Christmas ideas

I am looking for some suggestions for easy to make Christmas presents. Preferably something that can be a 'family' gift and can be made with a couple of bucks worth of wood or scrap.
Two years ago, I made foot stools for each family and last year I made M & M candy dispensers.
Now's the time when I start looking to get an early jump on things.
Thanks, Dave
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Dave, do you have a staff of elves to help you make these presents? ;-)

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Last year I made the bottom half of the Jewelry chest in the Vol. 24 issue of Woodsmith for my grandaughters, this year I am making the top half. I'm doing the spice cabinet in last months wood magazine for my daughter and daughter in law, a jewelry box for my wife. Will likely make boxed for my son and son in law to keep cuff links, change and wallets etc. also thinking about the business card holder in last months wood mag. for my son. Posted pictures of last years jewellry boxes on alt.binaries.pictures.woodworking.
Rick

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I started a month ago...
Ornaments? I started doing them a couple years ago. You can make them as simple or complicated as you like.
-Leuf
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Last year I did trivets and a spatula. The trivet was on the router table. Took about 30 passes to make one, but the setup was easy and I did a bunch of them together.
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1. Take a 2" length of 1/4" dowel; round the ends. 2. Take a 4" length of 1/2" dowel; round the ends. 3. Drill a 1/4" hole 1/2" from th end of the 1/2" dowel; inset the 1'4" dowel. 4. Drill a 1/8" hole in the middle of the 1/2" dowel. 5. Use asaw to make a slot from the non-T end to the 1/8" hole.
This is a "Tube Wrench" - put the non-cap end of a tube of something (toothpaste, hemaroid cream, what-have-you) into the slot, and roll the tube around the large dowel; turn the "T" to squeeze the last bit of "stuff" from the tube.
At the cost of 2 4' 1/2" dowels and 1 4' 1/4" dowel, you can make 2 dozen of these for everyone at the office, etc.
They're cheap and handy.
JK
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Boxes are always useful either straight forward of bandsawed variety.
Last year made some tiny, trinket boxes out of scraps, coated the interior with Suede Tex Flock for the ladies of all ages on my list put the initials of the corresponding person on the top. Gave me a chance to use up some exotic scraps which went all the further because the pieces were resawn down to a little better than 1/4" thickness and then surface planed to uniform thickness.
Another fun type of box both to make and receive are bandsawed boxes can even cut these from branches of trees. Most receivers can't figure out how they were made. Made a few of these a few years back and the recipients still have them.
Just a hint for the very special person(s) on your list put a little something inside to make it extra special.
Got small kids on your list? Consider toys. Has a family gathering in July at which a bunch of little kids (under 5 yo) were going to attend. Made a fleet of cars and trucks just out of scraps. Did buy dowel rods and the wheels though. Had no desire or ambition to cut 136 wheels. Painted some, left some natural, sprayed all with a clear acrylic finish. Couple of hours work resulted in a lot of joy.
Jack
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Dave:
This is a suggestion because I could never come up with a design worth actually getting beyond the drafting paper stage.
A TV remote control housing box. A housing box that will sit proudly on the furniture. Maybe felt lined.
The type of "box joint" box that has a cover, or lid, that Mom can stop Dad and the boys from "surfing" and driving the ladies crazy. Also can keep the dog from chewing up the remote control because of butter popcorn finger prints.
What I was figuring on was single table saw blade width box joints on 1/4 inch to 3/8 inch red oak, or the pith of cherry wood. In fact any color changing hardwood that normally would be scrap would be good.
Some of the design ideas I have discarded on this project: a place for a set of replacement batteries for the Remote control; a place to insert a label for listing which family member has control of the family room TV on which night, a way of adding a lock.
maybe someone else can suggest if any magazine has done a similar project?
Phil S.

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Phil's comments about a remote control box jogged my memory. A while back the Wood Store some affiliation with Wood Magazine was offering free downloadable plans for boxes made out of crown molding. I checked the web site no references to it now but I do remember that they were selling the plans for a while after the free offer ended. If you have or can get your hands on Wood Magazine Issue 104, March 1998, they have an article about them. Don't know if its the same thing because it came up as a search of their old articles.
I know I have the plans around here somewhere. The jigs took longer to make than the actual boxes but I made several and gave them as gifts calling them "remote control boxes". They are the perfect size for holding the collection of remote controls that we all seem to have. My proto type was made out of the run of the mill crown molding but it came out so well, that I made additional ones out of cherry and mahogany crown molding that I bought just for that purpose. If you have any crown molding from other projects and have the inclination to make the jigs, they are rewarding subjects. I'll post pictures to alt.binaries.
Jack
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Cutting boards are always great - Plus its a way to use up all the scrap from the years makings. Basically get them to all the same thickness (rip them all - then turn on its side) The get a general lenght - then a general thickness (for me - its 12 1/2 " - thats what i can fit thru my planer.) Then glue the crap out of them.
When dry - cut to length - plane flat - round corners and 1/4" round the edges. If you want to get fancy - route a groove.
They go over great.

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