|Project by Boxguy||posted 280 days ago||1806 views||10 times favorited||24 comments|
Thanks: I appreciate your taking time to look at this posting. Your feedback is what makes these posting worth doing. I will respond to all comments, suggestions, and questions made during the next 24 hours, so check back for those. — Big Al
Pictured: This is a 8” x 6 1/4” x 6 1/4” jewelry keeper made from a West African Makore tree with a top and corner splines made of a curly Red Maple tree from Maine. Hence the title of joining trees from far and near. This box features a sliding Makore tray that slides on curly maple rails installed at the front and back of the box.
Commissioned: This is the second of three boxes I made for a friend. She wanted three the same size, but of different woods to give to her nephews. I’ll post the third in a week or two. She wanted a box made of unique woods in this smaller footprint. Makore and curly maple are a great combination that offers a fine contrast in color and grain pattern. I have made several with these woods and they always turn out well.
Focus: In this post I would like to highlight making trays and rails for boxes. As a rule of thumb, the top of the rail is as tall as half the distance between the inside bottom and inside top of the box. Most of my tray sides are 1 1/4” tall. If they are too deep you can’t get your fingers into them. Be sure to leave enough room between the top of your tray and the bottom of the lid. If your tray is too tall the top will hit on the tray as it closes. Generally tray sides are 1/4 to 3/8 thick. If the sides get too thick they look bulky and are heavy. The bottoms are 1/4 inch plywood set in a dado. Recycled paneling from older homes works well for tray bottoms and the wood is really 1/4” thick. I often use scraps from making the top for the tray and the corner splines for the tray are made of the same wood as the sides of the box.
The maple rails and tray sides used here keep the same theme as the outside colors, and I don’t have to blend a third kind of wood into a small box. I like rails that go all the way to the bottom of the box. Since rails are difficult to clamp inside the box, I usually cut rails very closely so they just barely fit. I put some glue on the back of the rail and then pin nail the rail into place. The glue dries and needs no clamp so I can continue working on the box or making the tray.
When possible make the tray square then you don’t have to be careful when you put it back in the box…it fits either way. For larger boxes consider two square trays. If you leave a little room on the side of the tray so you can insert your hand, then you don’t need a lift on your tray. It is easy for the user to simply move their fingers under the tray and lift it out with one hand and reach into the bottom of the box with the other hand and replace the tray into the box.
For further tips on making boxes there are tutorials arranged by topics below. Just scroll and click.
Tutorials: For methods used to make a box like that pictured above just click on the blue links below. They are arranged by topic.
Mortising and installing hinges:
Cutting off the box top:
Adding splines to a box:
Making splines with a simple jig:
Making a jig to cut spline slots:
Measuring for spline slot cuts:
$5 band clamps:
Installing an attached top: like that pictured above.
Jig for 45ing corners:
Organizing a glue-up table:
Tips on making trays for inside boxes: http://lumberjocks.com/projects/86961:
-- Big Al in IN