Building a Pennsylvania Spice Box can be quite the ambitious project for any level of woodworker, loaded with its share of building techniques that embrace both hand and/or power tool applications in today's woodworking world. Its challenges include plenty of hand-cut joinery, precise drawer assemblies, stylish mouldings, raised-panel contours, and in this case, the use of quilted and soft maple woods with figured walnut burl, book-matched veneer drawer fronts. Follow us along in this Woodworking Adventure with Woodcraft's product manager, Kyle Meyer and his Spice Box design and build.
Decorative boxes are made to hold everything from jewelry to personal treasures in hope chests. To add beauty to the construction, box makers use decorative joinery to both beautify and strengthen the points where the sides meet. Even the most humble and simple of joints will be strong enough for most applications so joinery decisions are usually more about art than engineering.
One measure of woodworking quality is the type of joinery used. If you look closely at the corners of any piece of furniture you will see what I mean. Check how the builder decided to hold the edges together. Strength and style should determine what kind of joint is used. While you want a look that enhances the piece, strength is the most important factor. A weak joint inevitably leads to broken furniture.
If you are into woodworking or doing projects around the home you will inevitably need to fasten two pieces of wood together. There are a lot of ways to join wood – choices can range from glue to nails to complex joinery. Each offers trade-offs on strength, speed, ease of use, skills and tool requirements.