Picture of Techniques for making a few simple boxes
This instructable will show several techniques for making simple wood boxes.

"But Photozz," you say.. "That's just... lame. Cant you hack and umbrella and toaster together to make something that keeps you dry and warm at the same time? "

"But Internet people" I say... "Shadup and stop stealing my ideas....The electric umbrella is not.. ready... yet."

I know.. I know.. boxes are boring. Boxes are dull.. But.. the techniques I'll show can be applied to slightly more interesting things, like picture frames and .. well.. other square things. You will think of something.. I'm preoccupied here.. Come up with your own solutions... OK?

My laziness and unwillingness to spend any money will mean that I'm going to be making smaller boxes. Think about the size of a paperback book. The techniques can be scaled up, but your on your own there.

I never took a shop class after high school, and I didn't have any relatives who were handy. Most of what I learned to do I had to figure out on my own or learn from a book. I mention this because I'm sure the shop-Nazis are going to rappel out of the clouds and tell me everything I'm doing wrong, but this is what works for me. If you have a recommendation or want to correct something, please be nice. Its better if we can all just get along.

First, some safety stuff.
skpeter3 days ago

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JohnL413 months ago

That's some great homework right there


raveeramphai3 months ago

Thanks for the tutorial! I’m so glad you didn’t say I needed a nail gun because I have yet to convince my husband that I really need one! The miter/chop saw is mine though, so I did a good job of convincing him I needed that one :)


km4777a6 months ago

I made the first box, it was fun! The instructions were excellent. The most trouble I had on the project the measurements. For others trying this out, I had a lot more trouble trying to get my tape measure to lay flat and get the right measurements. I used an engineer's scale a few years ago when I did some picture framing and find it a lot easier to use for small projects like this. Also, I got lazy and used a stubby pencil initially. Spend a couple extra bucks and get a pack of mechanical pencils with the thinnest graphite size you can find.

Otherwise, I love the box and will be starting the next one soon!

AnJo8882 years ago
Nice initiative.
By the way, there is a nice book called Wood Joining (or Joinery) one can download from KAT. It has very good tips on considering the wood veins/fibers and the forces the joint will be subjected to.

What exactly is KAT?..


posteljooni11 months ago

Tx for your work!
You might want to check at least the link to Popular Mechanics, because it does not lead to the article you mention.

ajsalazar11 months ago

Just what I was looking for, I am starting and the only power tool I have now is a drill, so I was looking for simple projects that could be made using hand tools. This techniques are an excellent way to start to practice.

Thanks a lot for the effort to put these together

prakis1 year ago

Thank you.

fergus222 years ago
k den
Holy Kovacs I have only read up to the paragraph that lets me know that my BFF bracelet may be in danger if I don't take the proper safety precautions, and I had to stop and commend your wit. Not that my coffee house snaps of approval mean much, but I haven't had a follow-through worthy inclination in a few years to post a comment that basically says "you're schuuuuuper funny and I think you're aweeeesschommee!!! Sincerely, awkward nerdy kid with braces holding thumbs up." At any rate, I sincerely enjoy smart humor. So, thanks so far! Look forward to reading the rest.
Re Step 4: Steak Dust, coming soon to an Instructable near you?
gtramp2 years ago
informative, and amusing, sometimes a good thing to break away from too much seriousness
dropkick2 years ago
Nice 'ible.
However I felt a need to point out that you could have used different materials, tools, joints, descriptive terms and grammar. For instance I've always wanted to see a 'ible on building a working personal aircraft out of wooden pallets and plastic milk crates, using only sheet rock screws, duct tape, and basic hand tools.
Oh well, maybe you'll do better next time.
claudg19502 years ago
This is very very good and funny and all that, but as I gather that you are trying to produce more than an 'ible --say a textbook on the subject-- perhaps you should consider proofreading your writing or giving the text to someone else to check.
You keep making the same mistake over and over again: confusing "your" with "you're" (contraction of "you are") as in here: "Then your all angry and yelling... If your already familiar with... If your going to be doing work... if your attempting any kind of precision... If your framing a wall..."
My point is: Your text is very well done; it should contain no errors. All the best.
Axtklinge2 years ago
Very nice. Congrats!
joshred3 years ago
Phenomenal. When will we get to see a sequel?
ilpug3 years ago
Well done.
rickharris3 years ago
:-) Your work is beautifully finished. Well proportioned and made Great.

I am not going to haggle over the names of the various joints Your doing OK!

(Former woodwork teacher)
Titebond II or III are both much better than Gorilla Glue, fyi. Especially when it comes to moisture.
erehwon5 years ago
I think those are butt joints rather than lap joints.  Laps would involve having the two piece of wood overlap on the joint rather than just butting together like you have there.  They're harder to make properly though (I haven't made a correct one yet).
wow.. old comment, but yes, you are correct, and yeah,, they are kinda tricky, but i think i've got them myself! for anyone who wants to find out how to do them - google it, or look elsewhere on instructables. they're much stronger, as they have a larger gluing area (just in case anyone was wondering why someone might want to do a more complicated joint)
If the wood is thick enough you could also use biscuits. They'll give you a nice strong joint with the bonus of holding it together when dry for a test fit. Mind you I'd be partial to a dove tail or finger joint, but those are a lot more work.
if you're careful & clever, you can keep the joints very similar sizes, and they hold together dry for a test fit fairly well
rrrmanion4 years ago
marking gauge is useful, as is steel rule & marking knife
chabias5 years ago
Most excellent 'ible! I especially appreciate the wooden hinge info. That'll surely come in handy!
tjlusco6 years ago
Hahaha! Best safety picture ever...
"In some sections I'm going to be using some power tools. Big scary powerful power tools. Tools that have neither self awareness or souls. That being the case they are completely unaware of the difference between a nice clean sheet of 3/4 inch plywood and your fibula (Its a bone.. in your leg.. The bottom part of your leg... )"

We're all going to look  back on this quote with cheerful irony as we're ripped to shreds by artificially intelligent blenders, sanders and washing machines;)
Dario4sho5 years ago
Lol I never knew. x)
j03tv5 years ago
OMG a PENCIL!!! What does it do?
And no you CANNOT has finger!
fab! Just what I needed as an absolute beginner who normally steps way beyond his capability and makes a mess. I made the first one (a wrong measurement for the box ends in there I seem to recall), then the second and by the time I got to the third I was feeling all confident with my newfound sawing ability so I made my own version. All in all a great introduction to measuring, cutting, gluing - now I feel ready to move on to more complicated joints and work. Thank you. Alain
matbh6 years ago
i liked the strap clamp tip!!
gmoon6 years ago
Great 'ible--good info, well written...funny, too.
photozz (author)  gmoon6 years ago