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

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Blog entry by vipond33 posted 306 days ago 2236 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

View eddie's profile


6986 posts in 1212 days

#1 posted 306 days ago

thanks Gene ,got to give this a try

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View siavosh's profile


257 posts in 469 days

#2 posted 306 days ago

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

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

View PASs's profile


556 posts in 1697 days

#3 posted 306 days ago

Favorite !

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

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109 posts in 827 days

#4 posted 306 days ago

OOh thank you!

View mbfunke's profile


56 posts in 1257 days

#5 posted 306 days ago

Much appreciated! Really.

-- Mike Funke

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2078 posts in 1083 days

#6 posted 306 days ago

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

-- Brian Timmons, Big T Woodworks - -

View jaykaypur's profile


3257 posts in 1007 days

#7 posted 306 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!

View ken_c's profile


260 posts in 1761 days

#8 posted 306 days ago

thanks for this tip.

View gbear's profile


389 posts in 2698 days

#9 posted 306 days ago

Very nice tip…thanks Gene.

-- gbear, Carmichael, CA

View rrdesigns's profile


491 posts in 1784 days

#10 posted 306 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 1077 days

#11 posted 306 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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4740 posts in 1441 days

#12 posted 306 days ago

You da man!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View shipwright's profile (online now)


4842 posts in 1396 days

#13 posted 306 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.

View SASmith               's profile


1546 posts in 1586 days

#14 posted 306 days ago

Thanks for the tip.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

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10562 posts in 1288 days

#15 posted 306 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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