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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I belong to a woodworking club. At our December meeting the club members bring in wooden toys to give to The Salvation Army to pass to kids in the community for Christmas. We generally give 1,000 or more.

I was asked to make wooden boxes for the kids. I talked to my 6-year old neighbor girl to see what she thought of a wooden box. She said she wanted one she could paint. I had to do market research first to see if there was a demand.

Generally I only work with exotic woods, but in this case I decided to check out pine or fir lumber. I have never cut any of those before. At Home Depot I found some boards labeled White Wood with a Sweden sticker on it. I made several boxes with it, but the planer tore out some of the grain even though I can plane tiger maple without a problem.

I then got some bead board from Home Depot. There was no label giving the species of the wood. It was straight grain without knots. I think it may be Douglas Fir, but not positive.

I made 12 boxes using the two woods. I gave 8-of the boxes to neighbor kids and they loved them. One lady asked that I have engraved the 3-year old girls name on the top. I use a local engraver to burn the engraving and I add a couple hummingbird to perk it up some.

I have since made 4-more boxes, and will be making more. It takes about an hour per box to make.

There is no finish on these.

Malcolm / Kentucky USA
 

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Rick
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I like these, and I’m liking how you rounded off the edges to provide a groove to remove the lid . Did you air nail them together , or I’m thinking due to there size , glue and clamp ?
Do the lids have a dado cut around there bottom perimeter to hold them in place ?
 

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Theo
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Do the lids have a dado cut around there bottom perimeter to hold them in place ?
That's what I'm wondering too. And what size are the boxes?
 

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That's a really individual kind of gift. Researching what they like is a great idea too. I guess you could put some sort of gender appropriate engraving on the lids to fancy them up a bit. I bet some of those boxes will show up in 80 years in an estate sale. I guess you could engrave the word "Rosebud" on some of them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The boxes are held together with glue only on 45 degree corners. The top has dado cut around the top so it stays in place. I also cut slots at each end so you can put your fingers in it to lift the top off.

The bead boards come 1 by 6", but it is tongue and groove. Which means I have to cut those off - ending up with 4 1/2" wide. The boxes are 4 1/2" deep by 8" by 10".

I have a sticker that I put on the bottom of all my work. It has my name, email address and phone number on it.

One lady said she had a 4-year old son that loved woodworking. The first box I made was for him. Before I gave it to her she said she also had a 6-year old daughter. So I gave the lady two boxes. She sent me pictures of the two kids with their boxes. They were excited. The boy was going to put his tools in his and the girl was going to put her doll clothes in her's.

I have made much smaller boxes (like ring boxes) out of cherry or other fine woods. I am thinking of cutting out several and not gluing them together. Just put rubber bands around them to hold them together. Give it to a child with instruction on how to glue it together using the rubber bands as clamps. This would be a kit to help kids learn - with an adult helping them.

Malcolm / Kentucky USA
 

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Nicely done on several fronts Malcolm!!

As the grandkids come along, I make a keepsake box for them when they are young. What has been so ......surprising...... is just how much they seem to value the
boxes as they grow older.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The Salvation Army contacted our woodworking club. They gave us the general rules of nothing to pointy, no lead paint, etc. The Salvation Army comes to the club and pick up the toys and distribute them. Malcolm / Kentucky USA
 
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