This box might look like others that I have made (walnut and marigold yellow together), but there is a huge difference between it and everything else I've made. This is my first bandsawn box. In the past, I've made it clear that I really do not like them (listen to our discussion with David Picciuto, the Drunken Woodworker). Here's why. The vast majority of the bandsawn boxes that I've seen are ugly. Very ugly. The reason why they are ugly is simple. The folks who make them focus on the fact that they're making a box with a bandsaw, so they throw in all kinds of wacky curves, goofy shapes, and drawers within drawers. The box is meant to display the fact that it was made with a bandsaw. Who cares how something was made other than the person who made it? (I know other woodworkers do. We care too much about that sometimes.) Personally, I want the people who see my boxes not to even think about how I made it. I want them to say, "That's beautiful." So, I tried to make a beautiful bandsawn box. Perhaps I succeeded. Perhaps I didn't. I'll definitely try again.
OK, I'm getting off the soapbox before I go too far. I made this box while at Peters Valley School of Craft teaching a woodworking course. (By the way, Peters Valley is a wonderful place to take a class.) I actually made two of this box. The first one was sold in the weekly auction held to benefit the school. The only difference between that box (right) and this one is that I painted the ends of the lid, too. I like both of the boxes, but I think the original (no paint on lid) is a bit more elegant. However, I do like that the lid on this version overhangs the box body more. I intentionally made the lid on the first one smaller, but the overhang got so small that it no longer looks intentional. Design should always be intentional—and look that way.
This box was a good learning experience. I've definitely thought of ways to improve the craftsmanship on my next bandsawn boxes. One of the things I figured out after making the first version of the box, but before starting the second one, is that you get tighter glue lines if you do not sand the bandsawn surfaces after cutting them. Look at the picture below that shows the inside of the box. Those are machine marks left by the bandsaw. That could be a very cool surface texture on the inside. The next time I make a bandsawn box, I'll work on controlling the appearance of the machine marks. For example, for a fairly nuanced surface, I could use a variable pitch blade, like the 3-4 variable TPI resaw blades on the market. These blades are also very thin, and that would help with the glueline.
There's not much else to say, but if you have questions, please ask. I'll answer as best I can. Now for some random thoughts.
6/14/2015 02:19:14 pm
Matt, that's beautiful.
6/14/2015 02:21:02 pm
One question. How does the lid stay on? Does it overlap the sides?
6/14/2015 02:57:23 pm
Sorry, Billy. I completely forget to explain the top. It has a very shallow rabbet around the perimeter, so the bit that doesn't get removed fits inside the box. And thanks for the compliment.
6/15/2015 03:11:10 am
Your an inspiration. Love the notion of a personal project or challenge to grow and develop skills. My notions of box make have evolved just by reading about your progress. I'm sure the actual doing is so rewarding.
6/23/2015 08:03:08 am
Great box. I have made many bandsawn boxes and I generally agree with you. It is really easy to get carried away with emphasizing technique over form or function. I believe the key is restraint and a good sketchbook, but whatever works...
7/16/2015 03:30:07 pm
It's so nice. I want to have one like this.
8/14/2015 04:26:10 pm
Hello Matt, I confess, I am a fan. I am a woodturner and frustrated box maker. Thank you for the marker guage I built in hard maple (my favorite wood) It is a wonderful tool used constantly.
9/16/2015 09:42:25 am
You are entirely correct about the typical bandsaw box.... I never liked them but never took the time to figure out why! That is it exactly.
11/10/2015 11:09:54 pm
this really is a great formula. I would do it instantly with your bandsaw. hope you always create products like this.
11/16/2015 09:13:49 am
8/11/2016 04:59:05 am
I really like this box! I think painting it on the sides is a great way to "break" the wooden color and to make it look trendy, too.
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I love furniture design, and smart techniques. This blog is about both.