Make Your Own Bandsaw Box

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Making a bandsaw box can be a fun project to tackle. You can make your own bandsaw box as simple or complex as you like. With only a few tools and a little creativity you can turn a beautiful solid chunk of wood into a decorative and maybe even useful display piece.

The box featured on our January 2020 Woodcraft Catalog cover was created by Woodcraft employee Kyle Camp. Kyle works at our Parkersburg, WV, location and is a talented woodworker. He’s made many bandsaw boxes in his day. So, when we asked him to create the box for our catalog cover he also gave us the steps that he took to create this striking, but mini-sized creation.

Follow along with the steps provided to make your own version of this crafty little fella. Or, make your own amazing bandsaw box. Share your creations on your favorite social media channel using #woodcraftbandsawbox. We hope to add some of your creations to this article or share on Woodcraft social media channels.

Let's get started!

1. Select Your Wood Blank

When you’re creating a bandsaw box, the first step is to find the wood blank that will accommodate the size of box you want to create. Kyle chose a 3" x 3" x 12" Marblewood blank. The pronounced grain pattern and compact size were perfect to create the look Kyle was attempting to achieve. If your blank has a wax protective coating, Kyle recommends removing the wax before starting. This will prevent the wax from clogging up your sandpaper. You can remove the wax with a card scraper. After removing the wax with a scraper, Kyle cut his blank to 6", the final height of his box design.

2. Layout Your Design

This is where the rubber meets the road. You’ll want to come up with an overall shape for your bandsaw box. Kyle knew that he wanted to add small drawers to his box, so on a piece of cardstock, Kyle drew the profile of his box and included cutouts for the drawers. This template was traced onto his 6” blank.

3. Set Up Your Bandsaw

Bandsaw boxes often require tight detailed cuts, so you’ll need to ensure that you have the proper blade attached to your bandsaw before you start. Kyle Camp prefers a 1/8" blade when creating his boxes. The smaller size allows the bandsaw to make smaller curving cuts without putting binding stress on the blade. And as always, you want to be as safe as possible in the shop, so use proper eye protection and always follow your bandsaw manufacturer’s directions.

4. Start With the Base

Depending on the complexity of your bandsaw box design, you may need to make more than 1 cut to shape your base. Kyle’s design calls for 4 small legs. This meant that he’d have to make 2 distinct cuts. One to create 2 front and back large legs and then a second that cut those 2 legs into the 4 individual legs. You can see in the photos below that his 2 cuts made quick work of creating the legs.

5. Cutting the Sides

Because Kyle wanted to add 2 small drawers to his box, the next step for his project was cutting the length of the box’s sides. When cutting the sides, it’s important to not cut all of the way through removing the sides from the blank on your first 2 cuts. Leave a little bit of wood at the end of your cut so that the blank stays intact. Rotate the blank 90 degrees, and cut the other 2 side all of the way through.

6. Cutting the Top

Kyle’s design has a graceful curved top. After cutting the sides, he cut the sweeping top which also served to cut the remaining 2 sides from the blank. Don’t worry! These will all be glued back on after the drawers are cut.

7. Making the Drawers

As you can see in the photos below, cutting out the drawers is a simple matter of starting the cuts on one side of the box and removing the drawer blank. Once the drawer blank was separated, Kyle created the drawer shape by cutting the face first, then the bottom and then the inside of the drawer (leaving the sides). Each drawer can then be glued back together, leaving out the “guts” of the interior.

8. Gluing the Box

Glue-up is almost like assembling a jigsaw puzzle – only instead, you are rebuilding the box. Take care to match your wood grain. It’s a good idea to have plenty of small clamps on hand to make the assembly go quicker. Spring clamps and hand screw clamps are great for this purpose, but small F-style clamps or pistol grip clamps would work as well. Let the parallel clamps take the night off . . . unless you’re building a huge box!

9. Sand & Finish Your Creation

Once your glue has had a chance to set, give everything a good sanding. If you’ve taken care to match your grain and clamp carefully, this step should be quick and easy. Once you’ve achieved a nice smooth texture, finish your bandsaw box with your favorite topcoat, laquer or stain. If your box is going to see actual repeated use, be sure to apply a durable topcoat for protection.

10. Add Some Knobs

Kyle’s bandsaw box was crying out for some small knobs to finish off the drawers. He chose to use small metal pull knobs for his box, but you could easily create your own from thin dowel stock, wooden blocks or spheres. That’s one of the best parts about creating your own bandsaw box. You can make it however you like!

Make your own bandsaw box today!

We would love to see your bandsaw box creations. Post it on your favorite social media channel and use #woodcraftbandsawbox or you can visit our Facebook page and send us a message with your creation. Most importantly, have fun, be safe, and go make some sawdust!

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