My First Box

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Project by SplinteredBoard posted 08-17-2008 05:30 PM 1627 views 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve had 4 pieces of 5/4 black walnut (about 6-8” long) sitting around in the garage for months. I got them for $1 at Woodcraft in their cutoff bin. I’ve been trying to think of what to use them for and decided to make my wife a box. I just got Taunton’s Basic Box Making last week and really wanted to try out those mitered keys.

It involved resawing the black walnut and a QS white oak board I have laying around, and that was a first for me too. Since I don’t have a bandsaw (I guess that’s the best way to resaw?), I used the table saw. Kind of scary when doing it the first time…

It only took a few cuts on the table saw after the resawing, but I still managed to screw it up a little. I wanted to speed up mitering the edges of the smaller end pieces. So I stacked them and then ran them over the blade. Well, that meant that the blade went into the top piece at a different depth than the bottom piece. At least it didn’t go all the way through!

I fixed the sawing mistake by inlaying the groove with a sliver of lace wood.

Key over Lace Wood Inlay

The bottom of the box is 1/4” plywood from a previous project.

Finished Box

Now that I think of it, this whole project consisted of wood that I had laying around as scraps. Even though I bought the QS white oak and black walnut from the Woodcraft cutoff bins, I had only meant to use it as practice wood anyway.

I used 2 coats of Minwax’s Pecan oil finish and 2 rounds of sanding at 400 grit.

-- Splintered Board Podcast - Woodworker Un-extraordinaire

8 comments so far

View Bigbuck's profile


1347 posts in 3626 days

#1 posted 08-17-2008 05:44 PM

Looks good and it sounds like you learned quite a bit at the same time.

-- Glenn, New Mexico

View Callum Kendall's profile

Callum Kendall

1918 posts in 3666 days

#2 posted 08-17-2008 11:08 PM

Great job!

Thanks for the post


-- For wood working podcasts with a twist check out

View ShannonRogers's profile


540 posts in 3750 days

#3 posted 08-18-2008 05:04 PM

Way to go Rick! I firmly believe that true craftsmanship is learning how to cover up the mistakes. Great work on the unintentional inlay. It adds uniqueness to this box.

-- The Hand Tool School is Open for Business! Check out my blog and podcast "The Renaissance Woodworker" at

View SplinteredBoard's profile


59 posts in 3569 days

#4 posted 08-18-2008 05:16 PM

Thanks everyone! I’ve heard time and again that ‘fine woodworking’ is really the fine art of covering up your mistakes. That’s exactly what I tried to do here.

It helped a little that the white oak key and lacewood inlay formed a cross, because my wife was feeling really bad about missing church yesterday. At least it raised her spirits a little to see a present with a cross on it…

-- Splintered Board Podcast - Woodworker Un-extraordinaire

View Douglas Krueger's profile

Douglas Krueger

416 posts in 3686 days

#5 posted 08-20-2008 05:34 PM

Nice first box, your wife will cherish thisr first labor of love for years. You can reminder here that woodworking is next to religion, just ask Joseph.

-- I can so I wood but why are my learning curves always circles

View spaids's profile


699 posts in 3656 days

#6 posted 05-18-2009 04:23 PM

Hey how did you cut those splines? A jig on your table saw maybe? I’d love to see it. I tried splines once for a Spagnuolo clock with a jig I made for the table saw. My jig worked but I’m not crazy about it. My Harbor Freight flush cut trim saw worked pretty good on trimming the splines up though, and it cost all of about $8.

When I first saw the box I thought the cross was the whole point. The “mistake” turned out to be a very endearing feature.

Nice save.

-- Wipe the blood stains from your blade before coming in.--

View a1Jim's profile


117060 posts in 3540 days

#7 posted 05-18-2009 05:24 PM

good design and a real good first box

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View SplinteredBoard's profile


59 posts in 3569 days

#8 posted 05-18-2009 05:49 PM

At the time I made this box, I didn’t have a flush cut saw. I cut the splines with a tenon saw and a chisel. Then I trimmed them with the same chisel, but they fit so snug, I never glued them in place – I couldn’t get them out!

Yeah, my wife actually likes the cross. She even knows it was a mistake, but that doesn’t bother her.

-- Splintered Board Podcast - Woodworker Un-extraordinaire

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