Shop Notes #3: "No End In Sight" The documentary.

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Blog entry by vipond33 posted 292 days ago 2208 reads 28 times favorited 20 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Side by side finishes. Part 3 of Shop Notes series no next part

This is a trick that many, if not most of you, already know.

But it’s a good one and bears repeating. Quite recently I read this: “but I am still working on trying to make a box with no start and no finish and thus far have only been able to wrap my boxes on three sides”. (noted on KK’s fine project).

The process has been around for a long time, but I remember independently figuring this one out a while ago and thinking what a smile it would bring to the average guy that loves the very look of wood. So it’s “Never an old joke, just a new audience”, and here goes.

Start with a piece of wood twice your side thickness’s x the length of your long side and short side combined x the height you want. Draw a center line and mark the sides and angles as shown. Put some clear identifying marks on it too, otherwise it may be very confusing at glue up time. You might even accidentally reverse it for height, right when things are (half end grain) so quickly drying.

The technique is simple, even though what you are doing is making a box inside out.

Rip the board, dress the faces lightly and free up the lengths. Make your miters with the least amount of waste, do your other stuff (hinges, bottom, etc.) and then assemble.

Bear in mind a few things.

What you’ll end up with is a four cornered mirror match, not a waterfall (which is quite impossible), but still a very pleasing effect. The box strobes around the corners.

Flat sawn is the best top surface if you can manage it. There will be less “jump” at the corners because the edge grain will not show very much deviation through machining.

The limit to your box or frame height is the capacity of your re-saw. If it’s a band-saw cut you’ve got to be very straight. Any material machined away on those inside faces will lessen the effect.

This can easily be done with veneer as well if you have four consecutive flitches.


-- gene@toronto.ontario.canada : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

20 comments so far

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6852 posts in 1198 days

#1 posted 292 days ago

thanks Gene ,got to give this a try

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View siavosh's profile


249 posts in 455 days

#2 posted 292 days ago

This is great, thanks for posting. It’s going on my to-make list.

-- -- Discover and follow 100's of woodworking blogs

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552 posts in 1682 days

#3 posted 292 days ago

Favorite !

-- Pete, "It isn't broken, you just aren't using it right."

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109 posts in 813 days

#4 posted 292 days ago

OOh thank you!

View mbfunke's profile


56 posts in 1243 days

#5 posted 292 days ago

Much appreciated! Really.

-- Mike Funke

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2055 posts in 1069 days

#6 posted 292 days ago

That’s a brilliant trick. Going in the favorites.

-- Brian Timmons, Big T Woodworks - -

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3221 posts in 992 days

#7 posted 291 days ago

This looks like a great little tip/trick to use…and to pass on. Thanks.

-- Use it up, Wear it out --------------- Make it do, Or do without!

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260 posts in 1746 days

#8 posted 291 days ago

thanks for this tip.

View gbear's profile


388 posts in 2683 days

#9 posted 291 days ago

Very nice tip…thanks Gene.

-- gbear, Carmichael, CA

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488 posts in 1770 days

#10 posted 291 days ago

Why didn’t I think of that! Glad you did. Thanks.

-- Beth, Oklahoma, Rambling Road Designs

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363 posts in 1062 days

#11 posted 291 days ago

great tip, Gene, thanks.

-- From such crooked wood as that which man is made of, nothing straight can be fashioned. Immanuel Kant

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4679 posts in 1426 days

#12 posted 291 days ago

You da man!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

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4807 posts in 1382 days

#13 posted 291 days ago

A good tip is always a good tip old or new Gene and this is a great one.
You know grain matching is a personal favorite game of mine.
Thanks for posting another insightful shop note.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fiberglass trees.

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1531 posts in 1571 days

#14 posted 291 days ago

Thanks for the tip.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

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10408 posts in 1274 days

#15 posted 291 days ago

Gene, Great tutorial! Now everyone can make perfect boxes – NOT!

That is an amazing box! What is that wood?

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

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