Introduction: Bandsaw Boxes Made Easy

Picture of Bandsaw Boxes Made Easy

Warning Bandsaw Box making can be addictive.
owever they are easy to create and make great gifts for storing little trinkets. Have Fun!

I want to thank Steve Ramsey at for his tutorial video that got me started in the box making world 

Step 1: Design Your Creation

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Design your creation. You are only limited by your imagination. Or search the web for ideas. The following box is a facsimile of a picture I found created by " Lois Keener Ventura" 

Lois Keener Ventura wrote a book on making bandsaw boxes.

This design I drew up in Sketchup (free version)

Step 2: Prepare Your Blank

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Glue up a block to fit you design – unless you keep 12/4 material around!
On this particular box I used a piece of 8/4 Walnut for the core and 2 pieces of Lace Wood for the front and back. The total block measured 3 x 6 x 11

Step 3: Blank Clean-Up

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This is not a required step, I just like to have the block squared up and clean on all sides before I head to the bandsaw.

Step 4:

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Roughly cut out your template and attach it to the blank with spray adhesive. Be sure to leave enough room to sand to your line.

At this point you are only cutting the outside of your design.

Keep in mind the smallest radius you can cut is determined by the size of your bandsaw blade. I used a 3/16 or 1/4" blade for the boxes I've made so far.

NOTE: if you fail to follow your line don't worry, just consider it a design change :)

Step 5: Sand Your Creation

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It easier to sand all of the curves now before you proceed. That way the back will be identical to the main body.

NOTE: I usually make my boxes around 3" thick so they will fit on my spindle sander!

Step 6: Slice Off the Back

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Now slice off the back of your box. Mine are around 1/4" but that's your decision.

Step 7: Cut Your Drawers

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Decide on an entrance point and cut out each drawer (In one motion if possible.)

Or if you come to a sharp point, stop your saw and back out of the cut

This box is a little different. there will be 2 entrance points. 1 will left open with the drawer exposed and the other will be closed. (see next photo)

Step 8: Cutting the Drawer Openings

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See how the middle drawer is cut out after the lower drawer is cut out,  by joining the two openings with a single kerf.

Step 9: Closing the Gap

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Here I'm gluing my lower entrance point back together.

Depending on your design it is sometimes quite a challenge to place clamps.

Step 10: Sand Main Body

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Sand all of the inside compartments where the drawers will go.

Step 11: Sand Your Drawers

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While your glue is drying you can sand the outside of your drawer body

Step 12: Preparing Your Drawers

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Now slice a front and back off your drawer bodies. Your choice for thickness

NOTE: You might want to mark your pieces in some way so you don't get the parts reversed. This will make sure the glue up goes smoother.

Step 13: Design Your Drawer Compartment

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Mark your drawer bodies with a shape that will become the inside of your drawer.

Don't make the corners to sharp, You still want to sand the inside.

Step 14: Cut the Drawer

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Follow your pattern (roughly) and remove the drawer cavities

Step 15: Sand Drawer Curves

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Before drawer assembly sand the inside of your drawers

Step 16: Re-Assemble Your Drawers

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Carefull line-up the front and back pieces of your drawers and glue them back together.

This is when you will be glad you marked your components.

Step 17: Attach the Rear Panel

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The rear panel of the main body can be attached, (actually it can be attached anytime after you glue your entrance point closed)

There will likely be a small amount of sanding along your glue line when it dries and near the entrance cut.

Step 18: Make Your Drawer Pulls

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Design and cut out your drawer pulls (if reqyuired)

These are very small pieces - use extreme caution if you use a bandsaw to cut these out.

I chose ebony pulls for this box just to accent the Lace Wood

Step 19: Attach Your Handles

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Attach your handles and your done!

Step 20: Apply Your Finish

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Finish with your favourite finish and show it off.

I hope you give these boxes a try, they are great fun to make and will make wonderful handcrafted gifts

Depending on the complexity of your design the whole project will only take 4 -5 hours. (Not counting waiting on glue to dry)

(Wood Chuck)


lucyajones (author)2017-10-21

This style of box, with its curves and multiple drawers, can seem a bit intimidating at first glance. Once you realize how simple this style of box is to make, you’re likely to start creating your own designs. And once you start, these little pieces are very addictive.

jack.faulkner.121 (author)2016-09-01

wood chuck. i looked at your website. i would like to know if these plans are step by step. i meant to the t before i buy something i got scammed once before im not looking to have it done again.


Thank you for your inquiry about the plans on the website.
The plans on the website are all detailed 3d graphic illustrations of a
particular project, so in answer to your questions it DOES NOT
give you step by step construction details. You do need to have a basic
woodworking background to complete any of the projects on my website.

kevincarruthers made it! (author)2015-12-10

Nice instructable it helped me make mine

Very cool your band saw box looks great, I'm glad I provided some inspiration. Bruce

sorry link is wrong

jneubauer (author)2015-01-27

Hey Woodchuck-- I'm looking to get back in my shop after a long hiatus and these look super fun to make and will turn out unique finished products. Thanks for posting!

Wood Chuck (author)jneubauer2015-01-28

Welcome back to woodworking .... Enjoy. I now have a website with over 125 plans available, drop by sometime for ideas. 3D woodworking plans

Howard_poole (author)2014-11-12

I wonder if instead of using the 8x4 as a core, and then the two additional end pieces, you could use roughly 12, 1x4 pieces, and glue them all together, so you could see the streaks down through the box.

Wood Chuck (author)Howard_poole2014-11-12

Howard you can build your blank however you please. Any variation will add some sort of design element.

Jack Moran (author)2014-06-26

Yes! a good project for Gramps and I this holidays. Thanks

Wood Chuck (author)Jack Moran2014-08-19

Have fun. Anyone you make one for will be appreciative

Wood Chuck (author)Jack Moran2014-06-27

Have fun!. I'll bet you make more than one :)

kiosko (author)2012-12-14

Actually is more than just that questions
Why was that particular type of wood used?

7. How big is it? What are the dimensions?

Thank you

Wood Chuck (author)kiosko2012-12-14

The original blank was made with an 8/4 walnut core and a piece of lace would laminated (glued on the front and back. The overall rough blank size was 3 x 6 x 11.
Good luck with your project. You can download the complete pdf of the project on the first page. I believe. The nice thing about band saw boxes is that nothing is wrong if its not the same than its just a design change :) Checkout my project videos on my website 3dwoodworkingplans dot com.

kiosko (author)2012-12-14

Hi, im doing a bandsaw box at school, i need to do some research on bandsaw boxes first,and i chose yours, i would like to know what type of wood this bandsaw box was made of.

Thank you

triumphman (author)2012-05-28

Here is a picture of one of my prototype bandsaw boxes. Its actually two cedar tree trunks that grew together. I pulled them apart and made two tower jewelery boxes. Thanks for your 'ible. As ever Triumphman.

cart562 (author)triumphman2012-06-16

holy snap that's cool!

dirkbo7 (author)2010-10-20

I was wondering what type of bandsaw you use? I have finally received permission to get one from the boss and have been doing my research. Any input would be great.

Wood Chuck (author)dirkbo72010-10-20

I use a 14" Delta model # 28-206. When I was researching bandsaws I liked the blade support system both above and below the table. I have been pleased with the peformance of the Delta. Hope that helps. Bruce

triumphman (author)Wood Chuck2012-05-28

I like those blade guides so much I made my own. My sears 14" did not come with these. Just pin type guides which constantly need adjusting. Now I am happy! Love being able to make my own stuff! Thanks. See my bandsaw boxes on the bandsaw box web site. Triumphman.

wilwrk4tls (author)2011-10-13

I will have to put my bandsaw to the test- very nice step-by-step.

sawtooth1953 (author)2011-05-15

This is the step that sets the limit for a box size... a full size band saw can typically handle 6-7" while a benchtop band saw is limited to about 3" or so... the same design style can be made, but smaller saws require scaling the pattern down.

sawtooth1953 (author)2011-05-15

And... don't forget the largest design for a bandsaw box is limited by the bandsaw that one is working with... benchtop bandsaws won't be able to handle the 6" width dimension.

terbo3 (author)2011-01-18

Nice looking box that you made there! Band saw boxes always make me think of Alice in Wonderland... You've inspired me to give one a try; I've always been a little wary of my bandsaw abilities, so I tend to stick to mitered jewelry boxes and the table saw.

BTW, if you're looking for nice, figured woods for smaller projects like this, you should check out Horizon Wood Product's online specialty shop. It's got a pretty slick setup with zoomable photos and whatnot!.

ebergh (author)2010-11-29

Nice use of photos... clearly shows the steps! Bandsaw boxes are an easy project and a good way to use up shorts by laminating them up to make the box blanks.

My students usually finished of the interiors of the drawers by brushing them with a coat of enamel paint and then blowing in a puff of rayon flock of a matching color. It gives them the look of being lined in felt and hides any minor sanding faults.

Very creative shapes in your examples!

Wood Chuck (author)ebergh2010-11-30

Thanks ebergh, those boxes were my first three I made. I have since started flocking the insides, even the inside of the opening which takes up a lot of the bandsaw cut lines and the drawers slide very nicely.

speedyspy2 (author)2010-10-14

Nice instructible. i saw on of these in a store that sold homemade wood projects and made onee myself in carpentry class. mine was half of a tree stump (semicircle flat side down curved side made of bark) and gave it to my grandma for mothersday. i plan on making one like yours soon

Wood Chuck (author)speedyspy22010-10-15

Thanks for the comments - have fun

sawtooth1953 (author)2010-09-26

Nice job. I think it should be mentioned that this size box cannot be made on a benchtop sized band saw... those typically have a max. height capacity in the neighborhood of 3 1/2". This project was cut using a full sized band saw whose capacity is likely closer to 7". The step where the back is cut off is the limiting step... if the box on its side is taller than your saw's max. height capacity, then you can't cut off the back. Benchtop band saws can certainly make boxes with this method, but the design has to take that dimension into account... same with scroll saws, whose max. height capacity is typically around 2", give or take a little depending on the model.

Wood Chuck (author)sawtooth19532010-09-26

Thanks for you input sawtooth1953, it's amazing what you have to consider when writing one of these instructables. Cheers

While sawtooth is correct I think it prudent to say that you don't NEED to use a band saw to cut off the back. Other tools may be used. However a full size band saw would probably make the BEST cut.

Actually all you really need for capacity for this particular box is about 3", you just lay it down to cut the back off

corsi (author)2010-09-01

i was about to say.... these pictures look really familiar. but then i saw that it was in fact Bruce aka. wood chuck. my favorite youtube channel did a piece on you and you bandsaw boxes. thanx

Wood Chuck (author)corsi2010-09-02

Corsi; Where might that be? You must be refering to the Woodworking for mere mortals site. Steve was the one that suggested entering this instructable.

corsi (author)Wood Chuck2010-09-11

It was infact the very one. Have watched all of his videos. I have made several bandsaw boxes with the help of this instructable.

moonshinebluebird (author)2010-09-02

wow, thanks so much Wood Chuck. I'm going to give this a try, the instructable is great!

Your welcome - have fun

quadracer (author)2010-08-29

Very nice work! Im going to have to try this as my next wood working project, Thank you. Now only if I had one of those sanders. And the saying goes, you can NEVER have too many clamps.

littlepetry (author)2010-08-27

Very nice. Inspiring. When ever I try to make sharp turns on my bandsaw like you're doing, my blade breaks. What am I doing wrong? Any turns that I make on my band saw has to be very slight. Any Ideas?

Wood Chuck (author)littlepetry2010-08-28

You shouldn't be breaking blades, unless you are trying to make turns that are too sharp for the size of your blade or your saw needs a basic setup. I've included a link to Marc Spagnolos site (aka The Wood Whisperer) He goes over a basic tune-up, in particular blade tension. I hope this helps you out. Bruce

littlepetry (author)Wood Chuck2010-08-29


boognishmofo (author)2010-08-28

I wonder how well this would work on a scroll saw? wish I had a band saw. nice work.

Wood Chuck (author)boognishmofo2010-08-28

boognishmofo: there is no reason why a scroll saw wouldn't work. I know my scroll saw is very small and the stroke distance is too short - unless your going to make very small boxes. WC

marjorieallea (author)2010-08-27

All three of your boxes are beautiful!

Isamuk (author)2010-08-26

Absolutly amazing you have changed the game for woodworkers

Wood Chuck (author)Isamuk2010-08-27

Thanks Igor

canida (author)2010-08-26

Beautiful work!

Wood Chuck (author)2010-08-26

Thanks everyone for the encouargement and kind words. They really are fun to make.

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