Cedar friction-fit box

Building on the success of my pencil box, I wanted to see whether the cedar planks could be edge-glued. After cutting off the tongues and grooves of several planks, I managed to edge glue them together and keep them flat. If there are clamps designed to edge glue 1/4 inch stock and maintain them flat, I don’t have any so this part was a bit challenging.

After that, though, it was back to the box generator web site and a few minutes on the Glowforge. Because these were glued and I needed to remove the squeeze-out, the box is finished better on both sides than the last one. But, apart from sanding to 600 grit, it’s just paste-waxed with no other finish.

The box is sized to hold my Wood Identification Database - a stack of labeled veneers of all the species I was able to find from Ash to Zebrawood. The veneers would be a great Glowforge cutting project if I didn’t need them for identifying wood.

Added a shot with a square for scale. :wink:


Beautifully done. Perfect fit


That is a beautiful box.


Gorgeous. Wish I could smell it, but I guess I’ll settle for looking at pictures. Nice work!

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Thanks, everyone!

Indeed, it is. One of the things I like best about making stuff with the Glowforge is the precision. When I use the table saw and other shop tools I generally make things a bit small and sand until it fits because the precision of the tools is so coarse. With the laser I can specify the lid and bottom to within 0.01mm and actually get 0.01mm. That ability is transformative in how I approach projects now.

When you line a closet with aromatic cedar it has to be left unfinished to get the smell. Since I finished the box inside and out with paste wax, you aren’t missing anything. The pencil box in my other post is unfinished inside though, and it smells wonderful!


The cedar just looks gorgeous!

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I did something like this. 6 months later it fell apart because of the wood shrinking. Might be worth adding a little glue if you want it to stay together.

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Oops! I didn’t realize how ambiguous my title was. The “friction fit” in this case refers to the lid attaching to the box. The finger joints were cut a hair too small, then the laser burns sanded off which allowed them to fit, then the parts glued together. The lid fits so snugly that it stays on if I hold the box upside down with the stack of wood samples inside.

However, if I didn’t mind the laser burns it would be possible to cut the box to such tight specs that it would indeed fit together by friction alone. Until the seasons and humidity changed, anyway. As you rightly point out that’d alter the dimensions to make the joints precarious at best or fail completely.

Anyway, thanks for posting this. It reminds me I need to do a better job with my proofreading. When I was at IBM I had to get used to writing for a non-English speaking audience and trained hard to scrub all the American idioms from my articles and courseware. I’ve obviously gotten WAY too lazy. :wink: