Perfect for those who are just taking up woodworking as a hobby, or who have a few bits of scrap wood left over after finishing their umpteenth project, making a wooden box is incredibly straight forward. This how-to guide will tell you how to make a box with a hinged top and believe us when we say that it does not take long to get the hang of it; in fact soon you'll probably know how to make a wooden box by rote!
Step One: Choose Your Wood
The first thing you need to do when starting any woodwork project is to know what kind of wood you'll be using. If you are using leftover wood from previous projects the decision has most likely been made for you, but if you have a choice we'd recommend using Western Red Cedar
, American Oak
or American Ash
; as they are easy to work with and are already aesthetically pleasing.
Step Two: What Tools Do I Need?
Having the right tools for the project you're about to undertake is a rather obvious point, but we'd like to make sure you understand that protective eye-wear and gloves are as essential to your work as a saw, a hammer, nails, and so on.
Other than safety equipment, you will also need the following tools and supplies for this project:
- A ruler
- A pencil
- Wood glue
- A hammer
- A hand or circular saw
- A file / planer
- Plenty of nails
Step Three: Make Your Measurements
Depending on how much material you have you ought to be able to determine pretty easily how big you'll be able to make your box. If you have plenty of material, or are ordering material especially for this project
you'll have free reign, as you can quite easily make your wooden box as big or as small as you like; it's up to you.
Size is not the only thing you need to decide upon, as you also need to think about what shape you want your box to be. Most beginners will make the natural decision to make a square box, but know that it is just as easy to put a rectangular one together.
Once you have decided on the size and shape of your box, draw the dimensions onto your wood and mark it out clearly.
Step Four: Cut The Wood
Cut along the marked out measurements with your saw. Make sure that you cut out enough pieces, which is to say 4 sides, 1 base and 1 lid (you'd be surprised how many people only cut out 5 side).
Step Five: Assemble The Sides
Using your wood glue, attach the four sides together at right angles. Do not attach the base or the lid yet. Once the sides have begun to adhere together, hammer a couple of nails into the sides to help reinforce the glue and make your wooden box more sturdy.
Step Six: Attach The Base
Once the nails have been hammered in and the sides have dried, it is time to attach the base. Place the sides onto the base and make sure that they all line up neatly. If they do not you may need to file or plane the sides until they are even. As you did with the sides, glue the base to the sides and then hammer a few nails in to make it that little bit sturdier.
Step Seven: Put A Lid On It
Once all the glue has dried, and your box is feeling sturdy, you can think about attaching the lid. Make sure that all the edges will line up well against the lid by placing your last piece of wood on top of the four sides and filing down any of the sides that are uneven.
Once you are certain that the lid and sides are flush, mark where your hinge(s) will be both on the lid and on the side. You can then either nail or screw the hinge(s) into place. Please ensure the knuckle of each hinge is facing outward.
Step Eight: Finishing Touches
Any holes in your wooden box can be filled with wood putty, if needs be, and you will probably want to sand down any rough edges. If you are happy with the way the wood looks you can simply apply a coat of wood varnish and call it a day; or if you'd rather decorate it a bit, you can apply a white base coat and then paint it however you'd like.
And with that, you now know how to make a wooden box.