I've been making many small jewelry projects at the same time. Each involved many small pieces. It started becoming a hassle to organize each one. I would pull them out and back into plastic bags as I worked on them. Recently, one of my friends was using the top of a small wood box to organize her parts. It looked good and professional. Wood and jewelry go well together. I thought it would be a good idea to make it a little deeper and make it stackable. This way, my projects would fit, be organized and tidy. I came up with a design that is pretty simple but elegant. Since the boxes are small, fancier joints would be difficult and probably not worth the effort. I decided on using a miter joint since they look decent and would make the project easier. Each box consists of a bottom piece and 4 identical side pieces.
I have attached a dimensioned AutoCAD and pdf file for reference. You can make as many boxes as you would like to store your mini projects.
Step 1: Materials and Equipment
- Wood: 1/4" thick, I used 3 ply Plyboo
- Wood Glue
- Table Saw
- Router Table
- 1/4" bit
Step 2: Cuts, Assembly and Finish
- Table Saw: Cut pieces to size on a table saw. I cut the sides about 1/4" longer to start. Cutting and measuring miters takes some practice. Many times, I've taken off more material than intended, so I prefer to start with a little more.
- Router: Cut rabbets as shown in drawings. You want to cut the tops and bottom rabbets so that there is a .010" - .020" total clearance when the pieces are assembled. Cut slot for base. I initially did not include this detail, and had a difficult time getting the box to come together. Cutting the slot allows for a little play with the base, so you can concentrate on getting the miters lined up.
- Compound Miter Saw: Cut 45 degree miters in corner. If first cut all of the 45 degree miters on one side. Then I set up a stop on the saw and used this to cut the 45 degree miter on the other side.
- Sanding: I sanded all interior surfaces at 120, then 180 grit. I slightly rounded exterior edges. Do not sand the miter surfaces.
- Assembly: Test fit your assembly in the frame clamp. If the fit is not right, you can either cut miters or the internal base to fit. When you have a good fit, apply a light film of glue to the miters and base surfaces. Place into the frame clamp and tighten. Check for squareness and adjust the square as necessary. Let dry for a few hours. Remove frame clamp and perform final sanding of the exterior surfaces.
- Apply a finish you like. I liked the natural look, so I left these unfinished.