box joint question

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Forum topic by Jon1094 posted 10-27-2013 10:25 AM 1413 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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41 posts in 2354 days

10-27-2013 10:25 AM

Well I’ve been giving it a think for an hour now and my mind just isn’t working tonight. I’m making a Pochade box for my wife. The sides of the box are four sides 6”X3/4” box jointed. I just found out that the canvases I want it to be able to hold won’t fit inside the box unless I make some more (inside diameter) room. The question is, being that my box joints are already made, if I plane down the thickness of the sides will it affect my box joints?

My guess is that they will stick out on the ends a bit…but I’m confused as to whether planing now will actually give me any more room inside or if it’ll be a wash due to the joints fitting differently. Help please.

11 replies so far

View Donna's profile


8 posts in 1822 days

#1 posted 10-27-2013 10:43 AM

It won’t work. Depending on design you may be able to add a decorative piece to lengthen the sides

-- You'll never know if you don't try

View Jon1094's profile


41 posts in 2354 days

#2 posted 10-27-2013 11:17 AM

Thanks Donna. Yup the ID is the ID no matter what. I guess I could plane the wood down to .000001” and I’d just have really long finger box joints with the same inside diameter. Rats.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29879 posts in 2487 days

#3 posted 10-27-2013 11:29 AM

It would be a wash. Best thing to do is remake it. Bummer, I have been there.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Blackie_'s profile


4883 posts in 2661 days

#4 posted 10-27-2013 11:54 AM

Another thing to take into consideration too that I’ve also learned the hard way is allowing clearance for bit height if set slightly above the work piece before the cut.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View casual1carpenter's profile


354 posts in 2624 days

#5 posted 10-27-2013 01:23 PM

Jon, if the wood is worth it, you could add material to the bottom of the box joints which would reduce the finger joint length and increase the internal dimensions. Then yes you would have to reduce the stock thickness. It would be a bit of tedious work for me but some people are good at that.

There are people here that could do this and have fun doing it, but I’m not one, lol, just brought it up because I followed your thought and saw it could work. Actually, you could use a contrast of material or grain direction rather than trying to match and make it interesting. You could also dado a line down which encompasses the repair area and do an inlay with wood or epoxy and filler.
We can not unmake the mistakes, it’s simply live and learn, but you might just take that box to the next level where you will be proud of the save you accomplished.

Guess it would depend a lot on just how much you would be adding. As an afterthought, I would do the finish planing after completed glue-up because with my luck I would damage a box joint finger or three.

View helluvawreck's profile


32083 posts in 3015 days

#6 posted 10-27-2013 02:25 PM

Why don’t you go ahead and finish making the box and then make another one from scratch the way you meant to in the first place. That way you’ll have two boxes. You can always use the other one for something else.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View NiteWalker's profile


2738 posts in 2726 days

#7 posted 10-27-2013 02:34 PM

What Charles said.

-- He who dies with the most tools... dies with the emptiest wallet.

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 2833 days

#8 posted 10-27-2013 02:35 PM

Helluvawreck…to your point, he could split the existing box into 2 sides and 2 fronts and elongate new pieces to increase the inside dimensions. Depends on what is meant to go in it and whether his jig is still set-up. Just a thought.

View Jenine's profile


146 posts in 1872 days

#9 posted 11-03-2013 01:42 PM

I am also building a pochade box for a teacher from college – can’t wait to see photos of your finished box!

-- - Montana sucks. Tell your friends.

View PaulDoug's profile


1601 posts in 1852 days

#10 posted 11-03-2013 02:51 PM

What I would be tempted to try is increase the length of the sides and ends by splitting them in the middle and adding a piece of contrasting wood. You make a decorative shape, like a diamond, heart or whatever. I’m just thinking that would be quicker and easier than trying to alter the box joints.

-- “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

View a1Jim's profile


117239 posts in 3726 days

#11 posted 11-03-2013 02:55 PM

I’m not sure exactly how a pochade box works ,but couldn’t you just do a rabbit along the inside edge of the box to hold a canvass . It could be done fairly easy using a router table.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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