Introduction: Firewood Wine Box

This project is a wine box made from a single round of pine firewood, milled into boards using basic wood shop equipment. The log was milled flat using a bandsaw, jointer and thickness planer, and the boards were milled and dimensioned using a table saw. It uses rabbet and dado joints cut using a dado set and table saw, and a friction-fit lid.


Please use caution and common sense when using shop equipment. Ensure you have read and understood owners manuals or have received adequate training on all equipment before use. Wear appropriate personal protective equipment and follow safety instructions provided by tool manufacturers.

Step 1: Select Stock for Project

Choose a straight grained log 6-8" in diameter and 16-20" in length. Avoid splits and knots.

Step 2: Rip Flat Faces Onto Log

I used a bandsaw sled to secure my log from rolling while being cut. The log is screwed onto the sled from top and bottom using wood screws that penetrate only 1/2" into the log. Ensure that the log is not able to roll while being cut, as it will bind or jam if it does. Use the widest bandsaw blade available, preferably of the "Resaw" variety. Once one side is cut, place it downward on the sled, resecure the log and cut another flat on a side adjacent to it. Rough cut a third face as well.

Step 3: Joint Edges Square and Plane.

Using a jointer, flatten your rough-cut faces and square two of them to each other with a 90 degree fence. Save some shavings for future use. Use a thickness planer to make your third rough face parallel to the one opposite to it.

Step 4: Rip Log Into Boards

Using a table saw, rip your square edged log into 4 equal pieces and a 5th rough-edged one. My pieces were 5/8" thick, but your thickness will vary depending on log size. I had to cut from both sides to cut through the full thickness - This could also be done in single cuts with a bandsaw and "resaw" blade.

Step 5: Plane Boards to Desired Thickness.

Using a sharp thickness planer, plane your 4 flat-faced boards to your desired thickness (1/2" in my project.)

Step 6: Cut Back and Side Pieces and Dado the Back.

Determine the width and length needed to accommodate your wine bottle, adding a material thickness on each side, and rip and cut three of your boards to that size using the table and miter saws. Install a dado set on your table saw, set to one-half of your material thickness. Use scrap material of the same thickness to test cut and adjust your dado until it is 1/2 material thickness deep, and 1/2 material thickness from the edge of the piece. If adjusted properly, you should be able to cut a dado on the flat of one board and a rabbet on the edge of another and have them fit nicely together without adjusting the blade height or fence. Cut a dado along each side of the back piece.

Step 7: Rabbet and Dado Sides, Cut and Rabbet End Pieces.

Using the same dado settings, cut a rabbet on the outer back edge of your two side pieces and a dado on the inside face of both ends. Cut two short end pieces at the width of the back minus one material thickness and the height of the sides minus one half material thickness. Cut rabbets on the sides of both of these pieces

Step 8: Assemble Lid.

Cut a piece that will just fit inside the opening of your box once assembled and laminate it to the center of your natural edged piece using wood glue.

Step 9: Assemble Box and Fit Lid.

Assemble box dry to ensure all pieces fit, then glue pieces together using wood glue. Allow the glue to set, then use a small roundover bit on a router table to soften the edges of the box. My top piece was slightly smaller than the box body in a few spots, so I used a block plane to create an even reveal around the outside edge

Step 10: Finishing

Sand the box and inside of lid to a smooth surface and apply a few coats of finish of your choice. I used a wipe-on polyurethane. Once the finish has dried, fill the box with your planer shavings, (Remember those?) and you are ready to store or gift the wine of your choice!

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