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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 10:17 pm 
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Hi,

A total noob here.
I want to start building some very simple wooden boxes.
I plan to start with butt joinery first as it seems to be easier and more forgiving for less expensive and less accurate tools.

What kind of joinery would you recommend? Ideally if it's easy and decorative at the same time.
I have a router, table saw and mitre saw (all budget type).
The boxes will be made of softwood timber 33x44. The size of the box will be about A4.
Can plexiglass or other transparent plastic be used to decorate wooden boxes?


I want to build game controllers like this one:
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Thanks


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2017 10:47 pm 
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Again the same topic which has already received several answers. Please do not start any more new threads on this topic.
I've merged this one again, but any further new threads on this topic may be deleted without further warning.
Please keep any more questions about these boxes to this thread here. Thanks.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:19 am 
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If I were to be mass producing such boxes I'd be looking at making a jig. Cutting the timber to within a few mm on the saw , fitting it in the jig and trimming with a top bearing cutter in the router. With the right guides the mitred edges could also be done easily and consistently.



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:47 am 
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Apologies for repeated posts.
As an update I've just ordered an Evolution Rage3S mitre saw and Evo Rage5S table saw + a mitre saw stand. All from Amazon as it was the best prize.
It's not top of the range of course but it all cost me about £430 and can be decently accurate when adjusted.

I will start with butt rub joints but will change later for decorative mitre joints.
My skills are non existent at this moment but got few friends in trade who are willing to help me.

Thank you for all the advices and patience :binky: :LoL:



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 10:44 am 
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Okay, just to get you thinking. You can buy prepared hardwood from here https://www.slhardwoods.co.uk/products/solid-timber/par It is pricey but it reflects the labour and amount of timber lost to planing down and thicknessing from sawn boards.

Here is a box making option http://www.rutlands.co.uk/sp+woodworkin ... lands+tr22 but you will need a table mounted router. I made a load of drawers using this cutter set as it gives a clean corner http://www.rutlands.co.uk/sp+woodworkin ... ands+tr307

Hope this helps

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 2:14 pm 
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I was thinking about buying pre cut hardwood but I may do it later when I will know more about building boxes. :read2:
I really like the look of splined mitre joints. I've seen some thin 4mm dark hardwood in BuildersDepot I can use for decorating.


Where would you suggest to get PAR softwood from? BuildersDepot seems to have very good prices.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 2:48 pm 
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Softwood will not generally lend itself to fine jointing as the grain is very fat and fibrous. To be fair most of the softwood in the warehouse outlets is quick grown stuff that is prone to warping. For the sort of project that you are considering good quality cabinet grade ply would be a better way forward. Find a good independent wood yard in your area and go and have a chat with them. They can source the right materials and cut up sheets for you.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 5:45 pm 
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I definitely want to avoid plywood for the construction. I don't like the look.
I've tried these boxes: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/A4-Wooden-document-box-case-hinged-lid-untreated-wood-magazine-storage-PZ200/262924642748?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&var=561926825768&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

I guess they are made of softwood.
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If I can make something similar but more compact and sturdy then it will be OK to start with.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 6:07 pm 
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I'd use hardwood for making anything decent. But as already said it costs more.
Decent "joinery quality" softwood is available from good timber merchants. It'll make better joints.
Birch ply for making anything decent. Much better edges, and general quality. You can get veneered birch ply with various species of veneer.
As always anything better quality is going to be more expensive.
As I said in an earlier post you can't easily use solid wood for inset tops on boxes where the grain of the sides runs opposite to that of the top.
A solid wood top will almost certainly shrink across the grain, whereas the solid wood side will shrink much less along the grain. You'll get a gap on the edges of the top. Ply is stable. It doesn't shrink any appreciable amount.
Remember that you don't really know how these will be used. They could get left next to a radiator, etc.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 8:34 pm 
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I can get oak hardwood for about £7 per metre in BuildersDepot but Oak has funny structure with pores.
Walnut would be nicer but more costly. I will use premium materials when my skills will improve.

Top and bottom will be made of 3mm birch plywood or combination of plywood and polycarbonate.
Only sides and inner frame will be made of solid wood. The inside of the box is 297mm x 210mm x 45mm. How much it will shrink?

Top and bottom will be removable and screwed to the inner frame in 4 corners. Small gap of 1mm is acceptable.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 9:09 pm 
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C1REX wrote:
I can get oak hardwood for about £7 per metre in BuildersDepot but Oak has funny structure with pores.
Walnut would be nicer but more costly. I will use premium materials when my skills will improve.

Top and bottom will be made of 3mm birch plywood or combination of plywood and polycarbonate.
Only sides and inner frame will be made of solid wood. The inside of the box is 297mm x 210mm x 45mm. How much it will shrink?

Top and bottom will be removable and screwed to the inner frame in 4 corners. Small gap of 1mm is acceptable.


Oak doesn't really have a "funny structure" It has more pronounced pores than many other timbers, not that noticeable in use. It's not a problem in use. It works quite well, and can take fine detail.
Hardwood / softwood refers to the species, generally deciduous for hardwood, coniferous for softwood incidentally. Not the properties of the timber.

Shrinkage varies, and there's no simple answer to "how much will this shrink", there are a lot of variables, species, moisture content, and air humidity where it's used all make a difference. Plenty about timber shrinkage online if you Google it.

200mm wide solid timber is going to shrink a bit across the grain though.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:08 am 
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C1REX wrote:
I guess it's easier to cross cut 3m long timber on a mitre/chop saw than on a table saw, especially with limited space.
When it comes to square cuts of smaller pieces I don't see how type of saw may affect the cuts. Both types of saw can be somehow accurate I think.

In the case of a professional table saw with a full sliding carriage then that is true, but the problem is always the massive amount of floor space it takes to handle timbers of any lengths (such as the 3 to 6 metres solid timber typically comes in). In the case of a small table saw with a mitre fence it most certainly isn't. Add to that the fact that it is very easy to set-up a length stop on a mitre saw back fence (or extended back fence for that matter) to ensure absolutely repeatability and you may then understand why professional joiners use a cross cut or mitre saw over a table saw almost every time they do a cross cut. What you have been watching is amateur, untrained woodworker (often American, I suspect) who often haven't a clue on how to set-up and make speedy, accurate production runs of identical components. There's a world of difference between how they approach the task and how a trade woodworker would tackle the job

The job you are undertaking is, in woodworking terms, fairly straightforward. If you buy-in lengths of pre-planed hardwood all you'll need is a cross cut saw (mitre saw), a home made back fence with length stops for that, a cordless drill/driver with possibly a router to edge route your boxes and to perhaps route rebates and/or grooves and maybe a disc sander to speed-up cleaning of the end grain of cross cuts. Your holes can be "drilled" using either a hole saw on a drill or using a plunge router, straight plunge cutter, guide bush and a home made template. The router solution will produce a cleaner edge of the two.

Stick to the basics at first. Work out how to build the basic box using cheap materials such as softwood and MDF. Make a few boxes. Work out where you've gone wrong (everybody makes mistakes) then, when you've sorted out your technique, make a hardwood box and figure out how to sand it, finish it, etc. At that point you'll be able to look t adding bells and whistles. Learn to walk before you try to run

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OK, I'm an "old school" chippie, so please don't ask me to do a bodge job - I didn't bring my horse today and in any case you don't seem to have a hitching rail!



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PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 10:34 am 
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unless its a one off its a non starter, ebay is full of arcade boxes and designs are all over the net no matter what you make it from, someone will under cut you, you have no usp tbh.

I can cnc cut boxes and there 100% repeatable


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 11:39 am 
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Perhaps so, but even when I ran a shop with a heavy industrial CNC router (a Biesse) there were still jobs which were cheaper or easier to do on either the pin routers or even at times with a a hand held router.

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OK, I'm an "old school" chippie, so please don't ask me to do a bodge job - I didn't bring my horse today and in any case you don't seem to have a hitching rail!


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 11:59 am 
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Job and Knock wrote:
Stick to the basics at first. Work out how to build the basic box using cheap materials such as softwood and MDF. Make a few boxes. Work out where you've gone wrong (everybody makes mistakes) then, when you've sorted out your technique, make a hardwood box and figure out how to sand it, finish it, etc. At that point you'll be able to look t adding bells and whistles. Learn to walk before you try to run


Making up some trial runs is essential if you're going to make batches IMHO.
As you say "everybody makes mistakes". Yup!
Better to have a couple of mistakes then 50 or 100.
Something else. I always make a drawing. Even for a box.
One thing is it sorts out any or all the dimensional problems. Another is when you come back to the job in a years time you don't need to start again. It helps you visualise the finished job as well. The drawing doesn't have to be complicated, or for anyone apart from yourself. You can use computer or pencil and paper.



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