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    Make A Box

    more on woodworking safety

    Tools and Materials

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    Learn the basics of hand-tool woodworking in this two-part project video where Matt Berger and Asa Christiana guide you through building a small elegant box

    Download a free article for a complete measured drawing with construction details and dimensions, and then follow along with our video tutorial. 

    We begin by laying out the joinery with a combination square, pencil, and marking gauge. The process detailed here employs common layout techniques that can be applied to any woodworking project. 

    With all of the parts marked, we walk you through cutting the half-lap joinery on the box sides with hand tools. You'll be introduced to two kinds of woodworking handsaws, the western-style backsaw and the Japanese pull saw. We'll also show you how to chop and pare with a standard bench chisel and mallet. 

    Sharp tools are the key to success on this project, so check out other sharpening content on this site for more information.

    In the second part of this video, we jump right in to the task of cutting a rabbet joint with an easy-to-build router table. Click for free plans and a video detailing how to make a shopmade router table similar to the one featured in this episode. 

    The router might just be the most versatile woodworking power tool there is and it's a great first tool for beginner woodworkers. When set up properly and safely handled, a router can do everything from cutting joinery to shaping parts. Just be sure you understand the basic safety procedures and read the tool's manual if you're new to using a router. 

    After cutting the rabbet joints, we walk you through the glue-up and assembly of the box. This critical stage in the process involves applying glue to the box parts and using clamps to hold the parts together while the glue dries. The assembly and glue-up tips that we detail in this episode -- and our companion article -- can apply to the assembly of any woodworking project. 

    And then there's the fun part. We show you how to use a handplane to shape the curved sides and top of the box. Handplanes come in all shapes and sizes, and we show you how to use the most basic of them all, a block plane, to do the work. Finally, we'll help you choose a finish and apply it with good results. 

    How to Make

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    Step by step instructions: Watch the videos above for detailed how-to information