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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
In addition to the trays in my other post I was making a few boxes for some of my shop tools. I've found that making these boxes keeps my tools in better condition and also keeps all of the specialized pieces together so nothing gets lost. I still have quite a bit of scrap Baltic Birch in various thickness left over from a large project, so I'm working hard at using it all up. What better way to protect my tools without spending much money. At lesat the wood was free. The hinges, latches, handles, and corner protectors did need to be purchased though.

OK, I've provided photo numbers in case they post in the wrong sequence.

Box #1 (DSCF0538 & DSCF0539 - First and Second photos) was made to keep my frequently used scroll saw blades, tools, etc together.

Box #2 (DSCF0540 & DSCF0541 - Third and Forth photos) was made to keep the rest of my scroll saw blades together.

Both box #1 and 2 will likely travel with me when I do demonstrations and scroll saw training, but will help keep the scroll saw stuff together in the shop too.

Box #1 & #2 are shown together in the fifth photo (DSCF0542)

Box #3 i (DSCF0543) Is the fifth photo and the box with the black handle. It is only about 1/2 complete, because I will be installing supports and dividers for the tool pieces that will be contained within. Once this is complete I will do the staining and finishing. The tool is "The Original Mini Fence", that was purchased from Router Forums member CapnClive (Scotty) back in July of last year. Thanks again Scotty. I've played with the Mini Fence a few times, but I still haven't managed to put it to good use yet. At least this box will keep the Mini Fence and it's parts from getting separated.

Who said you can't cut box joints in plywood? I'm not having any problems.

Charley
 

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well done Charley...
 

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Look good!
 

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Great looking boxes as always Charley. Almost to nice for the application;)
 

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Very nice.
 

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Great looking boxes, Charley!
I have mixed feelings about metal case/chest corners.
On the plus side they do an excellent job of protecting the fragile wood corners, and they look terrific!
On the negative side, you have to always be aware of where you're setting the case down, and what's in close proximity. Personal experience; the corners can do a lot of damage to other surfaces.
 

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Wow! Your grandchildren will pass these down to their grandchildren long after they have forgotten what the tools were for.
 

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I love the detail of the box joints and the brass handles - nice job.
 

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Can't imagine the tools could be any happier...
 
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Very nice Charley. How did you cut the box joints?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks guys. I appreciate all the comments, even the not so great ones. We don't learn if we don't improve from criticism. I appreciate all of them.

For those concerned about the brass corner protectors -

I've put these same brass corner protectors on most of the tool boxes that I've made over the years for my shop tools, and for some similar style boxes that have been made for others. I always modify these brass corner pieces so they can be attached using #4 - 3/8 brass flat head screws. I pre-thread the holes in the wood with a same sized steel wood screw. At the time of the assembly of these boxes, I discovered that I was almost out of the flat head screws, so I installed the corner protectors temporarily with the #2 -3/8" round head brass screws that are provided along with these Stanley corner protectors. I don't like the round head screws because they stick up too much and the photos of the boxes were taken with these temporary round head screws in place.

The very next day the #4 - 3/8" brass flat head screws arrived, and I removed the corner protectors, modified them by countersinking and enlarging the holes, and then installed them on the boxes using the brass flat head screws. I also always shape these corner protectors to the exact shape of the box corners after their installation, by using a small dead blow hammer. The soft brass is easy to shape this way, and it stays very close to the wood. The dead blow hammer doesn't even mar the polished surface of the brass. I also install rubber feet on my boxes that are a peel and stick type rubber design. They are about 1/4" thick with glue that sticks "nearly forever" and these keep the boxes from sliding on, or scratching each other. Of course, a little care is needed when handling the boxes anyway.




Don,

I've cut a lot of box joints in my life, both on the router table and with a table saw, and I've used everything from shop made jigs to the Leigh F2 box joint jig, but I now have and use my Incra I-BOX jig on my Unisaw exclusively when I make box joints. For a saw blade I mostly use the Freud SBOX8 blade set for making 1/4 and 3/8" box joints, but I sometimes use a Freud 1/8" flat ground ripping blade (don't remember the number) to cut my box joints now. If I want larger joints I have used my Freud stack dado blade, but the smaller boxes that I make look better with these smaller box joints. The quality of cut that I can get with these blades is the best that I've ever experienced when making box joints. Even when using plywood to make the boxes, my cuts are clean and splinter free. But the sacrificial strip in the I-Box jig also factors into the splinter free quality of the cuts and I always move this strip to an uncut position before I begin actually cutting the joints. You can do this about 50 times before the sacrificial strip needs replacing, and copies of it can be made from 1/4" MDF very easily. It's just a rectangle with 4 countersunk screw holes in it. I bought a quarter sheet of material and made several years supply of sacrificial strips for the I-Box in less than an hour and a material cost of about $4.

I probably average about 40 boxes per year now, for many different purposes, and they are usually made with box joints. But I also make small fancier style jewelry type boxes and urns with splined miter joints on my Unisaw, using my Delta Tenon jig to cut the thin cross grained splines needed for assembly.

I also use a router and my Leigh D4R jig to make dovetails joints and dovetail type ornamental joints, but these take longer to set up, so for most of the general use type boxes like these tool boxes, these other methods just take too long to set up. If I'm not changing the size of the joint or changing the material being used for making the boxes from what I made the last time, I can put the SBOX8 blade and the I-Box jig back on the Unisaw and then make one or two test cuts to get the blade height set correctly without making any adjustments, then move the sacrificial strip in the I-Box jig to an uncut position and I'm ready to cut more box joints. It might take me 8-10 minutes to do this, and I'm ready. I don't think there is a better or faster way to cut good fitting box joints than this, and the box corners made are stronger than the material used for making them.

Charley
 

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Those bottom protectors would certainly relax my fears re marring from the bottom, Charles. Thanks for taking the time to explain the process! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Yes Dan,

I don't use the corner protectors the way they come from Stanley. BTW the only ones that I like are the ones from Stanley with the three holes, a center hole facing up, plus the one in each side. There are other brands and some Chinese versions out there, and each that I've tried to use was either of too stiff material, lacked the center hole or was not cut with sharp tooling so they had edge burrs, tooling marks, etc. The ones that I use from Stanley are very nicely polished, made with very sharp tooling, and from real brass. If only they would make them with counter bored holes and provide flat head true brass screws with them. If they did, I would use them without the need to modify them, but I'm now getting good at it. True solid brass piano hinges seem to have disappeared from the market, except for the super expensive stuff from Brusso, and not even in long lengths at any price. I've been buying the brass plated piano hinges and cutting them to length, but even these are getting hard to find at reasonable prices, and I even modify them by doubling the number of screw holes, so the tiny screws are less likely to pull out.

One guy at my local Lowes told me that everybody now days wants the nickel plated stuff, so they are carrying more of it and less brass. Maybe he's right. Even online it's getting harder to find brass. Maybe I'll have to find a source for nickel plated corner protectors and switch from brass to nickel plated stuff in my future tool boxes. But the brass just looks nicer to me.

Charley
 
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