|Project by Boxguy||posted 12-13-2013 06:21 AM||2750 views||21 times favorited||20 comments|
Thanks for looking at this project. I will reply to all Lumberlanders who take time to “have your say” in the next 24 hours, so check back for feedback. There is a tutorial index at the end of this posting that will show you how to build the jigs and learn the techniques for building boxes like this valet Josh built.
Pictured is a large (15 x 8×6) Hard Maple and African Mahogany valet that Josh made in the shop this past month. The box corner splines are mahogany and the tray corner splines are maple. This valet was made and designed by Josh and features a protruding, divided lift-out tray made to hold a wallet, ring, keys, and watch. The tray is designed to slide along 1/4 inch thick rails that run along the front and back of the box. The round silver thing you see is a removable cup used to hold pocket change. The coin cup fits snugly into its own mahogany holder. Josh made this valet as a gift for his dad’s birthday which was last week.
Josh has been learning boxmaking since this summer. He puts aside one shop day a week, and we work in the evenings from 7 to 11 after he has already put in a long day of office work. Josh is a quick learner with an artist’s eye and can draw beautifully. He has also made a jewelry box for his wife, a backpack storage unit for his young children, and a set of 7 Kleenex boxes for his wider family. Josh is working on assembling his own shop at home and has begun to buy some of the larger tools he will need.
Focus: Basic Layout
Josh and I worked together to make sure this box works and does its intended job. We laid out this valet from the inside to the outside. First, we laid out the wallet, keys, watch, and ring on a large sheet of graph paper with 1/4 inch squares. Second, we drew a 1/2 inch wide rectangle around them to represent the box’s sturdy sliding tray. Next we added a 5/8 inch rectangle outside the tray to represent the sides of the box. Lastly we added the cup. We wanted to have room to reach in the box, and pull out the cup without having to remove the tray to do it. So that gave us all the dimensions we needed to know for the box’s length and width. The height was pretty arbitrary, but we wanted room inside for bulky items. 6” sides looked to be a good height to go with the 14” length. The tray is about 3” deep.
Josh’s decision to used paired splines gives an attractive look, and raising the tray above the box sides features the good work he did on the tray and gives the box added room so we can slide the tray over the top of the change cup.
Summary: Making a full-sized drawing and starting with the actual objects you intend to store in the box and then working from the inside to the outside dimensions will ensure that your box will be laid out correctly to do its intended job.
Keep boxing and keep posting.
Tutorials: For methods used to make boxes like those pictured above just click on the blue links below. They are arranged by topic.
Combining Wood Colors:
Jig for 45ing corners:
Routers and Rounding edges
Why round box corners?
Organizing a glue-up table:
$5 band clamps:
Making splines with a simple jig:
Adding splines to a box:
Making a jig to cut spline slots:
Measuring for spline slot cuts:
Installing an attached top: like that pictured above.
Cutting off the box top and sizing piano hinges
Adding finger indents:
More about finger indents.
Mortising and installing hinges:
Tips on making trays: for inside boxes:
Swapping Wood By Mail:
-- Big Al in IN