 100%, this project taught me that lesson. Before I put the hinges on the back everything was lined up so pretty and even then after I put the top screws in the hinges I got a small gap in the back that drove me nuts. I couldn’t think of a clean way of moving the screws so I decided it would hurt the look less if I just left it alone. I might have to follow you and practice on some scrap for a while till I learn the tips and tricks.

I have done some wood working here and there but mainly doing things like building porches etc and nothing fancy or worthy of showing others lol. This is the first time I have gotten into finer wood working and I love it completely. I would say I spent a month getting equipment setup and building jigs. I am really lucky for sure to have plenty of good lumber to work with while I learn. Granted most of it takes quite a bit of work to get ready to build anything square with but it just helps me learn more and more is the way I look at it. I will try and post up some pictures of the wood that I have there are quite a few pieces of the ceder that have some really great grain patterns in them but I am saving those for later on when I am prone to less mistakes lol. All of the Cherry I have is quarter cut, and luckily he cut that after learning on the cedar, so its a bit straighter. The best pieces of cherry are the ones where he quartered the tree then squared it up so I have a few really big pieces I would say 4” x 4” x 8’. I am about to get him to fire up the mill again and go pick out some more wood to cut and get it drying :) We have a bunch of oak on the homestead that I feel needs to be thinned out a bit.

-- Zallut "Sandpaper and stain can make you the woodworker you ain't"

View smitty22's profile


714 posts in 2942 days

#6 posted 06-30-2011 03:34 AM

Very nice, much better than my first boxes!

A couple of tips on hinges (learned the hard way): Using a normal slow speed twist drill to drill the hinge screw pilot holes allows the wood grain to ‘walk’ the holes off-center from where intended, thus allowing the hinge to shift when screws are installed. To avoid that, drill the hinge screw pilot holes with a high-speed device like a router or dremel moto-tool and a small carbide bit or cutter, using the hinge in place as a drill template. Hold the hinge in place with hot melt glue or DS tape while drilling. Also on hinges that have 2 or 3 screw holes per side, drill only one hole per side, check fit, then if OK, drill the rest. If not OK, you have another chance!

Another secret used by those whose holes aren’t quite straight is to use a liner to ‘register’ the body and the lid, then leave the hinge screws just a bit loose and the lid/body self aligns. Mortising the hinges helps too.


-- Smitty

View Zallut's profile


5 posts in 2558 days

#7 posted 06-30-2011 04:07 AM

Thank you very much for the tips Smitty! I did use a 18v cordless drill and went slow thinking it would help me drill a better hole. I can see what you mean though because it did just that and walked up a little bit causing the gap to show in the back. I have a dremel and a small bit that I can use next time, it seems I will be “borrowing” my wife’s hot glue gun as well when it comes hinge time again…

-- Zallut "Sandpaper and stain can make you the woodworker you ain't"

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