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Boxes make great gifts and are extremely useful, but they can be decorative as well. If you’ve been reading woodworking magazines for any length of time at all you know just about everyone has a dozen articles on dovetailing. It’s a great way to make a box, and it can be a decorative focal point if done well, but there’s really nothing like a little inlay to dress up a plain old box.

Carving for inlay on a dovetail box

Carving for inlay on a dovetail box

The focus of my latest Popular Woodworking DVD, “Make an Inlaid Dovetail Box”, is a very simple method for doing inlay that I learned in high school. The best part is you can customize the inlay for whatever you want. In the DVD I inlay an initial on the lid, but I’ve also used the method to create floral picture inlays and even inlaid complete names into pieces. It’s fun to do and you don’t need a bunch of specialized tools to make it happen. You’re not even limited to putting the inlays on boxes.

If you’re looking for a simple way to dress up a box, or any of your projects, take a look at the video below then grab yourself a copy of my new DVD “Make an Inlaid Dovetail Box” and give it a try. Once you do, and you see how much fun it is, you’ll be adding inlay to just about everything.

Chuck Bender


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