I am building some small boxes for my boys to keep their trading cards
in. I decided I wanted to try box joints for these. I built the jig
from one of the earlier Woodsmith mags and it works great.
I cut all the peices out of oak for both boxes and ran them thru the
jig, checking to be sure they were fitting correctly.
I got one completed, but as I was putting the second one together, I
was concerned about the tight fit, as well as the open grain in the
oak. Sure enough, it split, in several places. My fit was just too
tight. I can correct that, minor adjustment on the jig.
My thought now is I think I would rather use a different wood than oak.
What would you use? The fingers are 1/4 on the joints, the boxes
measure approx 8x5 inches.
So, your choice of wood is?????
Box joints work great across the spectrum of hard and soft woods. It is
easy to gleefully achieve tight fitting fingers that are too tight when glue
is applied. They can also get too tight on you if you have a time delay
between cutting and joining.
The ideal fit also depends on the length of the joint. The longer the
joint, the looser I will go with the fit. Same applies to dovetails.
Check out: http://www.customcardboxes.com
Yes, that's my site. However, if you just want techniques, suggestions,
or to swap ideas I'd share my experiences. (I'm cutting mine on a Jointech)
So far they're all prototypes or ones used as tournament prizes.
8x5... are you putting multiple decks in each box?
Having done several for a friend who runs tournaments, the bloodwood
oned were the most popular.
contact info available on the site above.
My boxes are for their trading card collections. They have a bit over
300 cards total now. 8x5 is probably going to be small for their
I think I want to try something like a mahogany , or alder. I am
uncertain as to the characteristics of the woods, chipping, brittleness
etc. That is why I asked about what would you choose to work with on
something like this, box joints in particular.
Thanks for you input, and the link to your site.
If they're anything like a typical collection, it'll be too small
before you get the box done.
I'd think mahogany (or what is sold as mahogany these days) would be
the more forgiving, as it's softer. OTOH, the alder would probably
hold up better. Alder's one wood I've not worked with yet, so I'm
Of the woods I listed, Mahogany and Lacewood are probably the "spongiest",
making them the most forgiving. The hard, brittle woods like Oak are less
forgiving. The exotics seem to be a mix- they don't seem to soak up the
glue as fast so they don't swell as much, but they're brittle and split.
One other thing you could try is to get some "Chair Doctor" glue from Lee Valley.
It's thin enough you can have the joint together then apply the glue and it can
wick into the joint. (I use TiteBond Extend and work quickly.. less visible glue
when it's done)
If you're in the Phoenix area, drop me a line sometime.
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