I needed a way to store my homemade Keva Planks and decided to go a little overboard since they're a gift for my kids.
The box joints were made with this jig by John Heisz - http://www.ibuildit.ca/Sales/sales-9.html
Check out the build video if you'd like to see it come alive in 8 minutes or less...
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Step 1: Sizing Stock and Cutting Box Joints
I machined my stock so I had flat and parallel boards roughly 5/8" thick. Dimensioned lumber from a lumber supplier would do just fine since a slight twisting or cupping wouldn't cause too much grief in a build like this.
I cut the board in to 2 long sides and 2 short sides before switching to a flat top grind blade on the table saw and setting up my box joint jig for a 1/4" box joint. Plans and kits for this jig are available here
I use a scrap piece of MDF behind the two pieces to prevent tearout when cutting with the flat top grind blade. There are basically two types of table saw blades. FTG - Flat Top Grind, and ATB - Alternating Top Bevel. When not cutting all the way through a piece of wood, like you do on a box joint or dado, a FTG blade will leave a nice flat finish since the flat top removes all the material... Like this |¯|. While an ATB will leave a slight "V" since each tooth is set at an alternating angle... Like this |V|. An ATB blade will typically result in a nicer cut on the edges, but if you want that smooth inside edge, you need a FTG.
Anyways... I cut the box joints in all four sides before moving over to the router table. You can see that on the front side of the long pieces I started the cut 3/4" in. This is to allow a place for the lid to slide out.
Step 2: Router Work
For the sliding lid and the bottom panel, I needed to cut a 1/4" groove, top and bottom on every piece. Since I didnt want that groove to be visible once the box was assembled, I lined up the cut with the box joint fingers. That hid half of the grooves, but to hide the other half, I couldn't cut the groove all the way through. This was done by plunging into the side of the bottom finger and using a stop block to prevent cutting out of the other side.
Once that was done, I cut the top of the front panel off. This is a the 3/4" piece that doesnt fit since I didn't cut the the box joint all the way on the side pieces in the previous step. This should all make sense in a little bit if it doesn't already.
Step 3: Glue Prep, Glue and Finish Work
Having test fit all pieces, it's time to make things permanent.
I lined the inside pieces of the box with masking tape so that any glue squeeze out would be captured. This speeds up the build process since you dont have to spend an hour trying to chisel dried glue out of the inside corners.
I glued, clamped and squared the box together and let it sit for a couple hours before unclamping and removing the tape. With the tape remove, I cleaned up the edges with a smoothing plane before sanding all sides of the box with 220 grit.
Step 4: Diamond Matched (double Book Matched)
I wanted to experiment with a technique called diamond matching for the lid on this box. This is done by cutting a piece of wood in half, opening the two halves like a book, glueing it back together, cutting it in half again, opening like a book again and then glueing it together once again.
I glued my pieces to a sacrificial piece of MDF to ensure remained flat during the various cuts and glues. This is time consuming but fairly simple considering the beautiful results you get!
Once I had the final piece glued together, flat and smooth, I sliced a piece of veneer off the top trimmed it down to the right width and glued it down permanently onto a 1/8" piece of plywood. Once that was dry, I trimmed one side flush so I could fit the lid properly in the box.
Step 5: Complete the Lid
I trimmed a small piece from the scraps of the box material to slide into the groove for the lid. It also has a small groove in the back for the lid panel to be glued into. I trimmed the lid down to size and glued the piece in place.
Step 6: Finishing
I used a danish oil on this box which absorbs into the wood before curing. That gives it a nice light shine and preserves the feel of the wood while enhancing the beauty of the wood. Once I had a couple coats of danish oil on, I fitted some handles to each side of the box so it's easy to carry around.
Step 7: Load It Up!
I stacked my blocks into the box and everything worked out perfectly! 200 wooden blocks now have a home when they're not being played with.