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Keepsake Box New Castle IN

The box shown at left is made from 3/8-in.-thick wood, so I used a bandsaw for resawing and a planer to take the wood to final thickness. For more information about resawing, check out “Bandsaw Resawing”.

Ace Hardware
(765) 529-3002
441 S Memorial Dr
New Castle, IN
 
New Castle - Auth Hometown
(765) 529-2958
3005 South 14Th St
New Castle, IN
Store Hours
Hometown Dealers
Store Type
Hometown Dealers
Hours
Mon:9-18
Tue:9-18
Wed:9-18
Thu:9-18
Fri:9-18
Sat:9-18
Sun:12-17
Store Features
Mon:9-18
Tue:9-18
Wed:9-18
Thu:9-18
Fri:9-18
Sat:9-18
Sun:12-17

Shumaker Electric Co.
(765) 378-7212
9044 S County Rd 800 West
Daleville, IN
 
Northwest Lumber
(317) 293-1100
5035 Lafayette Rd.
Indianapolis, IN

Data Provided by:
The Home Depot
(219)531-6687
2430 Laporte Ave
Valparaiso, IN
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 8:00am-8:00pm

Fastenal- New Castle
765-521-2223
508 Broad Street New Castle, IN, 47362
New Castle, IN
 
Shirley Hardware
(765) 738-6415
313 Main St
Shirley, IN
 
Gillman Home Center
(765) 855-2600
7138 W Us Hwy 40
Centerville, IN
 
MacBeath Hardwood Company
(812) 526-9743
320 N Kyle St P.O. Box 245
Edinburgh, IN

Data Provided by:
The Home Depot
(260)920-1866
403 Smaltz Way
Auburn, IN
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 8:00am-8:00pm

Data Provided by:

Keepsake Box

Keepsake Box

Build them in bunches and avoid gift shopping this year. 

by Mac Wentz

As the holidays approach, my thoughts turn to how I can weasel out of gift shopping. And this year I have the perfect scheme: While the malls are jammed with poor saps, I’ll be in my shop blissfully building these boxes for everyone on my list.

When they marvel at the elegant keyed joinery at the corners, I won’t mention how fast and easy these boxes are to make. Making the jigs and resawing lumber takes a few hours, but once you’re set up you can churn out three or four boxes in a day. There’s no need to mention how cheap the materials are either. If you stick with common species like oak, cherry or maple, each box will cost only $10 to $15.

Tools and Materials

The box shown at left is made from 3/8-in.-thick wood, so I used a bandsaw for resawing and a planer to take the wood to final thickness. For more information about resawing, check out “Bandsaw Resawing”. 

If you don’t have a bandsaw and planer you can also mail order 3/8-in. wood (see Sources, below). You’ll also need a tablesaw, belt sander, router table, 1/8-in. and 3/4-in. straight router bits and some 3-in. spring clamps.

Start With Grain Selection

Grain pattern has a big influence on the appearance of a small project like this box, so don’t just rip up boards and leave it to chance. Begin by making paper windows that let you preview the look of the box parts (Photo 1). I generally use finer, straighter-grained material for the ends and sides and a more dramatic pattern for the top. This is not a hard and fast rule, so experiment until you get something you like. Grain pattern for the bottom isn’t critical, since it doesn’t show. For the keys I use a different color wood so they contrast with the box. 

Cut the Sides

I strongly recommend you miter the box sides on a tablesaw using a tablesaw sled (Photo 2). The every-time accuracy of a well-made tablesaw sled is hard to beat. In fact, I built a small one just for building these boxes. For more information on making a sled, see “The Ultimate Shop-Built Crosscut Sled,” AW #75, October 1999. Cut the parts for the ends and sides and make an extra set to test your machine setups later on. 

Next cut the dadoes in the ends and sides for the bottom (Fig. A, page 55). The dadoes should be wide enough to provide an easy fit for the bottom. 

Now select two ends and two sides that have the least attractive grain and mark them “GP” for guinea pig. These GP parts are the first to go through each step in the machining process and hopefully the only ones to suffer from setup mistakes. Beginning with the GP parts, rout the relief in the bottom of the ends and sides to form the corner feet using a 3/4-in. straight router bit in your router table (Photo 3). 

The Bottom and Top

Cut the bottom for the box next.

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