Sliding Lid Boxes

Small Wooden Craft Box Sliding TopSliding Lid Finger Joint Box

The fingers on these pieces aren't cut all the way to the top edge, see photo in margin and detail 'a' below.

What I do is start with the back end of these pieces and count the number of passes I make over the blade (thirteen for the box shown below). Then when cutting the front end, I simply make two fewer passes over the blade (eleven, in this case).

Note: The thirteen slots on the back end will become twelve after the waste is trimmed off the top edge.

GROOVE FOR LID. Before trimming the front piece, I cut the groove for the lid



Va"-wide tongue to fit grooves


Finger joint boxes aren't all that common anymore. But they're still attractive, strong, and easy-to-build.

b kefore plastic and cardboard, peo' pie stored and carried things in wooden boxes. The smaller of these boxes were often joined with finger joints. If s a quick joint that's easy to mass produce, and with a little glue, it's quite strong.

I use finger joints for the same reason. I can build a box quickly with a table saw and a simple jig. In fact, I can build a lot of boxes quickly, as you can see in the photo at right

LID. The other thing I like about these boxes are the lids. They're irresistible. As soon as you pick up a box, you just have to slide it open and shut. A The lid on this box Because the lid fits inside rather slides into shallow than on top of the box, the fingers are grooves cut in the cut a little different than explained in sides and back. the article on page 14. Basically, you just cut fewer fingers on the front corners, see photo in margin. Note: The step-by-step drawings here feature the short pine box in the photo above. Overall dimensions for the other boxes in the photo are included in the box on the next page.

SIDES & ENDS. These boxes start out as Vi'Mhickfront back (A), and sides (B), cut about Vb" oversize in width. Then the finger joints can be cut, and the box can be assembled as shown in the article on page 14 — except for a few important differences.

FRONT ENDS. When laying out and marking the pieces, I also labeled the front end of each side piece so I would remember to cut them differently.


Cut pieces to final width after cutting finger joints

'/8"-deep groove fnr IIrl



All pieces '/¿'-thick stock to align with groove

Cut front

to align with groove

Stop fingers short on front end of sides

Cut front on the top inside face of the back and side pieces. This groove is identical to the one for the bottom (Vs" x Vs").

TRIM FRONT PIECE. After the grooves for the lid were cut, I raised the blade and trimmed off the top edge of the front piece. This way, it lines up with the bottom of the groove perfectly, see detail 'a' on page 6.

Now, a W'-thick hardwood bottom (C) can be added, and the box can be glued together, refer to page 14.

LID. With the box assembled, work can begin on the lid (D), see Fig. 1. The lid is nearly identical to the bottom of the box. But it's 3/i6M longer so it ends up flush with the front of the box. And instead of cutting a V^'-wide rabbet along all four edges, the lid only has three edges rabbeted.

I sized the tongues created by these rabbets so they would just fit into the grooves in the box. Then I sanded the tongues on the sides of the lid so it would slide in and out easily. But leave the back edge tight so it'll hold the lid in place.

FINGER PULL. At this point, the lid will fit into the box, so next I added a small recess so I could pull it out easily with the tip of a finger, see Fig. 2.

Figuring out just how to cut a clean pull took some experimenting. But I found a quick and easy method using a drill press, a l"-dia. Forstner bit, and an angled scrap block, see Fig. 2.

First, I laid out the position of the pull, see Fig. 2b. Then to prevent chipout, I scored the pull's straight edge V2'1 from the front of the lid.

Now to support the lid, I trimmed one end of a scrap piece of 2x4 at 8°


I like these boxes because I can turn out two or three in no time at all. In fact 1 found myself trying different woods and changing the size of the boxes, see photo above left and the drawing at right.

One note of caution, though. Since the stock is only Vi" thick, don't make your boxes much wider than 5". Otherwise, the lid will more than likely cup.

Lid For Diy Finger Joint Box



— No gap at back



y, s




Finger Joint Boxes

End of so it would hold the lid at a slight angle, see Figs. 2 and 2a. Next, position the lid so the drill bit starts cutting at the "point" of the pull. Then lower the bit to the scored line.

PLUG GROOVES. All that's left now is to plug the holes left by the grooves at the top and bottom of the box. But take special care with the plugs at the top, see Figs. 3 and 3a. If they extend too far into the groove, they could prevent the lid from closing. For more on making these plugs, see page 19.

Finally, with the plugs glued in and trimmed flush, I sanded the box smooth and wiped-on an oil finish. 0

Finger LidFinger Joint Pattern
Trim lid flush with front
Lid For Diy Finger Joint Box

Plug must stop short of lid

Tapered plug


Finger Joint Boxes


End of


Plug must stop short of lid

Tapered plug


Wood Intarsia Patterns Crosses


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Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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  • renato
    How to make a box using finger joints?
    7 years ago
  • Rayyan
    What tools do i need to make a sliding lid box without power tools?
    4 years ago
  • Matilde
    How to fit the bottom to a finger jointed box?
    2 years ago
  • panu
    How to make a finger slide on a box top?
    1 year ago

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