If you have been following my channel for a while, you may have seen this build. Recently I was asked to build another one and thought I would take this opportunity to try to do a better video showing the build process that goes along with the set of plans available on my website.
You Can get the plans here https://briansbenham.com/thelittlestore/product/whiskey-gift-box-6-shots-pdf-plans/
Specialty tools used (most are affiliate links) • Hinge from Brusso https://www.brusso.com/cb-303bs/ (not An affiliate link)
• Shot Glasses https://amzn.to/2FeBHfI
• West Systems Epoxy https://amzn.to/340xKD4
• 3m Super 77 spray adhesive https://amzn.to/36BpsE9
• Titebond II https://amzn.to/2nejeTr
Whiskey box build six shot glasses
If you have been following my YouTube channel for a while, you may have seen this build. But I had an opportunity to build another one for a client and thought I would go into more detail on how I made it. Plans are available to download if you want to create one.
I started by planning a single board to use for the sides. I want the grain to flow around the box.
I cut a narrower piece for the side of the lid.
Normally I would cut the lid from the sides out of the same board, but the lumber yard was slim Pickens that day for wide boards, so opted to make the sides for the lid from a separate piece, and did my best to find one with similar grain, so they blended.
Once I had the stock milled to thickness, I marked the board in sequence side, front, side, back so I could keep them in order, making sure when assembled the grain flows around the box from one side to the other. I think it is a nice subtle design aspect.
When I cut the board apart, I set up a stop block at the table saw and cut the base pieces and its corresponding top pieces at the same time to ensure they would be the same length.
To join the side pieces together, I am going to use box joints, so I set up my miter gauge with a stop in it and then used a scrap piece milled at the same width of the joints to give me the correct spacing. I made sure my spacer piece was long enough to touch the front and back teeth of the blade at the same time to be sure it was parallel with the carbide portion of the teeth.
Then I cut a test piece to be sure I had a nice fit; too lose it will look bad too tight, and I risk breaking of one of the fingers of the joint, or it won’t go together at all.
To start the piece that doesn’t lap over my stop block, I just flipped the first piece around and used it as a spacer to cut that first joint.
Once I was satisfied with the fit on my test pieces, I used a marking gauge to score across where the finger joints are going to be cut to help prevent tear-out on the exit side of the blade. This score mark will be sanded away before finishing.
Then I just took my time cutting all the joints. If you push too fast, the force of the blade can push the workpiece up off the table resulting in a sloppy fitting joint.
The thin top pieces felt a little sketchy cutting them by themselves, so I added a scrap piece of plywood to give me something taller and more substantial to clamp these pieces too.
While I had the dado blade set up, I cut some scrap plywood with the same finger pattern in it to use as a clamping caul so I can get direct pressure over the joint without it hitting the adjoining board.
To be sure I had enough clearance so the edges wouldn’t interfere, I used a chisel to chamfer the edges to give me a little extra space.
When I ripped the sides originally, I left them a little wide just in case my finger joints didn’t come out perfectly.
If you’re just a few thou off in your setup, that will add up on every joint resulting in the last joint being either too wide or too narrow, so this is a good safety precaution. So now, I am just ripping them to their exact width to match where the last joint ended up.
Now that I have my sides ready to go, it is time to mill some lumber for the top. I am using some mahogany as an accent wood.
I spent a few minutes arranging the boards, so the grain flows from one board to the next to help disguise the glue joint.
Floating tenons aren’t necessary for strength on a long grain to long grain glue up it does help with alinement and keeps the board from slipping around when tightening the clamps during glue-up.
While the glue was drying on the top, I re-sawed a piece for the bottom and glued it up. Since the bottom is too thin to use floating tenons, I put a clamp across the joint on each end to help keep it flat and in-plane.
I needed to cut a dado on the sides to accept the lid as well as for the bottom. They need to be stopped dados, so they don’t blow through the finger joint. So I am using the workpiece to mark out the start and stop lines on the fence.
Now when I cut the dado’s, I will gently drop the piece down on the router bit at the start line, push it through to the stop line. Shut the router off and lift my workpiece off.
I did that same process for all the side pieces.
While I had the bit set up, I cut the dado in the lid. I did a test dado first in some scrap to be sure it had a good fit, made a little adjustment, and then cut the dado in the lid.
The final step for the lid was to cut a decorative chamfer on the top. So I set up a sacrificial fence, tipped my blade to 45-degrees, and raised it into the fence. This was a nice quick way to chamfer the edges.
One final thing before I glue up the case is I needed to square up the rounded ends left by the router bit so the bottom and top will drop in and not get hung up.
I laid out all the parts and used a little double stick tape to attach the clamping cauls I made earlier so I wouldn’t have to fumble around trying to hold them in place while tightening the clamps.
Since I have a nice tight fit and standard glue has water in it and could swell the wood, making it impossible to get together, I am using epoxy. No swelling, and when it’s freshly mixed, it almost acts like a lubricant, and the pieces slide together easily.
I did the same process for the lid, and I took extra care to be sure all the parts were square; if one isn’t square, the lid won’t close in line with the rest of the box.
After the glue dried, I noticed the top edge wasn’t perfectly flush, so I took my hand plane and gave it a few swipes to flush it up with the adjoining side.
Now it was time to install the hinges, I knifed in their location and used a chisel to chop out most of the waste, I then came back with a router plane and cleaned up the bottom. A few tests fit and cleaning up the shoulders, and I had a nice fitting hinge.
I did the same technique on the lid, then used a self-centering bit to predrill for the screws. To be sure I didn’t strip out the screws or scratch the screw head, I drove them in by hand and did a test fit before sanding it up and applying the finish.
I am now moving on to building the interior of the box to hold the shot glasses and whiskey bottle.
I re-sawed some 8/4 stock so the grain on the boards for the left and right glass holders would be book-matched. I love those types of subtle design touches.
I ripped the board to width, then tipped the blade to an arbitrary angle, one that I thought would look nice and cut a chamfer on the leading edge.
Then I switched over to a dado blade to cut a dado to accept the sides and back supports.
I ran the sides and back supports through the thickness planer until I had a nice snug fit, and the pieces slid together without being forced.
Now it was time to determine the placement of the shot glasses, and I played around with an arrangement that I thought looked nice, basically staggering them in the filed clustered towards the bottle end of the box.
I marked the center hole so I would know where to drill.
I used some calipers to measure across the glass about where I wanted it to be held by the wood and found as Forstner bit as close to that size as I could.
Clamped it down for safety, and drilled out the holes.
I then when to the router table and with a ¼” round over bit, and routed around each hole.
I prefinished the parts and glued up each assembly, Rather than clamping each piece, I used a headless pin nailer to pin the pieces together while the glue dries. Those pins are so small the mark pretty much disappears in the grain of the wood.
I dropped a shot glass in place, then measured the distance between the bottom of the glass and what would be the bottom of the box.
I milled up a spacer block to take up that space. This will prevent someone from accidentally pushing the shot glass too hard down, risking cracking the holder or getting the glass stuck in the hole.
I covered the block with felt to give the glass a soft landing and installed it.
Next was to cut all the pieces of felt to line the box.
I’m taping off the box so that I won’t get any spray adhesive on the edges.
One of the most common questions I get is what type of glue do I use, whether it epoxy, wood glue, or in this case, spray adhesive. I am always happy to share. For epoxy, I use west systems brand, my standard PVA wood glue is titebond, and spray adhesive I usually use 3m, but today they were out of 3m spray adhesive, so I bought this gorilla glue stuff, and it was the heavy-duty stuff. Unfortunately, after using it, all I can say is I will never rebuy Gorilla glue. The edges of the felt pealed up and just didn’t stick like the 3m stuff. I end up having to scrape it all out and redoing it.
I also want to mention that the other glues I talked about are not a sponsor; They just work great and are reliable. So far, I don’t have a sponsor for my channel. Clients commission the projects I build, and the editing time and production costs of running the YouTube channel are paid for by you, the viewers who, buy T-shirts, buy and download project plans, the guys who support me on Patreon, and everyone that watches the pre-roll YouTube ads. So thank you.
Now back to the build, once I got each piece glued into place I used a plastic putty knife to put pressure to wet in the glue and push out any creases or bubbles, I then when around the outside edge with a sharp razor blade and cut away the excess.
One last piece I need to make is the holder for the whiskey bottle.
I chucked up a piece in the lathe and turned its diameter down to just a tiny bit larger than the diameter of the whiskey bottleneck. Then I took it to the spindle sander and sanded a notch for the bottle to rest in.
Once I was satisfied with the shape, I cut it to length at the band saw.
I used the bottle as a gauge to determine where to attach the holder. Once I decided, I cut out a portion of felt. So I could glue it down to the bottom. To be sure it stays put, I screwed and glued it. The screw is acting as a clamp while the glue dries. I used epoxy here since the surrounding felt is going to prevent the holder from sitting firmly on the bottom. Epoxy is gap filling so that it will fill up any void created by the felt.
I used some blue tape to protect the edge of the felt, while I slid in the glass holders.
To secure the glass holders down, I drizzled a little epoxy under them.
Screwed the hinges back on and loaded it up.
The last thing to do was to add the claps to keep the box shut.
I think it’s a pretty handsome looking whiskey box to display your favorite whiskey and have a few drinks with some friends.
Thank you for watching, liking, subscribing, sharing, following me on Instagram, joining me on Patreon, hitting the bell, thank you.