options for building a small box lid

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BenBen

New User
Ben
I am going to be working on making a small box out of walnut this weekend and in planning it out in my head I'm not sure how I will get the lid to work like I want. I want a fitted lid, out of one solid piece of wood, no hinges, that is recessed to allow the corresponding rabbets on the bottom of the box to fit inside the lid, nesting so to speak. I am not sure how I can accurately cut the recess though in the lid. The only option I thought about was using a planer bit on my router table, with a stop on either side of the fence and make passes while adjusting the fence to eventually cut out (or scoop out) all the recess. I just want to take care not to cut through the edges. Here is a very rough sketch.

DOC040809-1.jpg
 
M

McRabbet

The easiest and most accurate method is to cut out the opening with a router. I'd leave the top oversized to start and make a template out of MDF or tempered hardboard that is sized 6-8" oversized to allow for the router with a bushing to ride on the inside of a rectangular hole you cut with a jigsaw in the template stock. Depending on the thickness of the template stock, I'd use a 3/8" straight cutting bit with a Porter-Cable 42033 bushing (13/32" I.D. and 1/2" O.D.) or a 5/16" straight bit with a Porter-Cable 42036 bushing (9/32" I.D. and 3/8" O.D.) and adjust the template hole to allow for the difference between the O.D. and edge of the bit. In the first case, add 1/4" to each dimension of your top opening (O.D. - Bit diameter x 2) plus about 1/16" to allow for a snug fit. In the second case, make the opening 3/8" - 5/16" = 1/16" x 2 = 1/8" larger in each direction, plus the 1/16" for fit. Secure the template over the inside side of the top stock and hold it in place with double faced tape or screws if outside the final box top. Set the bit depth and rout out the opening in one or more passes. (You could use a larger diameter bit to hog out the main part of the opening if you wanted it all taken out, or you can just rout the perimeter groove with the bushing and let the sides extend into the groove you create.) Once routed out, cut the top to final size and round over the edges as desired. You can clean out the corners with a chisel or round the box side corners to fit.

Hope this helps.
 

nelsone

New User
Ed
What Rob said. Rout out the top. I use 1/4 hardboard to make the template when I do something like that. Finish off with some chisels and you should be good to go.

Of course you could use chisels and just chisel out the whole thing too!:gar-La;
 

sapwood

New User
Roger
On a different note, consider reversing the top with the bottom :mrgreen:
I did one by gluing strips to inside top of lid and then setting it on box bottom. No rabbeting required. Worked out well and you didn't see the inside frame when box was closed.

Roger
 

Botanist

New User
Ron
Is there a reason you want the rabbet on the box "facing" out? If you have the rabbet facing in then it is much, much, much, easier to make a matching rabbet or lip on the lid to fit inside the box instead of having to hollow out the lid.

Ron
 

bman

New User
barry
so i f i understand correctly you want a lip in side the box lid to seal it

this is one approach


cut a 3/8 dado around the box at the location you want to separate the lid...keep the depth about 1/8 less then the thickness of the sides.Then use you table saw to cut the lid almost apart... leave just enough material to hold it together.... then use a hobby knife to finish the separation. when you line it up for the cut be sure That you are at the bottom of the dado this should leave you a lip of about 1/8 of a inch thick about 1/4 inch long around the lid now you will need to rabbet (I use a router and some guides) the inside of the box to fit. make sure it is tight fit Rember when you sandit it will get looser when you finish it it will get tighter ..go slow

just one approach and it works

bman
 

Joe Scharle

New User
Joe
Pop-off router tops. This is hard to explain, but easy to do. After sizing your sides, rout a 3/8 dado 1/2 the thickness of the side. Miter the sides and glue up everything, top & bottoms too. Put a piece of tape on the tops so you'll know where the dado is inside. Now for the pop-off part. Using a leftover side, set your router fence to cut 1/2 way thru the thickness at the bottom end (overlap a little) of the inside dado. If executed carefully, you'll wind up with a lid that's piston fit.

When you're done, the inside of the lid will have a rabbet around it's bottom edge and the box bottom will have a mirrored rabbet around it's top edge.

Clear?:gar-La;

http://www.grampasworkshop.net/box-by-router.html

a lot better explantion than I tried to give!
 

Matt Furjanic

Matt
Senior User
A picture is worth a thousand words, so they say...
Here are some pics that may help.
The inside of the BOTTOM (only the bottom) is fitted with about 1/8" stock - usually of the same wood. In the box pictured, the box was made of mahogany and I used Spanish cedar for the 1/8" stock inside, as this is used to hold cigars. Anyway, since there are two different species of woods used in this application, it is easier to see what I am talking about.
You need not concern yourself with the fit (of the top to the bottom - it will fit naturally), and no routing is required. Just mill some thin stock, rip it to the appropriate width; mitre the corners and fit it inside the bottom of the box. The top will fit naturally and snugly - sometimes too snugly. This is easily fixed by sanding the corners of the inserted thin stock.

Here is a view of the bottom of the box with the thin stock glued to the inside of the box bottom.
IMG_0993.JPG


A close-up of a corner (with not such a good miter!) but this should give you an idea of what I am talking about...
IMG_0991.JPG


Another close-up of the inside of the corner:
IMG_0982.JPG


Here is the box with the top fit to the bottom. You should get a tight fit - almost unnoticeable...
IMG_0979.JPG


Just be sure to fit the 1/8" inserts before you sand the outside of the box - this ensures a near-perfect fit!

Hope this helps...
 

BenBen

New User
Ben
Do you have any pictures detailing the lid? I'm interested in how you adjoined the sides to the top. Thanks!


A picture is worth a thousand words, so they say...
Here are some pics that may help.
The inside of the BOTTOM (only the bottom) is fitted with about 1/8" stock - usually of the same wood. In the box pictured, the box was made of mahogany and I used Spanish cedar for the 1/8" stock inside, as this is used to hold cigars. Anyway, since there are two different species of woods used in this application, it is easier to see what I am talking about.
You need not concern yourself with the fit (of the top to the bottom - it will fit naturally), and no routing is required. Just mill some thin stock, rip it to the appropriate width; mitre the corners and fit it inside the bottom of the box. The top will fit naturally and snugly - sometimes too snugly. This is easily fixed by sanding the corners of the inserted thin stock.

Here is a view of the bottom of the box with the thin stock glued to the inside of the box bottom.
IMG_0993.JPG


A close-up of a corner (with not such a good miter!) but this should give you an idea of what I am talking about...
IMG_0991.JPG


Another close-up of the inside of the corner:
IMG_0982.JPG


Here is the box with the top fit to the bottom. You should get a tight fit - almost unnoticeable...
IMG_0979.JPG


Just be sure to fit the 1/8" inserts before you sand the outside of the box - this ensures a near-perfect fit!

Hope this helps...
 

Matt Furjanic

Matt
Senior User
The lid has the exact same measurements as the box bottom - only without the 1/8" wood inserts. The box is constructed as one piece, then bandsawn to separate the top from the bottom. When you put the thin wood inserts in the bottom, the top just fits naturally.
 

JohnW

New User
John
Ben, Here's a pic of a top & bottom using the method that Matt is describing. On this box I used different species so it's easy to see the insert. To make my insert that forms the lip, I just taped the 1/8" stock to the thicker side stock and cut it at the same time I was cutting the sides. This gets a very nice miter on both the sides and the inserts, and assures that the insert will fit perfectly. After cutting the sides, match mark and un-tape the inserts so you can glue them back in the correct position later.

When your sides are cut to size, glue your entire box together. Glue all 4 sides, bottom and top at the same time. When glue is dry you will have a solid 6 sided box. Then cut the top off the box (bandsaw is best here) Once the top is off, clean up the bandsaw marks, then glue in the 1/8" inserts that were made when cutting the sides. You might have to trim them to the proper height so they extend just beyond the top of the box enough (1/8" - 1/4") so the top seats over them. If the box top fit is a little too tight, sand the lip, but just a little. It will not take much to get a perfect fit.

100_2328.jpg
 

Matt Furjanic

Matt
Senior User
Nice John! You explained it perfectly - better than I could... I really like your extra step of temporairly taping 1/8" stock to the thicker side stock and cut it at the same time. This is a foolproof way of getting the 1/8 inserts to fit perfectly. I have not been doing this, but it will be the procedure for my next boxes! Wow, thanks for this tip. Matt...
 
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