Free wooden box plans

Wooden boxes have been used for thousands of years to hold different kinds of valuable possessions. Small wooden boxes have always been used for storing jewelry, money and other valuables. Large wooden boxes were used in the past as a piece of furniture for storing clothes, bedding, other different items and food. Wooden boxes are still being used, and they have great practical use – from purely functional, to its aesthetic and artistic use. People use them to keep various things, and they are often custom-made, like jewelry boxes, candle boxes, knife boxes, desk boxes, cigar boxes... Wooden box is an ideal object to decorate it. This can be done in various techniques, and they can also be made in the unusual art forms. For this reason, boxes usually represent a decoration, or even a work of art. As such, wooden boxes can serve as an ideal gift, or they can be used for luxury packaging, or as the promotional gifts – both private and commercial ones.

Besides the fact, that making boxes is a real pleasure, this is also a good opportunity to practice different types of woodworking techniques. If the boxes you plan to make should serve only as the storage for redundant stuff in the basement or for tools in the workshop, their manufacture is not some big challenge. But if you want to make a decorative box, which will stand on a prominent place in your home, that is a completely different story. You need to have knowledge and experience to make quality decorative boxes. As a general rule, the more woodworking techniques you know and apply, the better your boxes will be. Your wooden boxes will become real pieces of art, if you apply on it different types of woodworking techniques, such as carving, marquetry, wood finishing, etc. One of the main reasons why manufacture of the wood boxes is so widespread is because there are so many types of boxes, and the design process is also remarkably interesting.

Antique style jewelry box plan Decorative embroidery box plan Wooden puzzle box plan
Antique style jewelry box plan Embroidery box plan Wooden puzzle box plan
     
Sliding lid box plan Wooden spice box plans Ball puzzle box plan
Sliding lid box plans Wooden spice box plans Ball puzzle box

There are many variations that can be used for the box manufacture. Designing of wooden decorative boxes requires taking numerous things into account, and that is why design is one of the most interesting phases of the box making.

These are just a few of them:
- Purpose of the box determines its dimensions,
- shape of the box,
- wood selection,
- selection of woodworking joints,
- selection of tools and machines that will be used,
- should it have a lid, hinged lid...
- should there be a metal hinge, or a hand-carved wood hinge, will they be visible or hidden,
- what kind of finish will be used,
- should some decorative technique such as carving, marquetry, scroll saw, etc. be used.

As you can see, there are plenty of possibilities. . For beginners, the main limitation in box manufacture is experience in woodworking techniques required for particular box model. The conclusion is that numerous techniques used in box making are actually high-quality exercise of the different woodworking techniques.

There are numerous boxes with different purposes: jewelry boxes, glove boxes, spice boxes, letter boxes…, and each of them can have a different geometric shape or dimension, different type of woodworking joints... So, the possibilities are almost endless.

For the box manufacture you can use many types of woods like cherry, walnut, alder, mahogany, tropical woods…. Of course, purchase tropical woods from a source that practices sustainable yield forest management.  Some box types require a certain type of machines for their manufacture, according to which they are actually named- turned boxes, scroll saw boxes, band saw boxes, routed boxes… The technique you want to apply determines choice of wood. For example, if the preparation requires the scroll saw technique, maple or red oak wood will not be the good choice for the beginners, because they are difficult to cut, and if you want your wooden box to look attractive, you should choose a wood with a nice texture... Selection of the wood type is very important, when you are making decorative boxes – the proper choice of wood and the finish can virtually turn an unnoticeable box into the fantastic ornament for your house. Unlike furniture making, the box manufacture does not require a large amount of wood. If you select some pieces of wood with a small knot or a burl, the look of your box will become unique and unusual. It is important to use well-dried wood for the box manufacture. Since you are making decorative objects, you should pay attention to the quality of the treated surfaces before the assemblage. It is recommended to do the sanding and the finish the insides before assembly.

When designing a box you can consider using different types of woodworking joints. There are various criteria that will be your guide. If you produce large quantities of the same type of the box, then the efficiency is very important to you, so you should use woodworking joints which can be made quickly and easily with the power tools, like the butt woodworking joints, rabbet woodworking joints... If you are making some type of decorative box, it is quite important to complement the woodworking joints with the decoration of the box, so you can use a variety of decorative woodworking joints for this purpose, like dovetail joints, box joints, miter joint reinforced with feather spline and many other decorative woodworking joints. The woodworking joints often need to be invisible. For this purpose you can use miter joint reinforced with spline, miter joint, mitered rabbet joint, mitered lick rabbet joint, etc.

You can make exceptionally beautiful boxes using just the hand tools but every box maker nowadays has at least two basic power tools in his workshop – the table saw and belt sander. These tools significantly accelerate the box manufacture, providing high quality of the boxes you make, and still leave a plenty of space for the hand work.     
   
Box making allows you to indulge in a very nice hobby, or a business, without large expense, since it does not require large amounts of wood, or some expensive investments. In most cases, you are limited only with your skills, knowledge, patience and sense of beauty.

If you are serious about box making, it will be good for you to learn some of the decorative woodworking techniques like marquetry, carving or woodburning. You will get a nice box with a good design and the finish, but only with the application of decorative woodworking techniques you will get unique boxes, which will certainly differ from other boxes on the market, since you gave them your personal signature.

Wood is a beautiful material, so when you are making the box, you should not hide but accent its beauty. There are many techniques that can be used for the box making. Each box maker decides which finish he is going to use. If you are interested to learn as many finishing techniques as possible, check out the books in the wood finishing books category.