Cutting the grooves

I made the blank from maple, as I needed a wood that would be strong enough for the grille I planned for the front. I glued up the blank from two pieces to give 4” x 4-5/8”. I made the length 24” so I could try three versions – curved front and top, rectangular and one combining the two.

The first step was to cut the slots in the blank for the grille using a tablesaw. I installed a thin kerf blade in the saw and moved the fence 5/16" for each pass to a depth of 3/4". I cut the blank to length – one at 6” and two at 8”.

Left) Cutting the front corners. Right) Cutting off the lid.

The first cuts were to shape the front profile and the radius across the top. The top was the next piece to cut off.

Top and bottom removed

I cut off the bottom, making sure to leave enough thickness for planing it flat to remove the saw marks.

Left) Cutting off the back. Right) Marking the interior cut.

Normally on a bandsaw box, you make one entry cut before cutting out the center. In this case, the back needed to be parallel with the front, so the entire back had to be cut off. I marked the interior cut with a marking gauge and removed the center section, taking my time and proceeding slowly.

Left) First cuts on the inside. Right) A 1/4" blade was used to make this internal cut.

First cuts on the inside. A 1/4" blade was usd to make this internal cut.

Left) Top, bottom, sides and back. Right) Gluing on the back.

All of the internal surfaces needed to be sanded smooth. Also, the mating surfaces that were to be glued had to be planed flat to ensure a good glue joint.

I glued on the back piece.

Left) Fitting the underside of the lid. Right) Lid parts glued together to form the rabbet.

The lid on this version has an additional piece glued on the underside to form a rabbet. This piece can be marked from below, as the bottom has not yet been fitted. It is planed and sanded to be a push fit into the top of the box. There is no hardware required for this version. Make sure to position this carefully during glue up.

Left) Flattening the edges. Right) Attaching the bottom.

I found the best way to level and flatten the top and bottom edges was to use a flat surface and sandpaper. I glued the bottom into place, ensuring that all edges were flush to minimize the amount of material to be removed during final shaping and sanding.

Left) Marking the hinge positions. Right) Planing the top and bottom flush with the back.

I installed hinges on two of the boxes. I chose simple brass pin hinges for the rectangular version, as they are hidden and keep things simple. They were installed by marking their position and drilling a 5mm hole 10mm deep. I used 1” regular hinges for the shaped version.

I planed the top and bottom pieces flush to the back before marking out the hinge positions. After making the back, top and bottom flush, I used a marking gauge to accurately mark the position of the holes on the box and lid.

Left) Clamping the lid in place before rasping and sanding. Right) Completed Bandsaw Box

The lid was held closed with a clamp and was brought flush to the box using a plane and rasp. I rasped and sanded the outside to finished shape to get it ready for applying a finish. I marked the position of the volume and tuning knobs and drilled 1/4" holes. The knobs are 1" Modern Toy/Vehicle Wheels (41K01.26) and were attached with 1/4" dowels.

Rectangular Bandsaw Box

The other knobs used for the rectangular box were 2-1/4" (41K01.41) and 1/-1/4" (41K01.38) flat wheels and and I used one of the Lee Valley turned feet (05H31.06) to mimic the antenna.

The box can be finished with a clear product or painted for realism, if you prefer.

Text and photos by George Hammond

Lee Valley staff

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