How to Make Segmented Boxes on the Band Saw




Introduction: How to Make Segmented Boxes on the Band Saw

About: Hi I'm Linn and on my Youtube Channel I have lots of great videos about building, construction and fun projects. You can also check out my site @

I wanted to try something new and decided to make some segmented boxes, but not on the lathe, no on the band saw. It's a simple technique, and you get a lot of boxes out of your material. These boxes were pretty simple to make, and came out absolutely gorgeous! Let's go over how I made them!

Step 1: Milling Up Wood

So first of all I need some wood. So I went looking through my pile, and picked out a couple of rough sawn pieces of maple and walnut. Then I went over to my bandsaw, gave it a nice coat of wax, and attached a very rough piece to my log cutting jig, so I could get one side straight.

Once the piece was in more managable shape I took it over to my DIY jointer and jointed one side, I also jointed a couple of other pieces to get everything ready. I started out re-sawing the wood into manageable one inch slabs, using a half inch blade for the bandsaw.

Now once I had a whole bunch of walnut and maple milled up, I arranged it, and arranged them. I decided I wanted them a touch smaller for the pattern, so I cut them all up on the table saw to 3/4 by 3/4 inch strips.

Step 2: Glue Up

Next I took them in the shop and started to arrange the pieces, making sure everything was straight, seeing which pieces I should connect together, which ones fit better. And then I started the process of glue up, much like doing a cutting board. Once the glue was dry, I did a fair amount of sanding.

Then I measured out where my circles would be, and how large I could make them. I also needed the wood to be in smaller pieces so I marked out and cut it up on the bandsaw. Now when the pieces were smaller, I could run them all through the planer to make sure everything was nice and smooth on both sides.

I also went in to glue up a couple of thin pieces of walnut for the tops and the bottoms. Let's let that dry.

Step 3: Cutting the Rings

Now to cut these boxes up, I need to drill holes in the centers for each circle. I'm going to use my circle cutting jig for my band saw I made in a previous instructable.

So I adjust the jig to match the radius of the largest possible circle, then I put the center of the circle on the dowel, and turn it on and start spinning. To cut the circles I've switched blades to a 1/4 inch bandsaw blade so I can cut smaller and smaller circles. So repeat a couple of times.

Then I adjust the jig for the next circle, I decided I wanted the circles here to be 1/2 inch thick which is about 12 mm, so taking that into account... And then there's just a whole lot of cutting. Then adjusting the jig again, for the next cut and the circles keep getting smaller and smaller, in total I cut up about 60 circles and rings.

Step 4: Tops & Bottoms

Once I had most of my rings cut I needed to prepare for the tops and the bottoms, so I brought out the pieces of walnut, and I'm marking out what sizes I need. And I need quite a few circles, because I'm making a lot of boxes. I'm debating about how to attach the lids, here's one idea using a pivet point and a magnet.

So drilling holes in the pieces for the lids and the bottoms and then cutting up those circles as well on the bandsaw. And of course I have more box rings to cut as well, so I keep cutting.

Step 5: Boxes Glue Up

Next, it's time to do some glue up. First I need to glue the cut in each ring to make it complete. Just clamping each one together. Once the rings were fixed, I started gluing boxes together, starting with a bottom, then a ring, another ring and so on, creating a pattern I was happy with.

Then I put on the lid without glue for stability and clamped the box together. And then I moved on to gluing up a whole lot more.

To fix the holes in the bottoms that I used as a pivet point, I made my own wood filler using yellow glue and the saw dust from the cuts so it would match perfectly. And keep on gluing.

Step 6: Sanding, Routing & Knobs

The next day when everything was dry, it was time to sand. So I took off a fair amount on the belt sander.

Now to sand the insides of the boxes, I had first glued together the solid center pieces once the rings were cut, and I made my own spindle sander using a drill and threaded rod. It worked great, and it made a huge difference as it would have taken forever to do by hand.

Next, I added a round-over on the bottoms, using my router table, and I think this added a nice touch. I decided to make some small knobs for the lids on the lathe, here I'm using a piece of walnut.

Step 7: Fitting the Lids

Next to make sure the lids fit well on each box, I had cut out a smaller circle that just fit inside each box. So I glued each piece to each lid and clamped. I also glued on the tiny knobs for the lids.

Step 8: Finishing

When everything was dry and sanded, I started finishing the boxes. First I went with two coats of wipe on poly.

Then I finished with some tung oil wax polish.

Step 9: Conclusion - Watch the Video!

All together I think the boxes came out really nice. I love how you get so many boxes out of one piece of material, so there is very little waste. If you're interested in this project, make sure to watch the video for a much better perspective.



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    16 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Wow! Nice project. I noticed at one point there seemed to be tiny sparks coming off the wood as you cut. I'm not familiar with band saws. What is that? That looks like a very fancy band saw. It sure made the cuts look nearly effortless. Thanks for this, the idea is very nice. I can see family heirloom potential there. My Mom still had a screwdriver handle from her great grandfather's time- who turned it when the United States was building the first White House. This type of box is so useful, I bet it could stay in a family for literally a century or more. Simple, practical and small enough to carry from place to place.

    1 reply

    I had those sparks with my jigsaw, And Googled it.

    It's supposed to be something with metal minerals in the wood...

    Amazing effect.

    I made lamp similar method. I used hole saw, not bandsaw. Led light inside giving nice wood grain effect.



    2 years ago

    Very well done! Thanks for sharing!

    I love you videos. I will probebly never make them but I realy enjoy to see you work.


    2 years ago

    I would suggest to sand the inside of the boxes before gluing the bottoms by means of holding the sanding drum on a drill press, if any. Great job

    Super project!

    Good work , cute, I like it

    These are awesome. Well done. I suddenly have the urge to go buy a band saw. Brb.

    1 reply

    how do you get to make "the smaller rings"? You have to cut through the outer circle first?

    1 reply

    Yes, you cut through the outer circle, in to the new diameter, cut the inner ring, switch off the bandsaw and reverse the blade out through the cut you made in the outer circle. Later on (see video) you need to glue the cut together to make each ring whole again. Since the ban saw only removes about 2mm of wood, the size of the circle doesn't change by much.

    The write-up and video assume that you know this technique already, and they don't point it out explicitly, but knowing the technique you should be able to spot all the steps I've mentioned in the video.

    where can I find your "circle cutting jig"?


    1 reply

    2 years ago

    They look great, but I'm lazy and would probably do them on the lathe instead. ;)

    Very beautiful and great use of the band saw. Thanks for the great idea