Sanding boxes and lids

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Forum topic by CharlieM1958 posted 04-16-2009 05:13 AM 1555 views 1 time favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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16281 posts in 4424 days

04-16-2009 05:13 AM

I’ve seen this question come up a few times recently: After cutting the lid free from a box, the two pieces don’t always (never, in my case) meet up just right. So how do you smooth things out to make a perfect seam between lid and bottom? Try to sand a rough spot at the corner and things just get worse.

This is the easiest way I’ve found. I wish I could say it was original, but I know I stole the idea from somewhere. Just apply some PSA sandpaper to a flat surface and give your arms some exercise! It really works quite fast if you use a coarse grit. A few dozen strokes to both lid and bottom, and you’ve got a perfect fit.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

17 replies so far

View Karson's profile


35149 posts in 4606 days

#1 posted 04-16-2009 05:16 AM

Great Charlie. A great tip.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia †

View Steelmum's profile


355 posts in 4168 days

#2 posted 04-16-2009 05:28 AM

Thanks Charlie

-- Berta in NC

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18394 posts in 3881 days

#3 posted 04-16-2009 07:08 AM

Good idea even if you don’t claim it ;-)) Thanks for posting it.

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

View degoose's profile


7245 posts in 3560 days

#4 posted 04-16-2009 08:38 AM


-- Don't drink and use power tools @

View Rob's profile


143 posts in 4135 days

#5 posted 04-16-2009 09:28 AM

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3878 days

#6 posted 04-16-2009 12:17 PM

Good tip!

View northwoodsman's profile


245 posts in 3952 days

#7 posted 04-16-2009 02:57 PM

I’m glad to see that someone else has this problem also. Great solution Charlie!

-- NorthWoodsMan

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Douglas Bordner

4034 posts in 4269 days

#8 posted 04-16-2009 03:17 PM

I do this too. Generally, though, I use a 80-100 grit on the bottom portion only to identify the high spots and then very light cuts with a block plane to finish up. That way there are no cross-grain sanding marks on the sides of the box.

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4185 days

#9 posted 04-16-2009 03:20 PM

Great tip Charlie.

I guess I can start making boxes now!

Will this work for chair legs too?


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View CharlieM1958's profile


16281 posts in 4424 days

#10 posted 04-16-2009 03:24 PM

Lee, maybe it will work for YOUR chair legs. Mine would probably break off if I tried this. :-)

Doug, I find the easiest way to remove those pesky sanding marks is to take off my glasses.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View PurpLev's profile


8547 posts in 3854 days

#11 posted 04-16-2009 03:26 PM

do you need to lap the back to a mirror finish?

thats a great idea! make one BIG stationary sanding block.

thanks for sharing. can probably come in handy in numerous occasions.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View CanadaJeff's profile


207 posts in 3815 days

#12 posted 04-16-2009 04:51 PM

Charlie, I got this tip from you yesterday and tried it out. WOW this does work great and you are right it really didnt take much time to do.
Thanks again for the advice, another woodworking trick to add to my repitoire!

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 3764 days

#13 posted 04-22-2009 02:53 AM

Great idea Charlie. I’ll give it a try myself.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View sharad's profile


1117 posts in 4010 days

#14 posted 04-25-2009 08:13 PM

Charlie, I really admire your sharing this sanding procedure with us. Recently when I posted my first box I had encountered this difficuly and in the process of correcting it I lost quite a lot of the precious wood. Had I known this method I would have benefitted a lot. I am sure this will help me in my next box where I will remove all the defects crept in my first box. Thank you for the posting.

-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

View rons's profile


72 posts in 3556 days

#15 posted 04-26-2009 05:30 AM

Charlie, I am finishing up my first box and this tip is going to be helpful to me. Thanks for taking the time to post this. It is appreciated. Ron

-- Ron, Michigan

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