Keepsake box dimentions and advice

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Forum topic by woodworkerforchrist posted 11-06-2014 09:10 PM 1372 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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161 posts in 1852 days

11-06-2014 09:10 PM

Hello ya’ll! Hope your all doin well and enjoying this wonderful fall weather. Looking for advice on keepsake boxes. I want to start making them to give away and sell. I am starting by making 20 for gifts this Christmas; 9 for our grandkids, and 11 for our kids and spouse’s. Just wondering what a good size would be. I am thinkin on the smaller side. 5×7 and 3” high. Piano hinge if they make them that small amd magnet catch inside to keep lid closed. Gonna mix and match woods, maple, oak, black walnut, cherry, etc. Also want to inlay a cross in top. Can i stack two pieces of 1/2” contrasting woods and scrollsaw cross then switch them? Any advice would be much appreciated! Also please check out my goofy videoblog “WoodnWords with Marty on Youtube. Thanks and have a blessed day!

-- Marty from MinneSNOWta

8 replies so far

View Case101's profile


107 posts in 1787 days

#1 posted 11-06-2014 09:20 PM

Have you considered bandsaw boxes?
Unfortunately doing bandsaw boxes you can’t cut all you lumber at once and do it as an assembly line.
Were you planning on making each one separately or assembly line style?

-- John, New Jersey

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161 posts in 1852 days

#2 posted 11-06-2014 09:25 PM

No, i dont have a bandsaw, maybe someday. Kinda assembly line but each different woods. Gonna mitre them. Also whats the best way to cut mitres? By hand, mitre saw, or tablesaw?

-- Marty from MinneSNOWta

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161 posts in 1852 days

#3 posted 11-06-2014 09:36 PM

I have to say, the work ya’ll do is absolutely amazing!!! Wish i could spend some time in your shops and learn from you all

-- Marty from MinneSNOWta

View Tootles's profile


808 posts in 2497 days

#4 posted 11-07-2014 12:09 PM

As far as dimensions go, think of the inside dimension that you want / need and then add twice the thickness of the wood that you will be using. For example, for a box that is 7×5 x 3 oustide dimensions, you would probably want to be working with 3/8” to a maximum of 1/2” thickness because the inside dimensions might be too small otherwise.

Another idea for dimensions is to work close to the Golden Ratio of 1.618. Practically this means something in proportion to 3:5 or 5:8 or 8:13 etc – so 8×5 x 3 might look better than 7×5 x 3.

Can i stack two pieces of 1/2” contrasting woods and scrollsaw cross then switch them?

It should work, but give it a try with some scrap wood and see how it works out. That’s a great way to learn.

-- I may have lost my marbles, but I still have my love of woodworking

View RRBOU's profile


176 posts in 2287 days

#5 posted 11-07-2014 01:24 PM

If I had a scroll saw there is no doubt that I would at least try this design.

-- If guns cause crime all of mine are defective Randy

View jeffswildwood's profile


3181 posts in 1972 days

#6 posted 11-07-2014 01:42 PM

I don’t know what size you are looking for but if you look through my projects I would be glad to send you the size of any of them if it helps.

-- We all make mistakes, the trick is to fix it in a way that says "I meant to do that".

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2656 posts in 2917 days

#7 posted 11-07-2014 03:06 PM

Over the past four years I have made and sold about one thousand keepsake boxes like you have described. I make two sizes, for the most part. 7 1/2” x 10 1/2” x 3” and smaller ones 5 1/2” x 7 1/2” x 2 1/2”. (All outside dimensions) I have also made some 7 1/2” x 7 1/2” x 3”. I find the smaller boxes sell better. I make the boxes with eastern red cedar resawn to 3/8” thickness. I inlay images into the lids using the “Double bevel inlay” method. I have tried flocking the inside of the boxes but unfinished interiors sell better. Folks like the smell of this aromatic cedar. I use surface mounted brass plated hinges screwed in with 1/4” screws. I have tried making dividers inside the boxes but that did not help improve sales. I mass produce these boxes so I can sell them cheaply. Do a search for “Double bevel inlay” and you will see how to do the inlay. You have the right idea on stacking the wood but you have to slant your scroll saw at about 2-3°. I will be glad to help you with this inlay process. It takes about five minutes at the scroll saw to do the inlay. Much longer to make the box. I finish the outside of the boxes with wipe on Poly.

-- Website is No PHD just a DD214 and a GED

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161 posts in 1852 days

#8 posted 11-11-2014 06:18 PM

Thanks yall for all the great advice!! Again, you all are master craftsman! Thanks for sharing

-- Marty from MinneSNOWta

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