Keepsake Box: Episode 2

Keepsake Episode 2 Keyframe

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The next step is to size the top and bottom in preparation for cutting the grooves and rebates in their edges. Paul uses a cutting gauge to minimise damaging the edge when using the plough plane. The rim is planed before the sides and ends are grooved to receive the lid. Then the optional housings for the divider can be cut and the sides can be rounded. The final step before gluing up is to cut the pins flush with the main body of the box.

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  1. bytesplice on 31 May 2017 at 3:23 pm

    This is the first project that doing a prototype build-along, and Paul has saved me a great frustration: since I’ve never done a box where the top has to be cut-apart, it never occurred to me how difficult it would be to separate a dry fit without damaging the sides!

  2. Farred on 1 June 2017 at 5:47 am

    I was wondering how Paul would do the rounding. A bit more satisfying than hogging it off with a belt sander 🙂

  3. stevenrey56 on 2 June 2017 at 4:37 am

    That plow plane trick on end grain was brilliant!

  4. jakegevorgian on 3 June 2017 at 3:17 am

    Don’t be fooled by the size of this box.

    Paul, I think this piece could be used for final exam 🙂

    I love the complexity of it!

  5. larryl49 on 6 June 2017 at 8:28 pm

    Hi enjoying this one, not only the content, also observing the tools in the back ground, in the cupboard and on the bench, that’s one classy looking cutting gauge you have.
    Regards Larry.

  6. bigaxe on 13 June 2017 at 8:15 pm

    I bought a plough plane and it is one of my favourite tools. I find it easier to use than a power router to cut grooves. But occasionally I get a board that wants to tear badly when I cut a groove. I notice Lee Valley sells a left handed version of the plough plane which would allow me to cut in the opposite direction. It is fairly expensive. Is it a worth while purchase or is there an easier work arround ??

    • Marc D on 14 June 2017 at 12:44 am

      Check Derek Cohen’s website… he puts a small back bevel in the cutters which eliminates tearout. I’ve done the same to my straight and bead blades with excellent results.

    • Philip Adams on 14 June 2017 at 3:52 pm

      A lot of plough planes are reversible by removing the fence and placing it on the other side. Might be a little easier on the wallet.

    • Edmund on 14 June 2017 at 5:21 pm

      Or you can do as Paul has done many times — cut the edges of the groove with, say, a marking gauge. That way, the tear-out won’t get outside the groove, and if the bottom of your groove is a bit ugly, who cares? It’s not a show surface, and the quality of the groove is not affected by the texture of its bottom

    • Michael Ostrander on 17 July 2017 at 4:17 am

      As Phil mentioned, I have a Stanley #45 that I like a lot. I’m also left handed so I simply did as Phil explained. I flipped the fence to the other side and now I have a left handed #45. Works great!

  7. Hugh Roche Kelly on 20 October 2017 at 6:29 pm

    A question about the cutting gauge.
    Would the veritas marking/cutting gauge Paul reviewed before on the blog (here provide enough of a cut to prevent tear out from the plough plane? I don’t have either a cutting or the veritas plane, but I get the impression the cutting gauge Paul uses in this video makes a slightly deeper cut than the circular cutters on the veritas. (I may be very wrong on that of course!)

    I’m eying the veritas gauge as it is a bit easier to find here on mainland europe than trying to get a mortice gauge AND a cutting gauge online- I just have a single point marking gauge at the moment. Would be nice to know if it can multi task to be an effective cutting gauge as well…

    As always thanks for the videos, aiming to get the keepsake box done as a christmas present this year.

    • Peter Bernhardt on 22 October 2017 at 1:31 am

      Hugh, I have the Veritas gauges and a nice Colen Clenton cutting gauge. I used the cutting gauge on the top/bottom and the Veritas gauge for the sides to prevent tear out on either sides of the groove. The cutting gauge cuts deeper, but the Veritas did the job for me on a pine version of this box. For hard woods, I suspect a marking gauge may not do as well.

      Great minds think alike – I’m working on a batch of these boxes for Christmas, too. 😉

  8. Peter Bernhardt on 22 October 2017 at 1:18 am

    Even after carefully measuring and cutting the top/bottom, expect to do quite a bit of fine tuning to get a good fit. Patience is mandatory. 😉

  9. chaywesley on 20 November 2017 at 1:56 pm

    I feel like I missed something here… According to the cut-list, the top and bottom pieces are to be 5/8″ thick, but this episode (and also the drawing) shows centering a 3/16″ groove around the edges of the top and bottom pieces, leaving 3/16″ on either side of the groove. That adds up to a total thickness of 9/16″. Did I miss some step where the thickness of the top/bottom was reduced from 5/8″ to 9/16″?

    • Philip Adams on 30 November 2017 at 2:42 pm

      That extra 1/16″ on the cutting list can be put down to surface planing I think. Otherwise, just make sure to do as Paul did, and set the plow 3/16″ from the inside face so that any excess goes to the outside. All the best.

  10. ted clawton on 26 April 2018 at 6:17 am

    What is the teeny-tiny saw Paul uses to cut the nubs? Brand and make?

  11. Allen Schell on 2 June 2019 at 8:20 pm

    Is this website incredibly slow sometimes?

  12. Jeffrey Light on 11 August 2019 at 4:50 pm


    I am confused about what is actually done with the top and bottom pieces in regards to the interior measurements and adding the 3/4”, because If all the pieces are made to the correct lengths, etc., then there is no adjustments needed.
    When I cut the grooves in the top and bottom, I made a catastrophic error and I am unable to determine why.
    Thank you

    • Izzy BergerTeam Member on 13 August 2019 at 4:06 pm

      Hi Jeffery,

      Paul says:
      The ¾” is to facilitate the tongue aspect of the top and bottom going into the grooves ⅜” each side or end.

      Kind Regards,

  13. Kris Williams on 5 September 2019 at 12:53 pm

    What did people use to get the curve radius? I don’t have a compass big enough.

    • Izzy BergerTeam Member on 9 September 2019 at 2:45 pm

      Hi Chris,

      Paul suggests using a long thin piece of wood with an awl holding this in place at the far end, you can then use your pencil against the other end to create a radius.

      To see this in action, you can view it on Paul’s ‘Tuesday Tips’ on Instagram stories (it is the 28th clip in).

      Kind Regards,

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