Retro Band Saw Box




This particular box is a gift for my mother-in-law for Christmas. A while back she had asked if I could make her a small jewelry box after commenting on the one I had made my wife. Since I had been wanting to try my hand at a band saw box and Christmas is knocking on the door, it seemed like the perfect time to try it. If you would like the pattern for this band saw box you can get the free pattern on our website.

Sometimes we are our own worst enemies; challenging ourselves to try new processes that we've never tried before. The Retro Band Saw Box is a prime example of how we sometimes throw a stick in our own spokes. It's not that we didn't enjoy making it; it's just that every thing seemed to go wrong with this project. Yet, we pushed on. The end result was decent, but the best that came from this was the fact that we learned what NOT to do the next time. Hopefully you'll learn a little with us.

Tools Used

  • Band Saw
  • Clamps
  • Belt Sander
  • Rotary Tool with sanding drum attachment

Materials & Supplies

  • Pattern
  • Wood Glue
  • Spray Adhesive
  • Tung Oil

Make sure you check out the video. It shows quite a bit more of each of the steps.

Notice - Know your tools, know your skill level and always be safe.

Step 1: Video of the Whole Process

The video shows the process from start to finish. Everything is detailed in the steps that follow.

Step 2: Prepping the Wood for the Band Saw Box

You can use a variety of woods to create your band saw box. We chose a thick piece of oak and two thinner pieces of walnut. Each of these gets either planed or jointed so that the glue up will be much better. You'll want to make sure that the total thickness of the wood you choose when put together is as deep as you would like your box. Also, you must make sure that it is not thicker that the clearance of your band saw blade.

Step 3: Gluing the Layers for the Band Saw Box

Before any cutting can be done, all of the wood layers need to be glued together and clamped. Again, the order of layers and thicknesses is up to you. Make sure you use plenty of glue and a whole lot of clamping pressure. Let it dry for a couple of hours or more depending on you climate.

Step 4: Pattern & First Cuts

Applying the pattern is simple enough. If you want to make this exact box, use the pattern provided and attach it using a spray adhesive or glue stick to whatever side you want to be the front of the box. Once it is on there really good and won't slide off you can begin to cut.

The first cut to be made is the outside of the box. It takes a little time, this is some thick wood and you are trying to follow some curves; be patient. At least more patient than we were. This is where we ran into some problems. I started cutting only realize a few inches in that I was using too wide of a blade. Turning was going to be a pain; and it was. I couldn't find my thinner blade, so I had to make due.

Step 5: More Cuts

The very next step is to cut off the back. You have to do this before moving forward or you will have a lot of problems later. The thickness you take off at this point is up to you. The thicker the piece you take off the less overall inner depth you will have for your drawers.

The next cuts to be made involve cutting out what will become the drawers and in the case of this box; the dividers. This is the part where a much thinner blade would have come in handy. I couldn't really make the tighter curved cuts like I wanted to, so I opted for just modifying the shape on the fly. It's not exact, but it works. To make these cuts, you can enter the blade wherever you think a good glue seem would be. I entered from the bottom center for the first inner cut. This helped me free the pair of drawers on the right side of the box. Then I cut the dividing pieces off of them and set it all aside.

Step 6: Making the Drawers for the Band Saw Box

I think making the drawers was the most fun part of this whole build. Not sure why; I just enjoyed it.

The first thing you need to do when making the drawers is slice off the front and back. Again, the thickness you cut off of these is up to you, but the more you take off the less drawer space you'll have.

Once you've removed the front and back, you can begin to hollow out the drawer. To do this, I just drew on what I thought would be sufficient for both room and style. Then, I turned the drawer on its back and hollowed it out. Once it's hollowed out you can reattach the front and back with glue and clamps. The same applies to all three drawers.

Step 7: Reattaching the Dividers

The dividers that were removed earlier on need to be reattached. This was probably the most complicated part of this whole project. Getting the right clamping pressure while retaining the correct position caused me a healthy headache. The best advice I have for this is to be patient and work at it until it fits just right. I did use the drawers to help space it a bit. Good luck!

Step 8: Sanding

Everyone's favorite part of the project. It sucks, but it's necessary. With a band saw box you can have a little fun with it at least. I used the rotary tool to round everything a bit and I had some fun on the belt sander tuning the curves a bit more. Still... it was sanding. Oh, and we did do some finer sanding as well with some 220-grit, but no-one wants to see that.

Step 9: Attaching the Back

Now, after you have checked that all the drawers fit and slide appropriately, you can reattach the back you had sliced off earlier. Again, this is just glue and clamps.

Step 10: Adding Knobs to the Band Saw Box

You can do whatever you want here. I just grabbed some off-cuts from the leftover piece of oak and cut some fun shapes, kind of like pie slices. Mmmmm... pie! Anyway, you can just glue these on and clamp them down. Now, I want pie.

Step 11: Finishing the Band Saw Box

Finishing is up to you, as with most things. We chose tung oil (not to be confused with drool) for the finish.

Step 12: All Done!

That's it. I was pretty nervous going into this project since it was the first go at it, but it wasn't nearly as complicated as I thought once I really got into it. All of the lessons learned during this project will come in very handy later on for sure. Now, I just hope my mother-in-law enjoys it as much as I did making it and learning from it.

We hope you enjoyed this DIY project and the video that goes along with it. If you have any questions or comments please let us know, we'd be more than happy to help you out. Thanks for checking out this Instructable.

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    12 Discussions

    WoodCrafts 67

    2 years ago

    Really Nice work Ryan.. The Result says it all mate..... Awesome work Voted.....

    1 reply

    2 years ago

    I love the uniqueness of each band saw box. Every one that I have seen is so different and so cool. Yours is fantastic! Thanks for sharing

    1 reply

    2 years ago

    On mine made many years ago I chose to drill into the draw with a 1/4 inch and use a fret saw blade from there . That way I did not have to cut the sides .The hole becomes a finger hole instead off a draw pull.

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    Oh cool. I never thought of that. That's a great idea.


    2 years ago

    Royalty are we?