Elegant Keepsake Box
SHOW OFF TREASURED WOOD— AND LOCK OTHER TREASURES INSIDE*
Who doesn’t need a place to store small treasures? It’s a great gift for everyone.
Small boxes like these allow you to showcase the beautiful details of a piece of wood. It could be an unusual color, a highly figured pattern or just an eye-pleasing wave of grain. You could splurge on an exotic species or simply use choice leftovers from another project. I made the box in this article from mahogany scraps that were too small for most projects but way too nice for the fireplace.
1. PREP THE SIDES AND ENDS
Cut each side as a single piece, including one end each, to finished width and rough length. The end pieces will be cut off later.
2. GROOVE THE SIDES AND ENDS
Mill the grooves for the top and bottom. Both grooves are the same distance from their respective edges. Plane the bottom to fit the groove.
3. MITER THE CORNERS
Cut the miters on the ends and sides, trimming each piece to final length. Then rip the short end to finished height.
4. ASSEMBLE THE BOX
Lay out the box parts in a line, with tape at the corners. Glue the miters, slip in the bottom, and then fold the box together. Reset each piece of tape, stretching them to pull the corners tight.
5. RABBET THE LID
Rabbet both sides and one end of the lid, using a dado set with a sacrificial board to protect the fence.
6. FIT THE LID
Adjust the lid as needed so that it slides smoothly in the grooves, and then attach the mitered lid end using glue and tape.
7. KERF THE CORNERS
Lay out and cut the kerfs for the corner keys. Painter’s tape marks a clear stopping point for the kerf ends.
8. WIDEN THE KERFS
Widen the kerfs with a thicker blade, such as a fine-tooth reciprocating saw blade.
9. CUT KEY STOCK
Rip key stock from the outer edge of a wide board. It might take a few attempts to get the thickness just right.
10. INSTALL THE KEYS
Cut the keys with a fine-tooth handsaw or utility knife. Glue the keys and slip one key into each kerf.
11. FINISH UP
Trim the keys flush, and then sand and finish the box.
TO SEE HOW THE INGENIOUS SECRET LOCK WORKS, FLIP TO P. 62.
Miter gauge fence