New project 2 [ the box]

After the 4 boards were prepped in the previous post, they were dovetailed together. I didn’t detail that process here, but if you want to see my method I did in this post . You can see in the photo below that I cut the dovetails proud of the surface, because of that I placed clamping cauls at the baseline of the tails to pull the joints closed. Because the cauls are not on the corners the clamps are only tightened enough to pull the joint together so as not to deform the box by over tightening the clamps. The joints were glued with hide glue.

gluing the box

After the glue was set I remover the clamps and checked the box for square and used winding sticks to be sure the box had no twist, it did. I planed the high corners on both the top and the bottom so the box sat flat on the bench.


Next I used a chisel to pare off the bulk of the proud portions of the dovetails. Why a chisel rather than a plane? In soft wood like this pine a plane tends to break out the far side of each tail or pin as cut, with a really sharp chisel I have more control and can cut each area from multiple directions. I actually think it’s faster because you can take heavier cuts. With the bulk of the waste removed you can plane with less chance of blow out.


Here’s the box mostly cleaned up, square and level.

sides done

I then built a two board bottom with a tongue and groove joint in the center. I cut the groove with a plow plane and the tongue with a dedicated tongue plane.

cutting the tongue

I don’t intend to glue this joint so I cut the grove slightly deeper than the tongue so the joint won’t open if the tongue expands.

tongue & groove

The bottom boards ready to install.


To install the bottom I put a little hide glue only on the long edge of the box and then nailed the boards on with rose head nails. The nails are actually soft trunk nails. I hammer the heads in a header, to look like old nails. The center joint was not glued to allow for some movement.

nailed on

nailed on

The bottom boards are then trimmed with a plane. When trimming like this I let the heal of the plane ride on the side of the box and plane until I just get a shaving off the the side of the box.


The cleaned up box.


Another view.


PS, Merry Christmas to all.

About millcrek

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