2 Fast Ways to Build a Box
Think out of the box to simplify a rabbeted lid
Synopsis: Bill Nyberg uses two innovative methods to simplify a common project — a decorative box with a rabbeted lid. The traditional way is to build a solid box, cut off the lid on the tablesaw, and then use a bearing-guided rabbetting bit to rout a rabbet on the inside of one piece and the outside of the other. But the fitting process for this method is tedious, so Nyberg came up with two ways to streamline the process. The first method allows you to cut one of the rabbets before the box is assembled. The second method, which he calls “the inside-out box,” turns the whole process on its ear. Once you try it, you may never make a box the “old” way again.
One of the challenges of building a small, decorative box is deciding how to align and attach the top to the base. The most common way is hinges, but they can be time-consuming and fiddly to install. The simple rabbet joint works fine and leaves an attractive, clean look, but it can be troublesome, too.
The traditional method is to create a solid box, cut off the lid on the tablesaw, and then use a bearing-guided rabbeting bit to rout a rabbet on the inside of one piece and the outside of the other. you finish the joint by either squaring or rounding one set of corners and finessing the joint for a good fit. Simple to explain, harder to accomplish. Cleaning up and fine-tuning the inside rabbet is tedium defined, and is done mostly by hand-sanding. I’m sure that’s what kept my father, Helge nyberg, an extremely accomplished woodworker, from using a rabbet joint on anything but the fanciest box. The joint is seductive, however.
My cousin Carl taught me a way to…