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Jeff Greef Woodworking

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Bandsawn Boxes

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There are a variety of ways to make boxes on the band saw, but they all entail the same basic idea. You hollow out the cavity of the box by cutting out a large central section, then glue back together the outer portions to create the box sides, bottom and top. The trick is to carefully order the succession of cuts so that the remaining parts fit back together in the configuration you want. How you cut your wood will depend upon the shape of the chunk you intend to make into a box, as well as whether you want a box with a lid or drawers.

Resources For Making Bandsawn Boxes

Band Saws
Clamps
Drill Bits
Drill Presses
Glue
Table Saws

BOX OF DRAWERS

Large thick rectangles lend themselves to the drawer configuration, though they could just as easily be oriented horizontally with a long lid if you wish. To start a box of drawers, first square up all six sides of the rectangle on your table saw. Note that you need a piece over a foot long to do this safely. Then rip off a thin back as shown in photo 1, at about 5/16" thick. Set this piece aside.


Freud Combination Blade

Photo 1- Begin a box with drawers by cutting off the back, which will be glued back on after the drawers are cut out.

For table saws, click here.

Sketch the shapes of the drawers you desire on the front face of the box. Remember that the radius you can cut on the band saw is limited by the width of the blade you use. 1/8" wide blades are available and they will cut very tight radii, but they break easily, so I use 1/4" blades for my tight curve work. Do tests in scrap to see how tight a curve you can cut, and use this as a guide as you sketch your drawers.

At the band saw, rip off one side of the box, following the edges of the drawers you sketched. Then cut out each of the drawer blanks as shown in photo 2.


Delta 9" Band Saw
Economical bench-top solution for the small shop.

Photo 2- Trace the drawers on the front face, then rip off a side following the drawer sides. Then cut out the drawer blanks.

For bandsaws, click here.

The next step is to rip off both the front and back of each drawer blank. Make each of these about 5/16" thick or so. As you do this, tilt the piece while it is being cut so that the area immediately below the blade is always touching the band saw table. If you don't do this, the blade could grab the work and throw it down quickly, causing an accident. Keep your fingers out of the path of the blade, and keep your eye on what you are doing.

Photo 3- With the band saw cut off both the front and back of each drawer, then cut out the cavity of each as shown here.

Mark the front and back pieces of each drawer so you remember where they go. Sketch the inside drawer contour onto the remaining drawer blanks on their front faces and cut them out as in photo 3.


Bessey Power Grip Clamps

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Photo 4- Glue the carcass and drawers back together, carefully aligning the parts to each other.

For clamps, click here.

Glue up the box carcass and drawer parts as in photo 4. Use a lot of clamps to evenly distribute the pressure. When out of clamps, round over the sharp edges and sand or scrape the exposed band sawn surfaces. Finish to your liking and install pulls that please.

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