Tea Holder




Introduction: Tea Holder

About: I am a mechanical engineering student. I enjoy building things, learning how stuff works, and other engineering activities. I also like running, biking, and being outside.

My mom mentioned that it would be nice to have a box to hold her assortment of tea bags in. Since her birthday is coming up, I decided to make a box as a present.

This box could be used for anything, but it is the perfect size for a teabag.

The finished box is 2.75" x 3" x 5.5" (inside dimensions)

This box is very simple to make, because it is made out of one piece of wood and glued together. 

Answers to the questions for the Make to Learn youth contest:
What did you make?
I made a wooden box to hold teabags. It is made out of basswood, glued together, and treated with an oil finish. I cut the wood with my dad's miter saw, which helped be get even cuts.

How did you make it?
I got the idea when my mom mentioned that a box like this would be nice to have. I originally planned to have a lid, but I realized that wasn't possible with only 3 inch wide wood.

Where did you make it?
I made it in my dad's workroom, using my dad's tools, which I use more often than my dad. This is one of the advantages of not having a job to take up my free time.

What did you learn? 
I learned how to lay out a design for something given a few requirements, For me, those requirements were to be able to hold a teabag, and be able to be made with only 3 inch wide wood. I also learned how to use the oil finish.

Step 1: Materials

I used one 3" x 24" x 1/4" piece of basswood that I bought from Jo-Ann fabrics. It's funny how when I bought the wood, I only saw one other guy in the whole store.

The wood is too thin for nails, and the box doesn't need to be very strong, so I used Elmer's wood glue to hold it together.

I used Minwax antique oil finish to protect it and make it look nice.

Step 2: Cutting

It is easier to sand before you cut the wood than after, so sand the wood some first.
The ends of the box are 3 by 3 inches, so that the whole box can be made with the same width of wood. 
These are the required pieces:
Ends (2): 3 inches
Sides (2): 6 inches
Bottom (1): 5.5 inches

These measurements add up to 23.5". Accounting for wood lost because of cutting, I had no leftover wood. So remember to measure twice, cut once.

Step 3: Gluing

I have no idea how to describe how to glue the box together, so look at the pictures. They make it pretty clear.
Before gluing, sand all the rough edges from cutting. Make sure all the pieces line up right. If a piece is too big, I found that 60 grit sandpaper quickly evened the pieces out. When all the pieces line up, smear a thin layer of glue on all the surfaces to be glued and clamp it together.
Let it dry for a day to dry completely. 

Step 4: Finishing

Sand off any pieces that aren't lined up if you didn't get it glued perfectly. Also sand off any glue that oozed out of the seams. 
Now for the finish. Get a small soft rag, like a piece of an old T-shirt. Get some of the finish on the rag, then smear it around, going with the grain of the wood. Use a cotton swab to get in the corners. A lot will soak in on the first coat. Keep putting more until it stops soaking in and there is a thin coating on the wood.
Wait a few minutes, and buff it with another rag. (If you don't know what buffing is, rub the excess off like you are polished the wood.) It is okay to touch where you have applied finish, so you don't have to do the inside and outside separately. Rest the box on some scrap  wood so most of it will dry easily.
Now let the finish dry for a day. I did three coats. You can't tell in the pictures, but the finish makes the box look much better.

Now fill it with teabags, or whatever else you want.

Make-to-Learn Youth Contest

Participated in the
Make-to-Learn Youth Contest

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    9 years ago on Introduction

    Well done and well illustrated. By some crazy coincidence, I need a culinary organizer just like that.

    Now I'm going to pester you a little, because that's what I do. Trust me, it's for your own good. I think you learned more from this project than you've mentioned.

    You seem to know now that females make a lot of things too. And some smart companies make a lot of money serving them. My iPhone paid for itself with Jo-Ann's coupons. Get the app.

    You may have learned that tangible expressions of appreciation on your mother's birthday (and every other day) are so important, they become self-serving. So as you grow older and more capable, you would be wise to increase them proportionately.

    You created value by turning useless, cheap, generic materials into something purposeful and valuable. Adam Smith taught us long ago this is how civilization thrives.

    You undoubtedly have gained some intrinsic knowledge of adhesive technology. Perhaps you were startled by the strength : weight ratio of your structure. I encourage you to go further down that path. You mentioned that your stock was too thin for mechanical fasteners, but as if that was a bad thing. Let's look at the good things. Less material in the structure means less wasted space in the kitchen. It's lighter and less expensive and easier to fab and more cleansible and more attractive.

    In fact, throughout history human innovation has pointed toward lighter structures of all kinds. Not long ago, Buckminster Fuller realized his vision of airlifting ultralight buildings into place. When you look at buildings and vehicles and products, notice the work that has been done to remove mass. Adhesives accelerate this trend by evenly distributed the stresses and fastening loads in structures. So we can do more with less, and create the wealth needed to support humanity. Yes, it is that important and you've seen the tip of the iceberg in this Instructable.

    I hope to see more from you.


    9 years ago

    This could not only b used for tea but other things too, great job!