Small Chest

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Project by RS Woodworks posted 09-21-2011 09:44 PM 2695 views 5 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here is a recent box / small chest that I completed. It was my first time trying out the new Freud box joint blades I bought, and I used a home made box joint jig that is set up for very fine adjustments.

The sides of the box are walnut and mahogany. The top and bottom panels are lacewood.
The finish is wipe on poly and paste wax. The box measures 12” x 10 3/8” x 5” deep. Making the box joints was pretty easy, but glueing this thing together was a bit of an excercise. If there are any other people that have any tips on glueing box joints together, I’d love to hear them!

Thanks for looking and commenting.


-- I restore the finest vintage tools! If you need a nice plane, saw, marking tool or brace, please let me know!

11 comments so far

View BenR's profile


282 posts in 1529 days

#1 posted 09-21-2011 10:05 PM

Very nice. Beautiful and understated. The whole box begs to be touched.

View littlecope's profile


2998 posts in 2403 days

#2 posted 09-21-2011 10:18 PM

Handsome Work Ryan!!
I got no help here for the gluing up… I always have “pinned” through the joints with wooden dowel…

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View ronstar's profile


182 posts in 2611 days

#3 posted 09-22-2011 01:16 AM

Great box!

Band clamps and these Rockler cauls helped my glue ups

-- Ron, Northern Illinois

View BarbS's profile


2434 posts in 2986 days

#4 posted 09-22-2011 01:59 AM

Oh wow, your lacewood top and bottom are stunning. And you did very well on the box joints. Were they too tight? It should have slipped together just fine. It looks beautiful!


View itsmic's profile


1419 posts in 2019 days

#5 posted 09-22-2011 03:12 AM

Nice Box, the lacewood looks real good on top and bottom, Great job, thanks for sharing

-- It's Mic Keep working and sharing

View smitty22's profile


641 posts in 1848 days

#6 posted 09-22-2011 04:35 AM

Ryan, Beautiful Chest!

Re your question, lesson learned for me was that most (haven’t tried the slower drying varieties) of the PVA adhesives ‘grab’ too fast. A method that works very well for me is to use CA (super glue) on box joints. Just band clamp it together with cauls, either homemade as shown here or the Rockler versions, square it up if needed, then run a healthy bead of CA down the inside of each joint. Let dry for a couple of hours, remove the clamp and cauls, and do the finish sanding of the exterior.

Pic #3 is another way!

I used a slow drying epoxy on this box and it came out fine, just messy!


-- Smitty

View CalgaryGeoff's profile


937 posts in 1383 days

#7 posted 09-22-2011 06:40 AM

Great looking box.

-- If you believe you can or can not do a thing, you are correct.

View tomd's profile


1872 posts in 2671 days

#8 posted 09-22-2011 07:47 AM

Beautiful box, love the lacewood top, very nice work.

-- Tom D

View RS Woodworks's profile

RS Woodworks

464 posts in 2152 days

#9 posted 09-22-2011 08:08 PM

Thanks for the comments and for the tips and advice on the glue up. I really appreciate it. It’s not so much the clamping I have an issue with, as I have various methods for that. It’s more the application of the glue in a tidy and timely manner. I really like the idea of assembling the box “dry” and then applying CA glue to the joints once assembled. I am defenitely gonna try that out on the next one. Thanks guys and gals!


-- I restore the finest vintage tools! If you need a nice plane, saw, marking tool or brace, please let me know!

View bigike's profile


4035 posts in 2189 days

#10 posted 09-30-2012 08:02 PM

Nice box great work!

-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

View NiteWalker's profile


2710 posts in 1478 days

#11 posted 10-26-2012 10:15 AM

Nice box ryan. For future reference, one of these makes glue application on box joints really easy. I learned the trick from doug stowe.
Another method is to use an acid brush and pour the glue in a small jar and “paint” it on. Lee valley makes a nice extended time glue, and the titebond extend glues work well too.

How did you put the panel in place? Stopped grooves?

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

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