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D.I.Y. recipe box

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D.I.Y. recipe box

I made a recipe box to give away as a Christmas present:


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The first step was to make the sides. These were made as two separate parts, a smaller one for the top and a larger one for the bottom. I glued the contrast wood (pine in this case) onto the main parts, then used a thicknesser to bring the top and bottom to the same thickness.


The next step was to cut these sides so they interlocked perfectly. I took some offcuts of the sides, and slowly tweaked the setup of my table saw (height and distance from blade to fence) to dial in the perfect setup. I  actually had to do this twice, as on my first attempt I went past the ideal stage and so ruined my offcuts! Two passes per piece, one with the wood flat and one with it standing up, cut out the perfect notch. I intentionally cut it a fraction tight, then after assembly I used some sandpaper to work at each edge to get the fit absolutely perfect.


You can see the notches in this picture:


MicrosoftTeams-image (16).jpg


Once the sides had their notches, I placed them together and taped down both sides with some extra wide painters tape. I then went back to the table saw, and cut the sides to length, with the blade at 45 degrees to get the mitre. I also cut a groove in the bottom piece to allow a floating bottom, and a notch in the top to allow the top to be inserted.


Once all of this was done, and the top and bottom were cut to size, I did my first round of sanding. I sanded all inside surfaces, and the outside of the bottom. I did it before assembly, as it's easy to use an orbital sander to sand at this point, but after assembly it would require hand sanding, which would take far longer and be far more fiddly! 


Then it was time for assembly! I assembled the top and bottom separately, to ensure I didn't accidentally glue them together! I used corner clamps I made using 3D printed corners and ratchet straps, to pull all four corners together tightly, to get the best possible mitre. I inserted the floating bottom while I was doing this glue-up, but waited until the top sides were glued together, before tweaking the fit of the top piece and gluing it in. I also glued in the centre divider once the bottom was glued.


Next up were the mitre splines - I used a jig I had already made to cut the slots on my table saw, with a flat ground blade. Using the table saw and band saw I fashioned the splines, then hammered them in with some glue. I used a Japanese hand saw to cut the splines almost flush, then sanded the outside of the box on all sides, to get down to flush. I did this with the lid on, to ensure the lid lined up perfectly with the sides.


MicrosoftTeams-image (15).jpg


Finally, I made the handle. Similarly to the sides, I first glued the contrast wood to the main part of the handle. Then I used a combination of hand saw and bench top sander to bring the contrast wood flush with the main part. I then used the table saw to cut the angles, including the groove in the top of the handle that holds the recipe card up, while you cook. I glued the handle to the top using wood glue, but used the old trick of a few drops of super glue to act as a clamp, as it was hard to get any normal clamping pressure on it.


I gave everything a final sanding, then finished with food-grade mineral oil and then butchers block conditioner. This is the same way I'd finish a cutting board - completely food safe - so that if you want to, you could eat off it! After the finish had set a bit, I wrapped the box and gave it away to a very happy family member!

Retired Team Member
Retired Team Member

Re: D.I.Y. recipe box

Another fantastic project @bullfrogchamps!


I am loving the contrast pieces that really make your fine craftsmanship shine. I am sure your family member was extremely appreciative of the time and hard work you put into this gorgeous recipe box. 


Looking forward to seeing your next creative project. 




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