Introduction: How to Make Segmented Boxes on the Band Saw
I wanted to try something new and decided to make some segmented boxes, but not on the lathe, no on the band saw. It's a simple technique, and you get a lot of boxes out of your material. These boxes were pretty simple to make, and came out absolutely gorgeous! Let's go over how I made them!
Step 1: Milling Up Wood
So first of all I need some wood. So I went looking through my pile, and picked out a couple of rough sawn pieces of maple and walnut. Then I went over to my bandsaw, gave it a nice coat of wax, and attached a very rough piece to my log cutting jig, so I could get one side straight.
Once the piece was in more managable shape I took it over to my DIY jointer and jointed one side, I also jointed a couple of other pieces to get everything ready. I started out re-sawing the wood into manageable one inch slabs, using a half inch blade for the bandsaw.
Now once I had a whole bunch of walnut and maple milled up, I arranged it, and arranged them. I decided I wanted them a touch smaller for the pattern, so I cut them all up on the table saw to 3/4 by 3/4 inch strips.
Step 2: Glue Up
Next I took them in the shop and started to arrange the pieces, making sure everything was straight, seeing which pieces I should connect together, which ones fit better. And then I started the process of glue up, much like doing a cutting board. Once the glue was dry, I did a fair amount of sanding.
Then I measured out where my circles would be, and how large I could make them. I also needed the wood to be in smaller pieces so I marked out and cut it up on the bandsaw. Now when the pieces were smaller, I could run them all through the planer to make sure everything was nice and smooth on both sides.
I also went in to glue up a couple of thin pieces of walnut for the tops and the bottoms. Let's let that dry.
Step 3: Cutting the Rings
So I adjust the jig to match the radius of the largest possible circle, then I put the center of the circle on the dowel, and turn it on and start spinning. To cut the circles I've switched blades to a 1/4 inch bandsaw blade so I can cut smaller and smaller circles. So repeat a couple of times.
Then I adjust the jig for the next circle, I decided I wanted the circles here to be 1/2 inch thick which is about 12 mm, so taking that into account... And then there's just a whole lot of cutting. Then adjusting the jig again, for the next cut and the circles keep getting smaller and smaller, in total I cut up about 60 circles and rings.
Step 4: Tops & Bottoms
Once I had most of my rings cut I needed to prepare for the tops and the bottoms, so I brought out the pieces of walnut, and I'm marking out what sizes I need. And I need quite a few circles, because I'm making a lot of boxes. I'm debating about how to attach the lids, here's one idea using a pivet point and a magnet.
So drilling holes in the pieces for the lids and the bottoms and then cutting up those circles as well on the bandsaw. And of course I have more box rings to cut as well, so I keep cutting.
Step 5: Boxes Glue Up
Next, it's time to do some glue up. First I need to glue the cut in each ring to make it complete. Just clamping each one together. Once the rings were fixed, I started gluing boxes together, starting with a bottom, then a ring, another ring and so on, creating a pattern I was happy with.
Then I put on the lid without glue for stability and clamped the box together. And then I moved on to gluing up a whole lot more.
To fix the holes in the bottoms that I used as a pivet point, I made my own wood filler using yellow glue and the saw dust from the cuts so it would match perfectly. And keep on gluing.
Step 6: Sanding, Routing & Knobs
The next day when everything was dry, it was time to sand. So I took off a fair amount on the belt sander.
Now to sand the insides of the boxes, I had first glued together the solid center pieces once the rings were cut, and I made my own spindle sander using a drill and threaded rod. It worked great, and it made a huge difference as it would have taken forever to do by hand.
Next, I added a round-over on the bottoms, using my router table, and I think this added a nice touch. I decided to make some small knobs for the lids on the lathe, here I'm using a piece of walnut.
Step 7: Fitting the Lids
Next to make sure the lids fit well on each box, I had cut out a smaller circle that just fit inside each box. So I glued each piece to each lid and clamped. I also glued on the tiny knobs for the lids.
Step 8: Finishing
When everything was dry and sanded, I started finishing the boxes. First I went with two coats of wipe on poly.
Then I finished with some tung oil wax polish.
Step 9: Conclusion - Watch the Video!
All together I think the boxes came out really nice. I love how you get so many boxes out of one piece of material, so there is very little waste. If you're interested in this project, make sure to watch the video for a much better perspective.