A good practice project is to make a box. Most casework, drawers, etc. are modifications of a basic box. So, if you can make a box you gain basic skills that you will use on most projects. Practice making small open-top boxes. You can use these as convenient storage bins. You can also make a small open-top box to warmup your skills before you begin work on a more expensive piece of wood on a larger project.
There is more to learn and refine but this type of project gives you many basic skills at little cost (often you can use scraps from your cutoff bin). Study the process. Collect the necessary tools. Build your skills. Later when you need to build drawers.
You can use this DIY wooden box round the house or in the shed to keep odds and ends in.
You can build your own wooden box using some scrap wood. Once you set your mitre saw at 45 degree angle, it will be just as accurate than using any other tool. Use these skills to cut miters for picture frames, boxes, cabinet faces, and molding.
A wooden box could hardly be simpler, consisting as it does of only 6 pieces – front, back, top, bottom and two sides.
- Box Dimensions:- 8 inch x 8 inch square, 5 inch high.
There are instructions below on how to easily adjust these measurements to make any size box)
- 2 pieces 1/4 inch Wood of your choice, 8 inch x 5 inch (front and back)
- 2 pieces 1/4 inch Wood of your choice , 8 inch x 5 inch (two sides)
- 2 piece 1/4 inch Wood of your choice, 8 inch x 8 inch (top and bottom)
- wood glue
- wood stain, gloss or matt finish
- 60 & 180 grit sandpaper
- Nail gun if you prefer.
Preparing Your Wood.
Once all of the pieces are cut, sand any rough edges. Use a 80 grit sandpaper first, then a 180 grit to finish off.
Assemble the side pieces using a 45 Degree join. Join the sides together at a right angle using glue between the joints for durability. At this point, it should look like a square with no base or lid attached yet.
Next, hammer or drill in finishing nails, wood screws or dowels. This is a personnel choice. I use a nail gun and glue for a robust box. But simply gluing and clamping is just as strong as long as the clamping is firm and joint meet perfectly.
You may want to use clamps to hold the glued sides together while you drill nails or screws into them.
If you’re using dowels, drill a hole through the side of one piece into the side of another. Use a wooden dowel to pin the pieces together in an “L” shape. After the sides are pinned, cut the dowel flush with the sides
Make sure the sides sit evenly on the base or are snug around the base, depending on your design. Use glue to attach the base and sides. Hammer or drill in finishing nails, wood screws, or dowels.
Allow your box to dry thoroughly before sealing or using it.
Set the lid on the box flushed to the sides.
Then measure and mark where you’d like your hinges to be.
Keep the hinge knuckle facing out from the back of your box and drill or hammer to attach it to the side and then the lid.
When laying out the hinges, it is important that you square them to the top and to the sides of the case. Otherwise, the door will not close or open correctly.
It’s helpful to clamp the side and lid together when measuring and installing the hinge.
There is nothing quite as beautiful as a hand made wooden box and its promise of treasures hidden inside. Poorly installed hinges that bind or catch can ruin the anticipation of opening the lid. Installing hinges to hold the lid in place can be tricky, if not downright maddening. The hinges have to be perfectly spaced and correctly oriented on the lid for it to function correctly. Furthermore, brass screws are soft and prone to breaking.
Wooden boxes are a popular project for beginning woodworkers, and making one will teach you many basic techniques that you can apply to other projects. You can construct your box to be simple and elegant, utilitarian, or highly stylized and decorated. However you choose to design your box, it’s easiest to start out with either a hinged or sliding lid so you can get some practice before moving onto more advanced techniques.
Whether it is for storage or a DIY-indie aesthetic, wood box are always popular. They are easy to build, and you can use just about any wood you want, making them a quick and worthwhile carpentering project for just about anyone.