Thank You Box w/ Shop Made Pull

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Project by WWilson posted 02-04-2012 06:12 AM 2806 views 7 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This box was a gift for a former boss. I ended up moving departments at work and wanted to make him something as a small thank you for all he taught me.

Box Sides: Hard Maple – reclaimed from some kind of trim (I had to plane off the finish – it was some type of hard clear finish).
Lid: Mahogany
Shop Made Pull: Hard Maple
Bottom: 1/4” ply (get the good stuff from Woodcraft, etc. It is definitely worth the few extra $$)

2 coats Danish Oil + 1 coat of wax

Length: ~6”
Width: ~6”
Height: ~3”

Sides: ~ 1/2” thick.

Note: I forgot to measure this guy up before I gave it away so the dimensions are the best I can remember…

- Shop made pull

I needed to make this box fast – this was one of those spur of the moment type gifts. I chose simple miter joints because this box won’t be jostled around at all. I had this nice little piece of Mahogany laying around and basically built the box to maximize that piece of wood.

Prior to this box, I had never worked Mahogany before. What a dream. It planed and sanded beautifully. I was really happy with how the grain popped once I hit it with the Danish Oil.

I needed to work fast so I chose to rabbet the lid to fit inside the box. This eliminated the need for any hinges and gave it a light, clean look. It also focused the attention on the simple pull.

I made the pull out of some Hard Maple I had in the scrap bin and mixed and matched router bits until I found a shape that I liked. I actually made a couple of pulls (each one was experimental and of a different profile) and settled on this one. Maybe I will use the other for another box?

What I Learned / Things to Consider
1.) Simple is good. You don’t need fancy joinery to make a project look good. Just take care to make sure your machines are set up to give accurate results – sloppy miters are just plain ugly. Sometimes simple = fast = nice little project.

2.) I got a real sense of freedom when I started messing around with making the pulls. I literally played a “subtraction game” with the workpiece until I created a profile I liked. It was fun to mix and match my limited set of router bits to see what I could come up with. I suspect we could all gain from this type of design experimentation from time to time? I like to hash out my ideas on paper and have done so for a long time but there is something about “designing on the fly” that is truly liberating. It’s just plain good stuff!

3.) Oil + Wax is great. You almost can’t screw it up and it makes the grain pop so much the pics can’t do it justice! This is my go to finish for a lot of projects.

4.) I have built a lot of boxes and can say without a doubt if you are using miter joints, the only way to go for the glue up is to use blue painter’s tape at each corner and “wrap it up”. It works so well for me I won’t use any other method. It is simple, quick, and gives me great results every time!

Thanks for Looking!

7 comments so far

View RibsBrisket4me's profile


1554 posts in 2708 days

#1 posted 02-04-2012 06:17 AM

I REALLY like it.

I’m a mininalist at heart, and this is fabulous!

View a1Jim's profile (online now)


117332 posts in 3780 days

#2 posted 02-04-2012 06:30 AM

Smooth clean nice box.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Popsnsons's profile


387 posts in 3184 days

#3 posted 02-04-2012 06:51 AM

Nice Box. I like the wood combo. Great workmanship on the pull (and all around).

-- Pops ~ In So Cal...

View helluvawreck's profile


32087 posts in 3069 days

#4 posted 02-04-2012 02:59 PM

It’s a very nice box and I’m sure that your boss loved it.


-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View ed220's profile


624 posts in 3596 days

#5 posted 02-04-2012 04:59 PM

Sweet looking box. Really like contrasting wood.

View UncleStumpy's profile


736 posts in 2515 days

#6 posted 02-04-2012 06:10 PM

The contrasting wood is great and I really like the knob. Did you ever think about jazzing it up a little?
Maybe feet and/or some cool trim? Or was minimilizm the point of the project?
Either way, this box is really nice.

-- "They don't want it perfect - they want it SPECIAL"

View dakotawood's profile


211 posts in 2986 days

#7 posted 02-05-2012 06:18 AM

How did you router the lid knob with it being so short. Sounds like a potentially dangerous operation. Were you able to do it safely? Thanks! Great looking box!

-- Travis, South Dakota

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