Simple Jigs and Techniques #5: All Wood Button Catch

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Blog entry by shipwright posted 03-25-2014 10:50 PM 5627 reads 9 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Veneer Press Screws for $4.50 Part 5 of Simple Jigs and Techniques series Part 6: Fresh Air Supply Without Breaking the Bank »

I have had several requests for a blog on the construction of my Chart Box but I don’t really think that I did much that isn’t already well covered in my other blogs. So any of you who are curious about marquetry in general, please check out my LJ blogs. There is however one sort of new thing in the chart box …...... and that’s the catch.

OK, Here’s the catch.

The catch I used on my recently posted Chart Box was derived from the one I used last year on my Picnic / Art Box but it is much cleaner and has a minimum negative effect on the marquetry on the front panel of the box.

The hook is essentially the same and although it looks fragile, made of a very strong wood like Osage Orange it is not. This series of photos is really no more than a shameless show off of a few of the stellar attributes of the Miter Jack. The longer you have one of these the more you wonder how you lived without one. ..... not just for planing miters.

The next few (still showing off the MJ) show the catch shelf being cut in my prototype piece.

This one shows the prototype button (made up of pieces) and the stepped hole. The through hole is 1/2”, the next is 3/4” and the last is 1”.

Here the button is in place with its flange resting in the 3/4” recess.

... and here the keepers are in place in the 1” hole. They will prevent the button from rotating out of position as well as retaining it in its place.

The hook is glued into a recess in the upper lid.

Here is the prototype in my box simulating jig.

That’s just about all there is to it but since I have the photos, here is a run through on the real box. You will notice a piece of veneer to strengthen the ramp that the hook slides in on. The substrate is poplar and I thought it would wear. The new button is lathe turned and the ramp is cut on it after turning.

The veneer piece is in place and the button is in its recess.

The keepers are in.

An alignment check to make sure the button goes far enough in to push the hook clear of the shelf. It doesn’t because I added the veneer …

... so, as intended, I added a bit of the same veneer to the end of the button.

... And that really is it. I like it a lot because it provides a secure closure, involves no metal and intrudes very little on the marquetry motif on the front.

Thanks for looking in


-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

14 comments so far

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3213 days

#1 posted 03-25-2014 10:55 PM

Wow Paul…the latch itself is a work of pure design fun and ingenuity.

View TerryDowning's profile


1075 posts in 2022 days

#2 posted 03-25-2014 11:04 PM

Yet another shipwright entry added to my favorites list.

Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience Paul.

-- - Terry

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2594 days

#3 posted 03-26-2014 12:45 AM

That is just pure genius! It is a lot more involved than it seemed at first glance.

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

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10035 posts in 3957 days

#4 posted 03-26-2014 12:59 AM

Very GOOD!

Thank you.

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3208 days

#5 posted 03-26-2014 01:10 AM

wonderful, thank you, oh the video was close to winning an Emmy, but there was no talking, :)...

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18193 posts in 3580 days

#6 posted 03-26-2014 02:21 AM

Another nice blog Paul. Thanks.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View kiefer's profile


5618 posts in 2571 days

#7 posted 03-26-2014 02:46 AM

Jack got a little workout and Paul had a little fun showing us how he made the special little catch.
I noticed the button on the case but did not pay much attention as I was more taken by the rest of the work and details like the chain below the button .
I liked the button catch and will try to make one and incorporate in one of my projects .
Sure slimmed it down from the last version much nicer.

-- Kiefer

View Philip's profile


1277 posts in 2443 days

#8 posted 03-26-2014 12:55 PM

Wow, that’s an amazing catch, what other secrets are you hiding in these boxes!

-- I never finish anyth

View mafe's profile


11631 posts in 2993 days

#9 posted 03-26-2014 01:31 PM

Thats so cool Paul, really love it – even the sound is great – click, clonk.
There are something special about wooden locks.
Think I will have to make me a miter jack at some time, looks so cool.
I made a go on a wood lock for my Japanese tool box.

You can see more in this blog:
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View helluvawreck's profile


30129 posts in 2771 days

#10 posted 03-26-2014 01:36 PM

It’s really a nice design, Paul. Full of ingenuity and craftsmanship.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Schwieb's profile


1852 posts in 3366 days

#11 posted 03-26-2014 02:50 PM

Very clever Paul and as always very well done!

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3220 posts in 3617 days

#12 posted 03-27-2014 05:50 PM


I was finally able to get the photos to download here at a WIFI hotspot. This is a really good advertisement for your miter jack. Every shop should have one!

Your latch is outstanding. I suppose a person needs to be concerned to make it out of a wood which is not only strong, but does not have considerable seasonal movement. Trying to repair it could be tricky!


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View shipwright's profile


7894 posts in 2702 days

#13 posted 03-27-2014 07:34 PM

The miter Jack is so useful that I hate myself for living so long before discovering it. :-)

You are quite right about the latch being tricky if it were to swell too much. That is why, if you look at the project post pictures, you will notice that the top fillers in the lower half of the hinge are not yet installed. These will be going back to the Pacific rainforest from the Az desert so I’m keeping my options open. As long as the hinges are unfinished, I can open it by lifting on the back. After they have been home a while I will glue them in.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View stefang's profile


15784 posts in 3238 days

#14 posted 03-29-2014 07:36 PM

Very nice design Paul, unobtrusive, but with a positive lock. I like it a lot.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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