Designing a 21 Drawer Sewing Box (with Aromatic Cedar Lining) in Sketchup

Introduction: Designing a 21 Drawer Sewing Box (with Aromatic Cedar Lining) in Sketchup


The goal of this ible is to showcase and share the design I used for the sewing box I made for my wife, but also show how I went about designing the box using Sketchup.

The box was made a few years ago, so I can't show the gluing steps, but I still had all my design files, so that's what counts here :) There are plenty of other places to see how to glue.

Step 1: Materials

The hardware is a fairly personal choice, so that part is up to your tastes.

A project of this magnitude requires a lot of tools that will vary based on what you have available to you... both in terms of tools and in terms of hardware. You may make aesthetic choices that will require different tools. But the basics are...

  1. Wood (of course). Choose what you want, but you should go with 1/2 inch thick dimensional lumber. I used Maple and aromatic cedar.
  2. More wood! 1/8th quality ply is much better for making the drawers than that expensive stuff from item 1!
  3. Knobs of your choice and corresponding screws and screwdrivers
  4. Hinges of your choice and corresponding screws and screwdrivers
  5. Saws. This is the kind of tool where what you have is what you use... but..
    1. Table saw and scroll saw are probably the best combination
    2. you can also use a jig saw, band saw, circular saw (which is what used), and a detail hand saw (again, what I used)
      1. Bang for buck, once you have a decent tool, the difference between spending 300 or 900$ is going to be smaller than paying double for a very high quality blade, like milled 2-way scroll saw blades, or 80+ tooth carbide tipped table saw blades for ply and laminate, etc.. That being said, don't use that last one on a 4x4! For all purpose use, dewalt has a very fairly priced 2-pack for general use. Not the absolute best, but a very good value proposition.
  6. Finish of your choice. I like drying oils (I am partial to Livos Danish oil and Ikea's oil for it's high amount of tung oil, availability, and ver low price)
  7. cloths for applying the oil. Scott's shop towels are amazing for this, especially for the price.
  8. Random orbit sander (the random orbit is important to avoid scuffing)
  9. A variety of sand-paper grits. I recommend having a range from 60 to 220 in 3 steps, with 100 as a mid-step.


Step 2: Designing the Box

I used sketchup to design the box. I used finger joints because they are pretty.

Step 3: Cutting All the Parts for the Main Box

This was the easy part. Being off by 1/16th on a large piece is nowhere nearly as bad as on those little drawers....

Step 4: Making the Drawers

For the face of the drawers I actually used a single piece and cut it pre-numbered, so that the cuts would line up. The single piece that made the face then had matching grain and the pieces lined up nicely! My issue though was getting it thinner, and without a planer, I used my router and a 2-1/2 inch bottom cutter on many many passes.... without a router table. I in no way suggest this, it was stupidly dangerous.

Step 5: Nice and Smelly Insert

I used a small piece of aeromatic cedar that I cut to fit snugly in the bottom. That way it always smells nice when we open the box.

Step 6: Finish Up

After assembly was done, I gave it a few good sanding levels until it was smooth. The last step was to oil the the boxes, after which I screwed the hinges and knobs on.

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    2 Discussions


    4 years ago

    This looks really handy. I need a big sewing case like this! Nicely done :)


    Reply 4 years ago

    Thank you for the nice comment :)