how do i make this small box?

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Forum topic by Greedo posted 05-16-2010 10:15 PM 2036 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Greedo's profile


470 posts in 2383 days

05-16-2010 10:15 PM

someone asked me to make this box to display a jewel inside, it is supposed to lay on it’s back with the doors on top.
i have never made something this small and delicate.


how would you guys do it?
the sides need to be thin, what kind of joints do i use to assemble the box and the doors?
and then there is the louvers etc, i was thinking of oak for the wood.
i asked in school already but they are used to making doors and stairs, not this kind of thing.

9 replies so far

View Michael Murphy's profile

Michael Murphy

449 posts in 2428 days

#1 posted 05-17-2010 04:09 AM

Make the louvers (fake) by angling a dado blade and cutting steps on a piece of material the right width and length to be able to cut both door panels from. You may have to play with angles to get it to look right. Leave enough length and width on the panels to trim a rabbet to fit in the backs of the doors. You would be using your miter gauge to keep the material steady and the rip fence to keep the steps consistent. The grain of the piece should be along the width so you are dadoeing with the grain.

The rest of it is just woodworking on a small scale to make the box and the doors.

Oak is a bit hard and grainy for the size of these pieces. Can you do it in Alder or Poplar? Honduras Mahogony would be a good choice, nice constistant grain, sort of soft.

-- Michael Murphy, Woodland, CA.

View Greedo's profile


470 posts in 2383 days

#2 posted 05-17-2010 11:33 AM

thank you guys, if i understand correctly then by making fake louvers there won’t be any on the inside? i don’t think they will want that, and i would need to do it with a regular blade because i think dado’s are illegal in europe.
the only wood you commonly find around here is french oak, european beech, norwegian red pine and asian meranti. the only option that is left then is between pine and beech, won’t pine be too fragile in this extreme thinnes?
and in the end the box must have a grey color asif it had sat outside.

View patron's profile


13524 posts in 2764 days

#3 posted 05-17-2010 12:10 PM

i have made louvers in the styles of the door ,
by using the panel grove ,
and making spacer blocks to fill in the dado in between them .
it might require you to shoulder the ends of the slats to come flush both sides ,
but it will give you open louvers , the whole door can be sanded to make every thing nice and flat .
use jigs if possible to hold the small parts , if not you may have to jig for hand saws and repetitive cuts .

hope this helps ,
be safe !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2497 days

#4 posted 05-17-2010 02:25 PM

When I look at this drawing I think it is unfortunate that the floor does not extend under the doors. Maybe that is a change in design that would be acceptable. If the floor did extend under the doors I would hinge the doors at the top and bottom with a pin that was secure in the door and protruded into the top and bottom. That would liberate you to make the sides thin because you would not have to attach hinges to them.

For the pins, I would use a short piece of 1/8” diameter brass rod (because I have some on hand) but I think it could be done with a 1/8” or 3/16” hardwood dowels.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Joeshop's profile


49 posts in 2540 days

#5 posted 05-17-2010 02:38 PM

Greedo, What do you mean that ” dados are illegal in Europe ” ?

Lots of luck with the project.

-- ~You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.~ - Joe

View Michael Murphy's profile

Michael Murphy

449 posts in 2428 days

#6 posted 05-17-2010 03:44 PM

The saws they sell over there do not have long enough arbors to accomodate dado blades.

-- Michael Murphy, Woodland, CA.

View Greedo's profile


470 posts in 2383 days

#7 posted 05-17-2010 03:58 PM

Yup Joe, saws here can’t hold several blades and dado sets are illegal i believe because too dangerous. even none of my teachers have ever heard of it! american woodworking seems to revolve around the tablesaw, while in europe it revolves much more around the shaper. the table saw in school looks like it hasn’t been used in years, we just use the panel saw for cutting boards and ripping when the bandsaw won’t start!

View TheDane's profile


4939 posts in 3086 days

#8 posted 05-17-2010 04:37 PM

Greedo—This is a little off-topic, but if saws in Europe cannot use dado blade sets, how do you make wide dadoes?

Back on topic … pine is a softer wood, so it can be more fragile, but it also is fairly easy to work. I’m finishing up a project made with #2 pine that has two small drawers that are about the same dimension as the box you are being asked to build. The drawer sides are all 1/4” thick pine. I used box-joints on these drawer boxes, but could just as easily have mitered/glued them.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Greedo's profile


470 posts in 2383 days

#9 posted 05-17-2010 09:03 PM

@theDane, we make dadoes with the shaper. there are “dado” sets of two half blades that can make dadoes of several widths by placing rings between the two halfs. like this:
thank you for the pine suggestion, im certainly more comfortable with pine but i think i need to use beech, if only just for the louver strips that need to be 3×11mm section!

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