Learn How to Make a Bandsaw Box in a Day

Bandsaw boxes are a fun way to exercise your imagination and it all starts with a simple block of wood.

Follow along to learn how to make bandsaw boxes.

bandsaw box
Boxes and photos via wooden-box-maker.com

Start with a block

block of wood

You can use all one species or glue up several together. I like contrast so I usually use several species. Begin by drawing the design on the wood. You can see from the photo that I tried out a couple designs before I settled on one I liked.

Begin cutting

Next take your block to the bandsaw and cut along your line. Cut as smoothly as you can. There is a lot of sanding involved and the smoother your cut the better.

Then cut 1/4” off the back of your box-to-be. This will allow you to cut out the drawers.

box cutout

Make the drawers

Now you need to draw your drawers on the wood. Remember that you will need entrance and exit points. I decided to use just one point for both entrance and exit.

Also keep in mind the radius you can make with the blade you are using. Sweeping curves are much easier than sharp corners.

box drawers

Now return to the bandsaw and again cut along your lines. Go especially slowly around the corners. These cuts will be hard to sand so again keep a steady hand.

If you want to round over the drawer fronts, now is a good time to do it, before you actually cut the drawer front from the block.

round over edges

Once your round over is done, cut 1/4” off both the front and the back of each drawer. This will leave you with blocks that you will cut the drawer openings from.

drawer pieces

I like to make the bottom of the drawers flat so I put the odd shaped drawer back in the box and drew a couple of reference lines. By putting the drawer block back in the box, I get a better sense of where the horizontal lines need to be.

drawer cut outs

Then I cut out the openings as drawn. You can see how the long drawer pieces go back together in the bottom right photo.

cut out drawer

Sand and glue

Before gluing the backs and fronts back onto the drawer blocks, you should do whatever sanding you want done inside the drawers. It is much easier to do it now before everything is closed up. Be careful, however, not to round over any edges that are going to be glued. I often make a light mark to show where it’s safe to sand.

While you’re prepping for gluing, you can also sand the inside of box itself. Again, be careful not to over-sand. You want your drawers to fit easily within the opening, but you don’t want to sand off so much you end up with sloppy drawers.

Once you’re all sanded go ahead and glue back and front onto the drawer pieces and the back onto the box itself. Don’t hold back on the clamps!

box glue up

When the glue is dry, it’s time for the final sanding. Be patient and work your way through the grits. I usually end with 220 or higher.

Finishing up

Once you’re through sanding, you are ready to choose drawer pulls. You can make your own or use commercial ones.

finishing bandsaw box

Then you are ready to finish your box. I like to use wipe-on poly. It goes on easily and builds up a nice sheen without looking like plastic. It takes several coats to get the best look, so be patient.

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