So, the commission that I recently completed was a presentation gift box made to specifications provided by my client. The box was made of some african bubbinga that I had saved in the shop. The bubbinga has a wonderful chatoyance, and takes a finish well.
I constructed the box as I do nearly all small boxes, as a mitered box with a telescopic lid. I used some gabon ebony splines and a glued in, dimensionally stable plywood bottom, to strengthen the corners.
Since the client specified a stopped hinge lid, some additional adjustments were needed to the dust seal lip on the box. The finish was six coats of wipe on polyurethane.
To make a mitered box, I cut the parts to length and width and miter the ends with a 45º router bit on the router table. The top and bottom of each side piece is rabbeted with the router as well.
The trick to making an airtight telescoping lid is to make an extra side piece as an index. A dado for the lid joint is made on the inside surface of each piece, and the index. When it comes time to separate the top from the box, the index locates the dado hidden on the inside. A similar dado on the outside, offset to just intersect the corner of the inside dado, releases the lid and forms the telescopic joint. Some shims keep the lid in place once the ends are cut free.
It’s all much easier than it sounds, and makes an impressive juncture between box and lid. This project has reminded me of how much I enjoy making small boxes, so you might see a few more here before Christmas rolls around. 😉
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