The bandsaw box

September 10, 2021 | By Jim Stovall | Filed in: journalism.

The bandsaw box offers woodworkers a project that begins with a basic simplicity of design and procedure and then offers the woodworker a wide range of creative possibilities.

The bandsaw box begins with a slab of wood. It can be a single piece or different pieces of wood glued together. Then. with a series of clever cuts — usually made on a bandsaw but not always — this piece of wood is turned into a small box with a single or set of pull-out drawers. The procedure of making a bandsaw box allows the woodworker to hide many of the cuts so that it can be difficult for the viewer to figure out exactly how the box was made.

The bandsaw box can come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, as you can see with the examples on this page.

Recently, I have been been on a spree of making bandsaw boxes and trying to be as creative with them as possible. Each of the ones pictured on this page uses various woods and offers a different style, but they all were made by the same procedure.

The Cherry-Apple Two-drawer. This box is shaped like an apple, but the wood on its front is wild cherry — thus, the name. The box has a mixture of wood: cherry, pine, redwood, and maybe another one or two types. This box would be a great gift for the teacher in your life.

The Elegant Leaner. The straight lines of this box go slightly askew but still make for a beautiful and interesting piece for your desk or mantle. The box is made from a mixture of red and white woods — wild cherry on the front — that will set it apart from anything that is near it. The large-than-usual drawer can contain a substantial number of small items.

The Tennessee-Etcetra. This beautiful but simple and elegant box is made from Tennessee red cedar and is finished with a Danish oil stain topped with several coatings of lacquer. This box can stand proudly on the desk of any business executive and is sure to be noticed and commented on. A useful divided drawer makes this the perfect gift.

The Montpelier. This impressive box with its Old World look and gentle contours uses walnut as its main wood with both vertical and horizontal inlays to give it a distinctive look that will arrest the attention of any viewer. It’s a three-drawer box, two shallow and one deep that can hold a variety of items for the office, den, or bedroom.

The Ocean Breeze. Look at this pine box with a redwood backing, and you can just feel the ocean breeze and hear the pounding of the surf. You can easily get swept away by this one. Make someone’s day brighter with this box and its generous divided drawer.

The AlphaCedar box


This week’s bandsaw box is the AlphaCedar. The box is all cedar, and I have left some of the inside drawers unfinished so that the cedar aroma will still be present. The only non-cedar parts of the box are the drawer pulls, which are quarter-inch plywood and provide a contrasting color for the box. The pulls were cut out with a scrollsaw rather than a bandsaw. The box is 3.5 inches by 3.5 inches at the base and 6 inches tall. The inside of the lower draw is 1.5 inches deep by 1 inch wide by 2.25 inches long. It would make a great desk accessory for holding those small items that are constantly cluttering the surface.

White ties and tail

This adorable kitten is dressed up and ready for an elegant evening out. The wood on the front and back is cherry, and the interior is pine; the bows are poplar.

This bandsaw box has two drawers, a small top one and a larger one below that has a divided interior.

This one took some careful sawing, lots of glue, endless sanding—and luck that it would all hold together.

A great gift for a cat lover.

A teapot with a secret

This teapot isn’t for making tea, but it could be good for storing some tea bags.

And its secret inner shelf could be ideal for hiding that special one-of-a-kind tea bag that you don’t want anyone else to grab.

This week’s bandsaw box has a walnut front and mixture of woods inside. It sports a coat of Danish oil that enhances the beauty of the walnut and is topped off with several coats of lacquer to give it something of a shine.

Pull the drawer all the way out and look at the back of it, and you will find a secret shelf. No one will guess it’s there unless you let them know about it.

The rich cedar kid

This bandsaw box is all beautiful, sweet-smelling cedar—all cut from trees in East Tennessee—and is “rich” because it has one deep pocket. The draw in this box will hold a ton of stuff, and it will sit elegantly on someone’s desk or bureau on its own curved legs. Simplicity is the word for this box. The finish is Danish oil to deepen the color and lacquer to make it shine. This box will never be in the poorhouse.


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