Building a Keepsake Box Using Dovetail Key Joinery
In this post the pencil drawing of the dog was done by artist Amy King, who contacted me to make the keepsake box to display her drawing of the dog.
Then keeping as close to the edge of the board as I could so I would not mess up the flow of the grain, I cut the miters for the corners. Typically the more material you remove the less likely the grain will match up on the corners.
To install the bottom, i used a standard dado stack in the table saw to cut a dado to receive the bottom. Because of the size of the box I decided to use 3/8” solid wood for the bottom. I thought it would feel less flimsy than a typical 1/4“ plywood bottom, and yes I allowed for wood movement in the dado.
To cut out the notch for the handle I set the blade height to the thickness of the lid and carefully made several passes until it was cut out. Then I very carefully slid the board back and forth over the blade to clear out any rough bumps left behind, and finally cleaned it up with a little hand sanding.
One of the most common question I get is what type of glue I use. For most glue ups I used standard titebond II glue in the glue bot. Titebond II has a little longer open time which helps in my dry climate and the glue bot keeps everything nice, neat, and clean.
Then went over to the router to cut the rest of the material away. The jigs I use for this operation are shop made. Basically they are made of plywood cut at a 45 degree angle to cradle the box in position.
Cutting the Dovetail keys themselves was kind of a hit and miss operation at first. It took several test passes to figure out the right bit height and distance from the fence to produce a tight fitting key.
To help keep the lid positioned while drilling the holes for the dowels, I used blocks of wood cut at the right height to support it, and a shim along the back to space the lid from the back so it would have room to pivot.
Cut it to fit on the table saw and did the final shaping by hand and with my random orbit sander.
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