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Forum topic by MrRon posted 502 days ago 873 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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MrRon

2708 posts in 1830 days


502 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: pine bandsaw tablesaw

I have a whole bunch of cigar boxes that I use for storing small items like nuts and bolts, screws, nails, etc. They slide into a rack mounted on the wall. The rack is in good shape, but the cigar boxes, being made of cardboard, are starting to fall apart. I want to replace them with wood boxes, the same size as before (quantity 60 boxes). I want to make them with box joints, with a 1/8” hardboard bottom and a sliding 1/4” cover. Here is how I would make the sides: I will take nice clear 2×4 pine; rip it on 2 sides to 2-1/4”, cut the box joint on both ends; rip the piece, now 1-1/2” x 2-1/4” into 1/4” thick pieces, the 2-1/4” dimension being the cut depth. I will end up with a pile of 1/4” x 2-1/4” x length strips that I can glue together into a box the same size as the old cigar boxes. This will be a lot of work, but I’m trying to do it on the cheap, buying only common 2x’s. I will either rip them on the table saw, or on the bandsaw. I can get 4 maybe 5 slices out of each piece. I’m retired, so time is not an issue. What do you think about my plan?


11 replies so far

View joeyinsouthaustin's profile

joeyinsouthaustin

1199 posts in 659 days


#1 posted 502 days ago

I think you could get 1/2” baltic birch ply, and skip a ton of milling, For about the same price as all them 2x’s and get better, more stable boxes. I don’t know your location from your profile, so this may not be the best option. But in my town it would cost less or the same to get to the same place. Now there are other reasons behind getting out to the shop besides getting it done, and if those factors are in play, sounds like a great idea. :)

-- Who is John Galt?

View teejk's profile

teejk

1205 posts in 1271 days


#2 posted 502 days ago

I would recommend buying some 2×4’s now and let them set. Out of 10, start with the 2 that don’t look like pretzels in a week or so! Maybe you’ll be lucky enough to get 4.

If you have a planer, then I would only rip one side of the 2×4 (say to 2 1/2 or so) and plane to your finished width on the uncut side (I don’t like ripping 2×4s much). Then to the bandsaw for a resaw operation (cutting 1/4 thickness with a TS blade extending 2 1/2…maybe just me but gives me the shakes especially given the number of cuts you are going to make). Resaw will probably have to go to 3/8” and plane to 1/4”.

60 boxes are going to need 240 finished pieces so plan on more than that. You are going to be cutting box joints for a week. So here’s another idea for you to ponder. Since you are starting with 3 1/2” stock to begin with, square it up (to say 3”). Resaw and plane to your finished thickness, then start cutting the box joints. When you are done, rip to your 2 1/2 on 60 of them. Adjust your ripping operation on the other 60 so the fingers align properly. Will take a little head scratching before you start but might go a lot faster.

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

10434 posts in 1276 days


#3 posted 502 days ago

That is an interesting concept: box joint some thick stock, then resaw it into narrow pieces if I follow what you are saying? The problem I forsee is the 2×4s will probably not be sufficiently dry which will lead to warping/twisting of your thin resawn pieces. This could be a neat idea if the stock were dry and stable enough. Keep us posted.

Edit- After thinking about this some more, I think I would forego the box joints and use rabbet and dado drawer joints. A LOT faster and east to do on the tablesaw.

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

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

3521 posts in 1954 days


#4 posted 502 days ago

I would use Baltic Birch and build them with the Easy Miter method described by BritBoxMaker as it makes the boxes so easy to assemble.

You can “fold” the box and glue it together without clamps, just use tape! I have used this method and it works fabously!

Look at Martyn’s, BritBoxMaker, boxes and you will see the output of a prolific box maker.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

2708 posts in 1830 days


#5 posted 502 days ago

After giving this more thought, I may go with the BritBoxMaker method and Baltic Birch ply. I’m really not too keen on ripping 2-1/4” thick stock on a tablesaw and if I use the bandsaw, that means I will have to plane everything to a uniform thickness. No matter which way I go, it will be a long repitious job. If I were making just a few boxes, I might go with box joints. Thanks all.

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1745 days


#6 posted 502 days ago

Use a lock miter bit on the router table.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

3521 posts in 1954 days


#7 posted 501 days ago

MrRon, I take it you liked BritBoxMaker’s method! It does make things easy!

You should send him a PM telling him that you like it! He’ll appreciate it.

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

2708 posts in 1830 days


#8 posted 501 days ago

What do you think about using hardwood flooring for the box stock? I think it comes in 1/4” or 5/16” thickness.

View teejk's profile

teejk

1205 posts in 1271 days


#9 posted 501 days ago

Hardwood flooring would work! I think it is usually 3/4” thick but a good part of that is the “ribs” that plane out quickly. Don’t even attempt to try to remove the prefinished side if that’s what you have in mind.

I think if you rip the tongue off and then the groove, you will get very close to your 2 1/4 depth. You didn’t mention your bottom plans but I guess only cutting 1/2 the groove would leave you a rabbet.

I have a pile of the stuff here (an idea that just didn’t work). Was about $3 sq foot!!!

That stuff is usually stable otherwise it won’t get shipped. I personally love the look of the box joint in solid wood. And they will last you forever. And the operations will certainly be much safer than your original design (I still have nightmares on that operation, but then again I’m a coward).

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MrRon

2708 posts in 1830 days


#10 posted 501 days ago

I found some “Bellawood” hardwood flooring; 5/16” thick x 2-1/4” wide, Brazilian cherry for $2.49/sf. The dimensions seem perfect for the small boxes I want to make. BritBoxMaker’s would work, but I would have to use plywood sheets 11-1/2”x13”, but I still like the idea and will definitely try it for another project.

View teejk's profile

teejk

1205 posts in 1271 days


#11 posted 500 days ago

Sounds perfect but realize part of that 2 1/4 includes the groove. If you cut that away you won’t have 2 1/4 anymore. If you want a rabbet for the bottom then you’ll be fine by only removing 1/2 of the groove. I personally would get something in 2 3/4” or larger stock, cut the tongue and groove and then dado for your bottoms and sliding tops. You can do the math but you are going to lose about 1/2” depth from your side width.

As an aside, I bought a bunch of LL prefinished flooring for our new house only because standard windows did not come with “returns”. I had the option to upgrade but they didn’t have the “tilt-out” for cleaning. My wife’s dream house has a lot of windows. As I started to finish out the house I realized that boxing the windows would have me on food stamps. So all these windows are boxed with prefinished 3/4” oak at $3/sq ft.

I bought a pile of it thinking I could use it for the casing trim as well (purchased was $1/ft plus I had to finish). That didn’t work…too many short pieces for outside trim…but I still have it and use it for a lot of things.

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