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Here at the Art of Manliness, we’ve talked a few times about the manly ritual of a good shoe shine over the years. For awhile now, I’ve kept my own shoe shine supplies in a box I got for Christmas a few years back. It’s a pretty nice box, but I’ve always had an itch to make one with my own two hands. Then a few months ago I was looking through some old Popular Mechanics magazines, and a nifty shoe shine box design in an issue from 1950 caught my eye.
It’s a simple design. You’ve got a place to hold your brushes and polish cans and a place to rest your foot when shining your shoes. What makes this design so nifty is the two free-turning dowels placed inside the box. After you’ve given your shoes a good polishing, the dowels serve as rollers for your polish cloth for buffing your shoes to a mirror shine. Here it is in action:
This is an incredibly easy and inexpensive project. It only takes an hour to complete, but you’ll end up with a unique and sturdy little box that will last you a lifetime.
Here’s the modified Popular Mechanics design that I used to make my shoe shine box:
Step 1: What you will need
(1) 3/4″ x 8″ x 8′ board (I used a cedar board I bought at Home Depot for $11. I was able to make two boxes out of one board. You can use whitewood for an even cheaper box.)
(1) 5/8″ wooden dowel
(18) #6 1-1/4″ wood screws
Saw (I used my table saw. Miter saw works, too. Heck, you could even use a handsaw for this project.)
Band saw or coping saw
11/16″ bore bit