Cedar Keep-sake Boxes

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Project by DaytonHM posted 09-20-2012 02:56 PM 2327 views 4 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Just Finished these recently. (8×6x3.5) Felt insert in the bottom. Going to leave them raw so the cedar aroma stays active. My first few boxes had ill fitting lids until I read here on LJ’s how to make the tops correctly.

Cut whatever thickness you want for the top, leave approximately a quarter inch over-hang all the way around. Glue the lid down onto the box. Let that set up for a few hours. Use your router and a flat profile bit to bring the lid and box to the same dimension all around. Use your band-saw/table saw and cut the lid to your desired depth. Even if you are a little wiggly on your saw passes the top will match on both surfaces very nicely.

Tip#1 When routing cedar, slow your router down to half speed or so. Take a smaller bite around the surface, then finish with the full desired cut depth. I found taking these steps minimizes (burning) and (flickering) the wood’s edge.

Tip #2 Holding down small pieces for routing. Use some 2-3 inch tape on the bottom of the piece folded over. Doubled sided will work even better. Does the trick safely.

Tip #3 Sanding tool for leveling boxes. I cannot tolerate a box that is not level. Since I do not own a drum sander I had to come up with a cheap solution. I used my old 120 grit belt sander belts. Cut a piece of (flat) 5/8 plywood approximately 2’X2’. Cut the old belts all to the same length. Use contact cement and glue them all down to the plywood fitting the belts snugly side by side. When I need to level the feet on a box, I hold the box
firmly with both hands on my wide sanding platform…10-15 passes back and forth and the box sits nice and level.

(Crude but effective)!


-- DaytonHM Dayton Va.

5 comments so far

View degoose's profile


7238 posts in 3501 days

#1 posted 09-20-2012 08:13 PM

Great tips and a great pair of boxes…

-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View jaykaypur's profile


4017 posts in 2555 days

#2 posted 09-20-2012 10:20 PM

Very pretty boxes. I love cedar and you did a good job on these and I like the routed lines on the outside too.

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

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2837 days

#3 posted 09-21-2012 12:54 AM

Nice boxes and good tips. I use a 16” wide 100 grit belt glued to a piece of Masonite to flatten my boxes.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View AJswoodshop's profile


1057 posts in 2423 days

#4 posted 09-21-2012 02:18 AM

Very nice boxes! I’ll favorite them too!

View bigike's profile


4054 posts in 3435 days

#5 posted 09-21-2012 12:46 PM


-- Ike, Big Daddies Woodshop,

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