Hybrid Bandsaw Box - Custom Jewelry Box

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About: I am a woodworker, blogger and YouTube content creator. I love woodworking, problem solving and designing new things.

This is a pretty simple project and that's what this Instructable is about. I did a few extra things on this particular example and I go into more detail about them in the video, but the basic box is fairly simple. I like that it is simple, and I like that it so many possibilities!

Step 1: Reference Images

Step 2: Slice the Blank of Wood

Start with an 8" x 12" block of wood that is 2.5"-3.5" thick. You will slice this into 3 pieces, one for the top, one for the body of the box and one for the base. Slicing the base about 1/2" thick will leave plenty of extra to clean up your bandsaw marks. The top should be at least 1-1/4" thick and the remaining piece from the middle will be the body of the box.

Then cut the outside shape for the Top and the Body of the box per the template in the Reference Images in Step 1. Note: Since this box has an elliptical design, so you will need to include "tabs" on the back that extend past the edge of the box to mount the hinges. Do not cut the shape for the bottom of the box yet.

Step 3: Install the Hinges

Install the hinges:

If you are using regular box hinges then place a hinge on the tab and align the center of the barrel with the back edge of the tab. Then hold it in place with a small clamp and mark around the edge with a sharp knife.

Apply some double faced tape on the hinges after installing them on the top of the box. Then carefully place the top onto the body of the box being sure to line up the top and bottom hinge tabs. Once the hinges are located and everything is secured with double face tape then carefully open the box and mark where the hinge mortises need to be on the body of the box.

After you have marked both of the hinges for the top then excavate the waste. I personally use a Dremel on a small router base, but you can do this with just a chisel if you prefer.

Then temporarily install the hinges just to ensure that everything fits as it should. Remove hinges for the next steps.

Step 4: Cut and Shape the Bottom of the Box

Place the body of the box onto the bottom piece. Then draw a line on the bottom that is about 1/4" larger than the body of the box. A good way to do this is by putting the tip of a pencil in a small washer and running the washer/pencil around the body of the box.

Now cut along the line that you just drew on the bandsaw.

Next, round over the edge of the bottom. I did mine with files and sandpaper, but you can do it with a router and a round-over bit. Regardless, be careful that the final shape is the same size or a bit larger than the body of the box.

Step 5: Cut Out the Center of the Box

Draw an oval line around the inside of the body so that you are left with about a 3/8" wall thickness as shown on the template in Step one.

Use a jigsaw to cut out the center of the body and clean it up with some sandpaper and/files as needed.

Step 6: Shape the Outside of the Box

Clean up the outside of the box with sandpaper so that the final shape of the top and the body of the box match each other.

"Dome" the top of the box using rasps and sandpaper. First draw a line all the way around the top that is about 3/8" from the the bottom edge of the top. This line is the lower edge of the "dome" shape. Do not file below this line. Begin by putting a slight round-over around the OUTSIDE of the top. Then form an arc across the width of the top (left to right). Next, form an arc across the top from front to back. Finally blend these two arcs together and smooth with sandpaper.

Now shape around the hinge tabs on the body of the box. This is easier than it looks, just refer to the Reference Images of the finished box in Step 1 and carefully proceed with rasps, files, and sandpaper until you are satisfied with the look.

Step 7: Glue the Bottom on to the Body and Apply Finish

Now glue the bottom on to thebody of the box. I chose to pre-finish the parts before assembly, but it is perfectly acceptable to glue it together first.

Then install the hinges and admire your work!

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    24 Discussions

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    StevenO31

    12 days ago

    Absolutely stunning! Great video too! I would say your niece is very lucky to have an uncle make her a beautiful bespoke box like this. I am sure her jaw will drop! Wow!

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    xwingaceVancoD

    Reply 12 days ago

    I've never been disappointed with NC Wood, they have great variety and reasonable prices.

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    Charlie KocourekVancoD

    Reply 13 days ago

    I look online for the quilted maple. I've had reasonably good luck with Ebay and Cook Woods.

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    cneibarger

    13 days ago

    Absolutely stunning box! Amazing job on the instructable as well. I am definitely a novice when it comes to wood working, usually just dollhouse miniatures, but my love for tools means I have just about everything I need to make this! (Got a Drexel for my birthday! LOL)

    I have to mention your tip about using a washer to mark a measured cut! This is absolutely brilliant! This has so many applications beyond wood work, such a most all paper craft. I can't believe that I've never thought if it during my cuss storms at cheap compasses. Thank you for blowing my mind!

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    Charlie Kocourekcneibarger

    Reply 12 days ago

    Thanks so much for the nice comment! Adding a StewMac router base to the Dremel was a real game changer for me.

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    H B Meyers

    Tip 13 days ago on Introduction

    Doing repairs on your work is easy if you save sawdust from sanding and turning. mix a bit with glue and apply using a tooth pick or artist pallet knife. sand and seal with sanding sealer. For the "s" you could use black dye on black walnut. I must say you box is the best I've seen.

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    Ag800Hans

    14 days ago

    That box! Idk what it would be classified as (I’d probably agree w/a hybrid bandsaw box), but whatever it is, it’s downright BEAUTIFUL!!! Thanks for sharing this project build w/us, & thanks for taking the time to record and edit a video for it as well. Aloha!

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    scdoane

    14 days ago on Step 1

    That is a gorgeous "bandsaw " box. I haven't attempted one yet. I don't have the refined skillset that you display, but I have to give it a shot.

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    Charlie Kocourekscdoane

    Reply 13 days ago

    Absolutely, give it a shot! I think if you omit the custom divider and don't do anything fancy with the hinges then this is very doable. If you haven't done much shaping with rasps then maybe do a practice piece before going to the final project. In fact, I did make a prototype before I even started on this particular box.

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    scdoane

    Question 14 days ago

    When you cut the outside shape of the top and body are they held together with double face tape? Since the center will later be removed, could they be held with screws?

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    Charlie Kocourekscdoane

    Answer 13 days ago

    I didn't use double face tape, but that's a good idea. Actually, I cut them separately. I failed to mention it in the article, but I shaped the outside on my belt and spindle sanders with the hinges installed. Screws wouldn't affect the body of the box, but they might leave holes in the top, so I would avoid them. Thanks!

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    Charlie Kocourekleslielimpid

    Reply 13 days ago

    Thanks! Yes, the Brusso hinges are high quality, but super expensive. I don't remember seeing those Lee Valley hinges before, but I will certainly keep them in mind for another box project!

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    docron75

    13 days ago on Introduction

    I don't care what you call it. It is feaking gorgeous, from the choice of wood to the final execution. Well done!

    1 reply