Step 4: Box With Lid, Living Room Method

Or.. how to do this without power tools. In fact, all three of these could be done in a living room fairly easily.

This is a basic method for making a small box using just a mitre box and saw. I call it the living room method as you can usually get away with this while watching TV if you have an understanding and very attractive wife who is always right (Hi honey! *waves*).

It does not require any extensive equipment and can be done fairly quickly. The corners will be simple lap joints, so nothing fancy just yet.

Tools and material:
ruler or measuring tape
Miter box and saw or table saw
Clamps (small)
wood - one 4 foot 1x4
Sand paper

For this project I'm using standard 1x4 pieces of Pine from the local Home Depot. An astute observer would note that the 1x4 is actually closer to 3/4 x 3 1/2. This is the way things are. The jerks. Its like when I used to be able to get a Slim Jim as big as my arm, and now they are barely the size of toothpicks.

*Note - the boards in the picture are actually 3 x 3/4 inch. I had ripped a strip off the boards for another project. Just go with it. The listed measurements are accurate for your project.

From the end, measure out and cut

4 - 7 inch long boards
2 - 5 inch boards
1 - 8 1/2 inch board.

Try to make the cuts as precise as possible. One tip for this is to measure the next board only after your done cutting the previous board. If you pre-measure all the pieces, a few of them may be shorter than anticipated due to the action of sawing.

A saw does not work quite like a steak knife. The saw actually cuts the wood by removing a thin channel of material. This is where the sawdust comes from. There is no steak dust when you cute a steak as it actually slices the meat... mmmmm steak....

The cutting will be easier if you clamp the piece into the miter box while you are working with it. Trying to wrestle with the parts while your sawing them is a great way to loose a thumb. I usually measure from the 1 inch mark to make it as accurate as possible.

Do NOT sand any of the edges before gluing it up. Its common for people to want to give it a fast swipe to clean off the edges and such, but what will wind up happening is that you will wreck the straight edge of the board, and you will see gaps after you glue it up. If you have any chipped edges, just smooth it off with your finger, then glue it.

Check the pictures for details if something is not clear.

1. Take one 7 inch piece and place a thin layer of wood glue on both of the long edges.

2. Place two more of the 7 inch boards on the glued edges to make a "U" shape. Make certain the ends line up and everything is straight.

3. Clamp the ends loosely, just to hold everything together.

4. Place the last 7" board at the top without glue and apply a clamp to hold it there. This board is only there to assure that the sides are straight and that the top gap is not wider than the bottom. Don't trust your eyes on this one.

5. Tighten all the clamps checking the boards to make sure nothing slid around. If you have a large gluing area, its not uncommon for the pieces to move a little. You should see some glue squeezing out. If not, you either have a freakish ability to use the exact amount of glue necessary, or you didn't use enough.

6. Let it dry. Let it dry for a good hour before touching it again.

7. When it looks dry, remove the clamps being careful with the piece. The joints may still be tender. Set the un-glued 7 inch board aside.

8. place a thin layer of glue on both of the "U" shaped edges.

9. Place both end caps on, being careful to line up the edges as best you can. Don't worry if something is not 100% there, it can be fixed during sanding. The closer you get it, the less you have to sand.

10. Clamp both end caps in place and let the whole thing dry overnight.

**Double clamp technique- My clamps are not quite long enough to reach and clamp the sides. While I do have longer clamps, I wanted to show you how to do this. Take two clamps and hook them together as shown in the picture. tighten both clamps, and it will act like one long clamp. This works great for smaller pieces where you don't need huge amounts of pressure.

*sleepy sleepertons zzzzzzzzzzzzzz*

11. Remove the clamps and admire your work.

12. Take that last 7 inch board and check the fit inside the top.. it should be close, but not overly tight. If its too close, sand the edges until it fits easily. If you have trouble getting it out again after you fit it, just screw a small screw in the center and use it like a handle to pull it out. The hole will be covered when the rest of the top is assembled.

13. Take that last 8 1/2 inch board and measure out and draw a line 3/4th of an inch from each side. That last 7 inch piece should fit cleanly between the lines.

14. Glue up one full side of the 7 inch board and put it between the lines on the 8 1/2 inch board. Clamp tightly, make sure it does not move. It will be prone to slipping around a little.

When the glue dries, un-clamp and check the fit of the lid. Your Done!
Sand and paint to your pleasure.

What I learned:
How to cut pieces accurately.
How to glue up and clamp pieces.
Patience (optional, but useful..)

<p>I am new to the instructable site and am currently reading many articles to ease my beginning woodshop woes. I laughed out loud, while learning a lot as I read this post! Your should write a book, with this as your first chapter! Thanks for taking the time to craft it with humor, as well as jam pack it with very useful tips!</p>
<p>step four: box with lid. Picture. Is the lid upside down? It will slide around on the box if you do not flip it over, right?</p>
<p>THANK YOU!! Finally, a reasonable scale project I can build with hand tools! If you've never taken shop and need to start at the very beginning, a simple box is PLENTY! Besides, the humor was a nice change of pace. Keep 'em coming!</p>
<p>awesome job! Can't wait to try it!</p>
<p>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.</p><p>Otherwise, I love the box and will be starting the next one soon!</p>
Nice initiative. <br>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.
<p>What exactly is KAT?..</p>
<p>Tx for your work!<br>You might want to check at least the link to <a href="http://www.popularmechanics.com/home_journal/tools/1646221.html" rel="nofollow">Popular Mechanics</a>, because it does not lead to the article you mention.</p>
<p>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.</p><p>Thanks a lot for the effort to put these together</p>
<p>Thank you.</p>
k den <br>
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 &quot;you're schuuuuuper funny and I think you're aweeeesschommee!!! Sincerely, awkward nerdy kid with braces holding thumbs up.&quot; 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?
informative, and amusing, sometimes a good thing to break away from too much seriousness
Nice 'ible. <br>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. <br>Oh well, maybe you'll do better next time.
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. <br>You keep making the same mistake over and over again: confusing &quot;your&quot; with &quot;you're&quot; (contraction of &quot;you are&quot;) as in here: &quot;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...&quot; <br>My point is: Your text is very well done; it should contain no errors. All the best.
Very nice. Congrats!
Phenomenal. When will we get to see a sequel?
Well done.
:-) Your work is beautifully finished. Well proportioned and made Great. <br> <br> I am not going to haggle over the names of the various joints Your doing OK! <br> <br>(Former woodwork teacher)
Titebond II or III are both much better than Gorilla Glue, fyi. Especially when it comes to moisture.
I think those are butt joints rather than lap joints.&nbsp; Laps would involve having the two piece of wood overlap on the joint rather than just butting together like you have there.&nbsp; They're harder to make properly though (I haven't made a correct one yet).<br />
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 &amp; clever, you can keep the joints very similar sizes, and they hold together dry for a test fit fairly well
marking gauge is useful, as is steel rule &amp; marking knife
Most excellent 'ible! I especially appreciate the wooden hinge info. That'll surely come in handy!
Hahaha! Best safety picture ever...
&quot;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 <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fibula" rel="nofollow">fibula</a> (Its a bone.. in your leg.. The bottom part of your leg... )&quot;<br /> <br /> We're all going to look&nbsp; back on this quote with cheerful irony as we're ripped to shreds by artificially intelligent blenders, sanders and washing machines;)<br />
Lol I never knew. x)
OMG a PENCIL!!! What does it do?<br /> 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
i liked the strap clamp tip!!
Great 'ible--good info, well written...funny, too.

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