Money Maker

Hands On

Volume 48/Issue 4

Project Articles
The Heirloom Cradle
The Spirit of St. Louis Toy Airplane
Making All-Purpose Wooden Boxes

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Owner’s Gallery
Letters from Owners

Academy Notes
Properties of Cabinet Lumber
Service Pointers
Bandsaw Service Pointers

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Shopsmith, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

Making all-purpose wooden boxes

Here's a great jig for making multiple boxes...and step-by-step instructions for making a simple 3" x 5" x 8" all-purpose box.

The next time you're faced with making several gifts for friends and/or relatives for the Holidays ...or any time of the year for that matter...consider the benefits of mass production techniques.

And the best way to reap the benefits of mass production is by using specialized jigs and fixtures that help you perform a variety of operations quickly and easily, with significant improvements in repeatability.

Since wooden boxes have always made popular gifts, we've developed this simple jig to quickly and easily make multiple box parts. The variations are endless. Choose different woods. Alter the sizes. Partition the interiors or not. Hinged or removable top. It's easy to make your boxes as individual as you like.

Start by building this easy-to-use jig...then use it to build the boxes of your choice.


  • This jig was designed to make boxes with 45-degree mitered corners.
  • Our example jig was originally built to work with a Model 500 Shopsmith MARK V. Dimensions will vary for Model 505, 510 and 520 you'll have to adjust the dimensions accordingly.

Making The Jig
1: Accuracy is essential
, so check all of your machine alignments before you get started.

2: Cut the guide strips (B). Make them out of a durable hardwood such as hard maple, oak or ash. Note that the width and thickness of these strips will vary from machine-to-machine, so be sure to measure your Miter Gauge slots carefully before cutting the strips.

3: Cut the plywood table (A) to size. We recommend that you use 3/4" plywood for stability. A high-quality, multi-layered Baltic Birch or Apple-Ply product without unsightly voids is best. Next, lay your guide strips (B) in the saw table slots, then lay your jig table on top of thee with the left edge of the jig table flush with the left edge of your saw table. Drive some small brads through the jig table top and into the guide strips. NOTE: Leave the brad heads protruding above the top of the jig table so you can remove them once you've permanently attached the table to the guide strips.

Attach the guide strips permanently to the plywood table with some short, flathead wood screws, driven up from the bottom. Use about three screws per strip and be sure to countersink their heads below the guide strip surface. Be sure to keep all screws away from the location of the groove you'll be cutting in Step 4, below.