Hand made items always a welcomed gift and in this article we are hand making small gift box that will hold a bottle of wine. The box is attractive, easy to make, and when you show up at any party, anniversary, wedding of retirement function with one of these, you are going to get invited to many, many more!!! People LOVE these little boxes.
For the woodworker, it's a win-win, you get to use up little pieces of wood that we all accumulate in your workshops, and you get to use many of the tools in your workshop and end up making something that people really like.
There are many different ways you can make these boxes, what we have shown here is only one variation that you can then use to create your own unique wine gift box (or any other kind of gift box, chocolate, soaps, spices, jams, the list is endless).
For this box we wanted to end up with a bunch 3/4" by 3/" strips of wood, 14" long. You need to work MORE CAREFULLY when you are using smaller pieces of wood, so what we did was use a little bit larger pieces and cut them down.
We started off at the router table, with a 3/8" roundover bit. This is used to to take the edge of just 2 sides of the strips of wood that will become the sides of the box. The inner sides need to be left plain as they will be glued and possibly tacked to the gable ends.
As always when you are running wood through the router table, the wood should be flowing from right to left so that it is feeding into the oncoming of the router bit (going in the opposite direction means the router bit will not cut properly). As it happened, I had a number of pieces of wood that were 2 inches wide so simply rounded over both sides, then on the table saw, ripped the wood to the designated 3/4" width.
It's at around this point you will want to decide what, if any finish you might want on your box because finishing it after, with all the strips of wood and all the slots between the pieces could be a chore, depending on what you want the finished box to look like. I knew ahead of time I was going to use my 23 gauge air pinning gun, combined with a bit of glue and that would hold the pieces on the gable ends while the glue dried. I love using the 23 gauge pinner because with many woods, even after you have pinned it, you can't see where the pin went into the wood, and if you are finishing after and even staining, in most cases these tiny holes disappear. Not always ... but often.
Of course the other option for finishing is to complete the box and use any one of dozens of spray finishes that are available, like Krylon Spray Stain and Krylon Spray Clear Finish. These together may a great looking finish and when working with so many joints and pieces, spraying is a perfect answer.
The gable ends were the most difficult to make because, of course we wanted all the little 3/4" strips to line-up all around the box, so finding a circumference that worked and still lined up was critical. In our case we finally decided that 4 inches would work. It was a tiny bit large, but part of the reason we wanted it to be slightly large was, we wanted a small gap between the lid and the bottom part of the box. The reason for this, is that we wanted to cut the top off on the table saw and having that small gap meant that after the top was cut off, when it was re-positioned back on the box, it would sit properly. As it turned out, we ended up with little bit bigger gap than expected, which simple meant we had to make another very small cut on the table saw so that we eliminated that gap between the bottom part and top part of the box.
Grex P650 2'' Headless Pin Nailer
If there is one critical point to making these little boxes, it's that area on the back of the box where you might want to install hinges. This was the reason we wanted a small gap in the front when we cut the top off. We could see that when we cut the the top off we would be slicing into a couple of the 3/4" strips along the back, which gave us a bit more surface to install hinges. We don't expect this box to get a lot of use opening and closing, but we still wanted the hinges and the top to be firmly attached.
This was a fun project to make, and if you make one NOW, you will have it ready for the next time you are invited to a function where you may want to bring along a gift ... but be aware ... you will be showing off you woodworking expertise so don't be too surprised if you don't come away with some orders for woodwork products too ...
Copyright - Colin Knecht