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The first time I saw a puzzle box was when one was sitting on Popular Woodworking Books Editor David Thiel’s desk. My first thought was, “Wow this is cool!” Shortly followed by, “This looks really hard to make.”

Fortunately, I was wrong on the latter. The DVD “Puzzle Box Magic” is now in our warehouse and a copy of it ended up on my desk this week. After watching the DVD and reading Jeff Vollmer’s book, “Puzzle Boxes,” the construction of these boxes makes sense. I now realize that these boxes don’t require fancy wizardry to make them. But they still haven’t lost their enchanting appeal.

In Vollmer’s DVD, “Puzzle Box Magic,” he provides you with all the information needed to construct these boxes. At the start of the video, Vollmer doesn’t jump right in to band sawing boxes. He makes sure you have tuned up your band saw – this is just one example of the level of detail and attention provided throughout the video. It doesn’t feel like Vollmer is simply showing you how to make the boxes – he really wants you to be successful.

Every step of the way he gives tips that beginning woodworkers, like myself, can use – including how to recognize if your band saw is not set up correctly, how to properly sand the box, the best way to make a durable finish for your box, and how to flock the interior with felt.

After watching his DVD, all you’ll need is a 14” band saw and the right blade – then you can make these boxes.

Vollmer’s book, “Puzzle Boxes,” is a great companion to his DVD. Although I learned a lot watching Vollmer work on the band saw in the DVD, the book allowed me to digest the steps at a slower pace. I found myself watching a chapter of the DVD, then reading a chapter of the book to really let the information sink in.

I know it’s only October, but the holidays are quickly approaching (I’m already practicing for a Christmas concert). The “Puzzle Boxes” book and the “Puzzle Box Magic” DVD both make a great gift for any creative woodworker. Or, if you’re like me and come from a family of non-woodworkers, why not make a few of these boxes as presents? After all, if one box sitting on Thiel’s desk for years was able to inspire a book and a DVD, I’m sure a box you create can inspire your friends and family.

– Drew DePenning

More Band Saw Box Resources:

• On the DVD, Jeff shows you how to use silver to solder your blades from a coil. Click here to read a free article on silver soldering band saw blades from contributing author John Wilson.

• Take a look at the book “Sculpted Band Saw Boxes” for more box making ideas.

• Check out the DVD “Woodworking Machinery Basics: Table Saws and Band Saws” for more tips on tuning up your band saw.

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Showing 3 comments
  • Drew

    Sorry about that. The link is fixed.

  • Dean

    Thanks Drew for the link to the free pdf on silver soldering band saw blades. However, I had to modify the URL to get to the pdf by removing the "" portion of the URL.


  • .

    Edit – you start talking about "Jeff" before you tell us who he is….

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