Keeper jigs make this construction spot-on accurate and repeatable.
By Jim Harrold
Overall dimensions: 12"w × 10"d × 53⁄4"h
Makers of decorative boxes forever seek novel ways to join box sides and present a special look using favorite– often figured–woods and other materials. They also want boxmaking jigs to speed the cutting and assembly assignments and for achieving perfection. This handsome container promises all that and more! Here, a mix of quartersawn sycamore, walnut, and ebony creates visual contrasts, while dovetail keys lock in the mitered corners. Adding to the uniqueness is the ceramic tile top that personalizes the box, making it ideal for gift giving. Instead of a wood panel in a lid’s frame, an 8 × 10" tile displays a transferred photo image. Photos of a scenic landscape, favorite pet, or family members all make great subjects, and you can select from a matte, satin, or glossy finish. You also can order tiles in several sizes, but you’ll have to adjust dimensions accordingly. Better still, when you build the box, you’ll encounter a superaccurate box-maker’s miter sled, a router-table dovetail slot jig, and a butt-hinge mortising template to add to your box-making arsenal. Use these to mass-produce as many boxes as you want. Note: Order the tile in advance, and measure it for the best fit in the lid’s wood frame. My tile measured 77 ⁄8 × 97 ⁄8".