4 Boxes, 4 Ways

4 Boxes, 4 WaysThe editors present some of their favorite designs.

By Matthew Teague, Robert W. Lang, Megan Fitzpatrick & Steve Shanesy
Page 31-35

Whether we spend most of our time building 18th-century highboys, production cabinetry or toys for our kids and grandchildren, we all build small boxes from time to time. Because we produce so many small offcuts of beautifully grained and highly figured woods, to do otherwise would be a shame. Building small boxes can be the mainstay of our shops – or simply a nice diversion from our usual work.

Often, a simple box can be made in just a few hours, either to break up the work on a more involved project, or simply to test our skills with a miniature masterpiece. Boxes can be customized for display, built to house  jewelry, cigars or various keepsakes and collections. Plus, small boxes are lightweight, which makes them a nice respite if we’ve logged hours muscling larger timbers around the shop.

Most every woodworker has at least one go-to box design that he or she builds from time to time. And we could all use a few more to throw into the mix. What follows are four of our favorite small box designs – one from each of the Popular Woodworking Magazine editors. You’ll find links to SketchUp models of each of these boxes on our web site, but feel free to mix and match our methods, and adapt the designs to suit. Building boxes of any shape, style and size presents a great opportunity for skill-building and experimentation.

Blog: View a series of step photos that show how to assemble a solid box then cut the top off using the table saw.
In our store: “Box Builder’s Handbook,” by A.J. Hamler.

From the August 2012 issue #198
Buy the issue now.
Popular Woodworking Magazine August 2012 Cover