Tiny Treasure Box

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Shaped sides and box joints make this small-scale container a unique gift.

I developed this small treasure for a class several years ago. I wanted to show students that you could take a relatively simple rectangular box and make it more sophisticated by shaping the sides after assembly. Starting with a rectangle keeps the joinery straightforward. Then the key to success is to make the shaping cuts in the proper order so you don’t cut away your reference surfaces before you’re finished with them. The corners are joined with box joints. I cut these joints at the table saw with the assistance of a shop-made jig (see page 57). Shaping the box after the pieces are glued also adds another layer of intrigue by adding curves and tapers to what is usually a uniform and rectilinear joint. And making the small parts from longer stock is a great opportunity to make multiples to give as gifts.

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