Introduction: How to Make a Bandsaw Box
I recently got a new bandsaw in the shop. I don’t have any experience with a bandsaw and thought I would create a project that would get me a little practice. I have seen others make bandsaw boxes before so I thought I could give it a try. This was a great learning project. I had to make many different cuts using the bandsaw and this forced me to learn the ins and outs of the new tool. I hope you find this helpful!
Step 1: Tools and Materials
Step 2: Mill the Wood to Size and Glue Together
The first thing I had to do for this project was mill all the lumber down to useable size. You can use whatever wood you would like for this. I chose maple and walnut. I started with two pieces of rough sawn lumber and used the planer and jointer to prepare the lumber for use. I first used the jointer to get one face and one edge completely flat. I then ran the board through the planer to get the other side flat. I can then use my flat edge along the table saw fence to get my other edge lined up with the first edge. If you do not have a way to mill lumber like this, (i didn’t for a long time) you can purchase small pieces of wood online that is already prepared or you can but your wood from a planing mill that can get it ready for you so you just have to cut it up. Once the boards were prepared, I cut the boards into squares that were about 6 inches by 6 inches. I then stacked them in the order I wanted them and glued them together and clamped them letting the glue dry overnight. This made a giant cube shape.
Step 3: Cut the Box to Shape
The next thing I had to do was cut out the shape my box would be. This can be whatever you want it to be. I started with a template of Mickey Mouse ears but had to scrap it because I messed up on Mickey’s ear. So I just went with a simple rounded top with a flat bottom. You can use a template and spray adhesive to glue it to the box or you can just draw the shape on the box. After you have your shape, you can start to cut it out on the bandsaw. A tip I have learned with cutting with the bandsaw is to just keep the piece moving along but don’t try to go too fast. Also, try to stay outside your line just a little bit. You can sand it later on but it is better to have extra space to work with then cutting too much off. (Like I did with Mickey’s ears) After your shape is cut out, you will need to cut about half of an inch off the back of your box. You will glue this back on later. (Watch my video to understand this fully.) Once the back is cut off you can cut out the drawer.
Step 4: Cut Out the Drawer
Next you can cut out the drawer. You can use whatever shape you want. I drew a few lines on the box using a paint can to make my shape. Once you have your line laid out, you can cut out the shape. You will have to cut from the outside of the box to get to your inside line. This is ok. You will glue this back together once your inside part is cut out. Make sure you go slow and stay steady on this part. You really only have one chance at this part.
*TIP -- Start your cut going with the grain. It is much easier to hide a glue seam going along the grain than one going against the grain. Check out the video to understand fully.
After your inside drawer shape is cut out, you have to cut out the material to make your drawer. To do this you will first need to cut a half inch off the front and the back of the drawer. You will glue this back on later. Next you will determine how much material needs to be removed from the drawer inside. Make a line and then cut this out on your bandsaw.
Step 5: Reassemble
You should now have several pieces that you have cut up and everything is now ready to be put back together.
DRAWER - to reassemble the drawer, you will just need to glue and clamp the front and back of the drawer back to the inside part you cut out. It is a good idea to go ahead and sand the inside of the drawer first. I did not do this, and it was very hard to reach once it was all assembled. MAIN BOX - For the outside part of the box, you will need to glue the seam back together from the cut you made earlier. Once this seam has dried, you can glue the back of the box back on to the main part. When all of the glued parts are dried, you should have a fully functioning box and drawer. After my box was reassembled, I wanted to add a rounded back on my box. This is an optional thing, but I drew the shape using a measuring cup I had in the shop then I cut it out on the bandsaw. This really elevated the look of my box, but again is totally optional.
Step 6: Sand
Now you can sand the box and the drawer. I used a bench belt sander but you can use whatever you have. Make sure to get all of the bandsaw marks out and also the glue seams. I sanded everything up to 220 grit. I also used a ¼” round over bit with my trim router and went around the front of by box and drawer. Doing this with a router hid some of my bad bandsaw cutting skills and make it look a little better.
Step 7: Make the Handle and Feet
At this point the box and drawer are just about complete. I had a scrap piece of maple that I used to make the handle and feet of the box. I used the table saw to rip the pieces to width and the my crosscut sled to cut them to length. After I cut them out, I sanded them up to 220 grit and glued them on the box. I clamped them up and let it dry for a while. You can get creative with the shape you want your feet and handle to be. Once the glue dried, I used a chisel to get all of the excess glue squeeze out cleaned up.
Step 8: Apply Finish
The last step for me was to apply finish. I used danish oil which is what I use a lot on hardwoods. I applied two coats letting it dry between each coat and after that, the project was complete.
Step 9: Complete
Make sure to check out the video for the full how-to experience and if you have any questions on the steps leave me a comment or send me a message. You can also find me around the web. I hope you enjoyed this project!
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