Bandsaw boxes are not new, but they are not very common in some regions. While bandsaw boxes come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, I’m writing this Instructable for a box made from a section of log that is about 10 inches tall and about 6-8 inches in diameter. I’m using red cedar for this box, but I’ve made them out of oak, mesquite, pecan, and pine. The main difference in these species is the effort required to make the various cuts.
Step 1: Getting Started
Your list of supplies needed for producing bandsaw boxes is pretty simple:
• Section of a log
• Sandpaper (various grits starting at 80 and working up to 120 or more – depending upon the type of finish you intend to apply to the wood)
• Finish material. Depending upon the wood and the look I want to achieve I’ll use Danish Oil (neutral) or diluted polyurethane varnish.
The list of tools you will need is also pretty short:
• Bandsaw capable of cutting your log section from any angle. I use a 14” bandsaw with a 6” riser block. This allows me to slice wood that is up to 12” thick.
• Two bandsaw blades, one wide and one narrow. I typically use a 5/8” blade for the rough slicing of slabs and a 1/8” or 3/16” blade for cutting the curves.
• A sander (I use a 5” random orbital palm sander)
• A Dremel tool with a sanding drum attachment.
• A variety of clamps for the re-assembly process.
Because my customer for this box wanted only cedar heartwood, I had to split off the sapwood. If you look at the first photos you will see the heartwood of this log is a distinctive red color. The sapwood is white. Because this is cedar, the wood splits easily. I use a 1 inch wide chisel and a mallet to split the sapwood from the log.
The sapwood and bark are saved for fire starters. Yes, I feed my wood stove my scraps. The nice thing about working with wood is any mistake can feed the stove and nobody has to know how badly I messed up my first (or second) attempt.
Once the sapwood is mostly removed I’m ready to lay out the cuts I intend to make.