I mentioned recently that I felt like actually making something before working on my bench. What better project for my beginner skills than a simple dovetail box? I haven’t waded through the loads of plans online for boxes, so this plan of mine might not work. Let me know what you think.

First, I had an idea that maybe I could build the entire box out of a single block of 2×4 that is 5 1/2″ long. Here’s my block – it’s kempas by the way (click for big size, you wood junkies):

wood for box

The dimensions of the box top (and bottom) I thought would be roughly 4″ by 5 1/3″ (I read somewhere that a 1:1 1/3 ratio is nice for boxes). So I thought that I would just rip the top and bottom of the box right off the top of this block of wood – I dunno, maybe 1/2″ thick for each? That would leave me something like 5/8″ left. Is is crazy to think of cutting that in two 1/4″ (ish) pieces, that I’d then rip down the middle for the four walls? Are dovetails for 1/4″ thick pieces too fine for a beginner?

I guess I’m just being lazy to cut off more wood for the walls, and also I’m trying to mimimize (maybe neurotically so) wood waste.

Another question I have is how to join the box to the bottom. I was thinking that I’d just slap some glue on the bottom of the box walls and throw it onto the bottom, but that sounds so crude to say it. The top will be hinged somehow – I’ll burn that bridge when I get to it.