Lift Lid Box Plus

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Project by WWilson posted 02-04-2012 06:43 AM 1717 views 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This box was a gift for a colleague at work who left our team.

Box Sides: Cherry
Top Panel: Black Walnut frame, figured Cherry floating panel
Bottom: 1/4” ply (get the good stuff from Woodcraft, etc. It is definitely worth the few extra $$)

2 coats Danish Oil + Wax

Length: 7 3/4”
Width: 7”
Height: 2 1/2”

Sides: 3/8” thick.

- Framed Lift Lid

I was experimenting this time with overall box size. I made some before that weren’t very useful when I got all done and am trying other things now – shorter and wider? In the end, this box size seemed to be fairly useful. You could maybe put your keys and wallet in it, etc. It would probably fit photos or other small items too.

I use my low angle block plane on every project I make. This one was no exception. Note the chamfers on the lid and the bottom of the box – all made with my plane. I put a little more chamfer on this lid that on past projects and was pleased with the overall look. I like putting a heavy chamfer on the bottom of the box because it seems to give it some lift and make it feel a little bit lighter. I don’t have any rule of thumb for how much I chamfer things – I just use my eye and go until it feels right.

The Walnut I used was really nice and dark but had some wicked sapwood. I really liked the contrast so I left it in (but made sure it was oriented so it was the underside of the lid). This screams “handmade” and I am all about that.

What I Learned / Things to Consider
1.) Sloppy miters look like crap! I fought with this guy – tweaked, clamped, used my shooting board… Nothing worked. Until… I took a look at my pathetic miter gage fence and thought “hey dummy” your fence is so chewed up (and short – i.e., not properly backing up the cut and maybe even deflecting somewhat) you need to fix that first! So, I spent an entire shop session (my shop time is 2 hours max in the evening) just making up a new miter gage fence. I found a good piece of 5/4 Red Oak and milled it up. She’s spot on now.

2.) Play with the details. I experimented with chamfers on this box. By putting more chamfer on the edges that I have in past projects, I feel like I was able to refine this piece a little more. When you do this work by hand (i.e., with a plane) you have so much control and can feather the look to your liking. I highly recommend it! Oh and don’t forget sharp planes are happy planes!

3.) Take care to pics your feature boards. I had a highly figured piece of cherry and wanted to take advantage of it so I pared it with the dark Walnut. Not sure if I got what I was after but it is certainly contrasting.

4.) Make sure you think about wood movement. In a project this small, maybe it’s not such a big deal but I am trying to practice good behavior! I made sure the panel had room to move in the cross-grain direction and only put a very small dab of glue in the middle of each long-grain end. I didn’t want the frame to self-destruct if the cherry panel expanded with humidity!

5.) Play with wood types and proportions. You won’t find out what you like and don’t like unless you get out and make some sawdust! I figure if I can learn from each experience then I am doing OK.

Thanks for looking!

2 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117328 posts in 3779 days

#1 posted 02-04-2012 06:46 AM

Nice looking box,I like the wood combination.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 2610 days

#2 posted 02-05-2012 12:55 AM

Really nice job and I love the way the lid turned out.

It definitely screams…”hand made.” Great work.

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

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