Build an awesome sewing box

I decided that I wanted to build my girlfriend a new sewing box for her birthday, and instantly knew that I wanted to make one that cantilevered, just like tackle boxes and traditional sewing boxes. Searching the internet for mathematical help, I discovered that none exists. As a result, I have decided to just figure it out the hard way and share my results.
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Step 1: How my box works

My box will be 300mm long by 200mm deep, and have 2 tiers, plus a lid. I want there to be approximately 30mm of overhang between the top and bottom tiers when the box is open. The lid will be opened with the same movement as the rest of the box. The top tier will be about 60mm deep inside, which is the approximate length of a spool of thread, and will be divided into compartments. The bottom will be about 100mm deep, and will be a spot to keep larger things. If you want the same dimensions, carry on with the instructable. If not, now is the time to sit down and think about what you want. If your dimensions differ from mine, you'll have to alter the instructions to suit, obviously.
domshmom says: Dec 19, 2011. 11:48 AM
Still in awe at this box. Where did you find the paper? Or what do you think I should search for on google to find something similar?
you could check scrapbook stores for sewing themed paper, party stores may even have pretty vintage looking wrapping paper that would be really great in a box like this!
bowlerhatman (author) in reply to domshmomDec 19, 2011. 2:10 PM
The paper was just some wrapping paper I found in a paper shop, I'm not sure what you would search for. It has pictures of stationery on it.
mdog93 says: Dec 28, 2011. 5:12 PM
"7. Put a thumbtack through A,B,C and D from behind. Then put the two arms onto the thumbtacks, one between A and B, the other between B and C."

Do you mean between A and B, the other between C and D??
bowlerhatman (author) in reply to mdog93Dec 31, 2011. 11:46 PM
As it happens, I did. Thanks for picking that up, I've fixed it up now.
tchall says: Dec 24, 2011. 2:59 PM
Just noticed that there's an easy cure to the tipping problem...

A couple of legs on the back or sides of the top section will lift up as it rises and support the upper tray when the box is fully opened...

It wouldn't take much since they are just stabilizing any imbalance.

Making them the size of the side levers would be overkill, but would also eliminate a couple of saw resettings...
bowlerhatman (author) in reply to tchallDec 25, 2011. 4:58 AM
As it happens, that is exactly what I did. If you read my reply to klixtopher below, there's an explanation of what I did. I can, if you like, put a step into my instructable dealing with the legs, I simply forgot to put it in initially.
espdp2 in reply to bowlerhatmanDec 28, 2011. 12:40 PM
Please do. I got woodworking tools for Christmas, and THIS project is begging to be made for my missus. 4.5 stars.
ams529 says: Dec 22, 2011. 7:08 AM
I would be concerned about the magnets for bobbins if she has a computerized sewing machine. The bobbins will become magnetized and may interfere with the function of the machine.
bowlerhatman (author) in reply to ams529Dec 22, 2011. 12:10 PM
She doesn't have a computerised machine.
gtrachel in reply to bowlerhatmanDec 26, 2011. 2:32 PM
Good for her! Mechanical machines are so much better. Also bobbin magnets are the best idea since magnetic pincushions, and your sewing box is gorgeous! She's some kind of lucky.
SIRJAMES09 says: Dec 25, 2011. 9:26 PM
this is so cool!!!

but there is just 1 itsy bitsy, teeny weeny problem...
I'm not that talented or smart. :(

There is no way I would ever get them markings correct....when it comes to precision woodworking, if there's a way to mess it up, I'll find it. :(

Now bookshelves, cases to hold CDs etc, I have no problem with...but throw in moving parts & I'll screw it up every time. chances are, what I would do is, copy all this ible onto a cd, give it to someone who IS that talented & ask him(or her) to make it for me.

Don't get me wrong, I think this is absolutely beautiful!! but it is not something I could do.

TY for sharing Sir.
icekid says: Dec 24, 2011. 5:21 PM
Awesome! keep it up!
klixtopher says: Dec 22, 2011. 10:52 AM
Great work! Of course, this has added to my ever increasing list of "things to make my wife". I imagine the box is all filled up now, how is it for anti-tip when it's fully opened?
bowlerhatman (author) in reply to klixtopherDec 22, 2011. 10:11 PM
Well, funny that you should mention tipping... I forgot to add the step about adding legs on the back to prevent this. I realised pretty soon that it would be an issue. What I did was route a pair of channels up the back face of the box, the length being equal to the height of the bottom box + 2/3 the height of the top box. This was 6mm deep and 12mm wide, to fit some pieces of wood I had left over. I screwed the pieces of wood into the channels on the top box. Now when you open the box, the legs swing out and support the top box, and thus also the lid. I can put photos and add a step if you like.
klixtopher in reply to bowlerhatmanDec 23, 2011. 9:37 AM
Sounds great, and again, very nice work. Cheers.
stayputnik says: Dec 22, 2011. 1:52 PM
Just a tip... when you have glue squeeze-out, it's better to let it dry than to wipe it away. When you wipe, it spreads the glue into the grain of the wood, where it will remain indefinitely and cause splotches if you choose to stain the wood later. It's generally better to leave the glue to dry and harden, then it can be scraped away with a hand plane or cabinet scraper later.
bowlerhatman (author) in reply to stayputnikDec 22, 2011. 10:13 PM
Thanks for that, it hadn't occurred to me. Fortunately I did a fair bit of sanding, which must have gotten the glue out of the grain, because there were no splotches when I stained it. I'll remember that for future projects though, thanks.
ekcan says: Dec 22, 2011. 8:01 AM
This is beautiful and so practical! Love the cat etching, too! I'd like to have a handle on it so it is easier to carry. If you ever add one, please post those instructions, too!
bowlerhatman (author) in reply to ekcanDec 22, 2011. 12:13 PM
I decided against a handle, as the whole weight of the box and contents would be supported by the hinges and lock.
theo67 says: Dec 22, 2011. 12:02 PM
Great idea. Made something like this a few years ago using lighter gauge wood [three ply] and instead of two layers of trays made three. Then duplicated it [as a mirror image] and put both on a common base tray [the third layer] so that one opened to the left and the other to the right and thus kept everything balanced when one or both were open. Attached a loop of metal strap to the base which went over it all to act as a carry handle.

The good lady always has lots of bits and pieces and while I thought that this would hold everything possible, it was filled in no time and still was not enough????!!!!!! On reflection I should have made maybe five layers and put it on castors like my workshop tool kit ;-)
nmdispatchlady says: Dec 22, 2011. 8:58 AM
What a lucky lady! As a seamstress would love to have one of these. May just have to sit down and make it myself. Would love to have one for my knitting and crocheting as well.

Wonderful job.
hammer9876 says: Dec 22, 2011. 7:43 AM
Brilliant piece of work. Lucky lady. Congratulations on being featured.
steveastrouk says: Dec 22, 2011. 6:43 AM
Beautiful work, great writeup too.

Steve
Penolopy Bulnick says: Dec 19, 2011. 11:44 AM
This is awesome! I wonder if I can get my husband to make me one!
domshmom says: Dec 19, 2011. 8:07 AM
This box is awesome! What's it made from?
domshmom in reply to domshmomDec 19, 2011. 11:28 AM
Oh - seen the other pics!
bricabracwizard says: Dec 18, 2011. 2:13 PM
Great gift! One other thought as you've already used magnets is to have a raised bar magnet in the lid to hold all the needles effortlessly.
Cymru says: Dec 18, 2011. 9:18 AM
The magnets to hold the bobbins in the lid is BRILLIANT! However, all of my bobbins are plastic. So I'd just put my bobbins on the spool holders and put needle cases on the lid. My husband made me a knife strip with hard drive magnets sandwiched between two layers of hardwood.
Very Interesting says: Dec 18, 2011. 6:43 AM
Lucky girlfriend!!! This is great!
JLancaster says: Dec 17, 2011. 9:44 PM
great vision, seen through. Be proud!
mikeasaurus says: Dec 17, 2011. 8:56 PM
Wow, great craftsmanship. I especially like your work on the T+G and finger joints. Your girlfriend is going to love this!
bowlerhatman (author) in reply to mikeasaurusDec 17, 2011. 9:30 PM
Thanks! I'm glad you like it, she sat an played with it for a good half hour or so, haha.