Making simple wooden boxes is easy and fun and you can make them in no time. For someone starting off in woodworking it's a great way to get stated, and you end up with some cool little boxes to store things in, but don't forget to make plenty of them because when people see them they all want them because everyone has little items they need to store and keep together.
I happened to walk past a house construction a few weeks ago the they were just finishing up putting the roof on. In the driveway of the house was all the plywood off cuts from the roof, all sorts of different angles and sizes, but all construction grade 1/2 inch plywood. Not much anyone could do much with ... well, except a woodworker. I gathered up as much as I could carry with the idea in mind that these pieces would be perfect for making little wooden boxes.
I used the same principal for making them that I used in making the One Piece Box video from a couple of years ago but this time using the table saw. The only real trick is to make sure all your pieces are square and accurately cut, I did that by ....
... setting up the table saw and ripping all the sides and top with exactly the same settings. Then I took the top and bottom and the to long sides, squared them up on the mitre saw and finally cut them all to proper length, gang cutting, that is ... cutting them all together at the same time. That way I knew they would all be exactly the same length.
The only pieces missing now were the 2 end pieces and since I had already cut them to proper width on the table saw, all I had do with these 2 was to square off the ends and cut them length as well. Finding the length of these was easy, they were basically 1/2 shorter than the width of my top and bottom. this is because I was going to cut in a 1/4" rabbet on each end of the long sides that the 2 end pieces would next into on assembly.
Next the rabbets needed to be cut into the top, the bottom and the ends of both the long sides. The rabbets needed to half the thickness of the material, so 1/4 inch deep, and they needed to be a wide as the construction grade plywood was thick, so the rabbets needed to be 1/2 inch wide by 1/4 inch deep. If you have dado blade now would be a good time to try it out, if you don't have a dado blade you can make the same cuts by setting up the saw and making a couple passes on each rabbet and still accomplish the same cut.
Once all the pieces are cut, all it takes is a dry fit to make sure everything fits together, then it's off to the assembly and glue-up. I used an air nailer to pin mine together, it's quick and easy and does a good job and for these kind of boxes, they are only utilitarian only so looks are not as important as a nice piece of furniture .... of course we still want them to look good, but remember, we are using construction grade plywood.
There are lots of different options for how to top these boxes, with or without a lid, a hinged lid a fitted lid etc. I opted to make mine a hinged lid, which means going back to the table saw after the box is glued and dry, and cutting off the top. I like to cut off the 2 ends first then work on the long sides. I always feel it is safer and gives a better cut. After that ... you could paint the box, or not, attach your hinges and presto ... great little storage boxes from construction grade plywood.
Simple ... easy and fun ...
Copyright - Colin Knecht