Tabletop shelf/box

Jenni wanted a shelf in the kitchen to organize things a little better and I wanted to make different kinds of boxes. That’s how this came to be.

I’m a beginner woodworker and always on the lookout for new projects that I can use as an excuse to learn new skills, and let’s be honest, to buy new tools. For this project I ended up buying a new blade for my table saw. One that has teeth with flat tips to make a flat cut, so that the finger joints fit snugly.

I also made a new tool, or as they call it in woodworking, a jig. I made a crosscut sled for my table saw, and that was very useful in making the 232 cuts for the finger joints on this box. That required some patience since you have to set things up correctly, make sure the sides are properly aligned, and not make adjustments until you’ve made all the cuts. I used some scraps to make a few joints, and messed that up a bit, but that led to this working out fine. Although at one point I dropped one of the sides and broke a couple of the end finger joints on it. I made sure they were on the back when I put it all together. 😉

Finger joint detail

Jenni picked the interior color. The paint company called it Salmon. I constructed the whole box before applying paint, so that step was a little awkward, but it turned out alright. Lesson learned, I think. We decided to keep the plywood edges showing, so I ended up finishing those, and the exterior, with some clear satin polyurethane. Oh, the material was baltic birch plywood, which as you can see has a lot of layers.

Many parts of this were great learning experiences. Not all joints came out equally well but they were acceptable. Making the crosscut sled took longer than making this box but it was totally worth it. I’d been wanting to make one for a while and I look forward to using it for many projects to come.