Pinwheel Box

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When I first started to work for the Austin, Texas, Woodcraft store I saw a fellow demonstrate how to make bandsaw boxes. I had an old bandsaw, and it looked like this was a safe and easy way to make boxes, so I tried it myself. The artist in me liked that these boxes could be in any shape and in any size or type of wood. Since then, I’ve designed and made many different boxes, and every one has been a fun experience.

This pinwheel box is a tricky project if you make it with the grain of the lid pieces converging in the center. It is also challenging to make the fit of the lid pieces so tight that the lid “clicks” into place when closing. I’ll show you how to make the more complex version of the box, but if you want to make it easier for yourself, just make the box with the lid pieces cut from the same piece as the body of the box and keep the grain going in the same direction. You may also sand the meeting edges of the lid a bit more so they swing freely when opening. 

The first, easier version of this box was made from a piece of spalted maple. It was just 41/2" on a side and did not have a divider. The more complicated canarywood box needed to be bigger and have dividers, so I had to figure out how to cut through a larger piece of wood than my bandsaw could handle. Challenges like this encourage us to use our imaginations!

Either way you decide to make it, this is a neat box that is interesting to make and a delight to hold.

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