Weston Middle School

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Weston, Massachusetts
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Grade 8 Design-Constructiont-Mitered Box Project

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Day Class Notes Activities Materials

Discuss options with cover; edge treatments, dividers

Demonstrate use of miter saw on small wood



  • Box
  • Fine Finish
  • Decorative element
  • Mortised hinges
  • Pull or knob

Show Sample Boxes

Gallery of Artist Boxes

Box Profiles

Cover Types:

  • Flush cover
  • Recessed cover in dado-with picture
  • Recessed cover in Dado+ layers
  • Drop-In Cover+ Handle

Techniques: Using a miter saw; cutting a rabbett

  • 4"x 4' x 1/2" Aspen or poplar
  • 1/4" plywood or strapping, glued up
  • Glue
  • Stains
  • Milk Paint
  • Polyurethane
  • Brushes
  • Hinges
  • Latches
  • 3/8" feet

Stains- Introduce stain application

Stain wood



Demonstrate mark-up and cutting of sides- mark length, sktch in angles

Review use of miter saw.

Demonstrate use of router to make rabbetts.

  • Rip wood to width- 2", 3", 3.5"
  • Rout rabbett for bottom cover, 1/4" groove for picture-frame top cover
  • Cut sides to length using miter saw
  • Optional: Mark angles if multiple-sided
  • Cut sides with miter saw , matching opposite sides
  • (Rabbet top and bottom for covers)

Assign cleanup jobs

Do not cut short pieces, then miter- it is always easier to cut a short piece off of a long piece hat act on structures

Alternate to mitered joints- pinned rabbeted joint (see Stowe Article)


Demonstrate glue-up of box using picture-frame clamp- size joints with diluted glue, then use straight glue.

Demonstrate use of bandsaw- mark line, cut relief cuts, work your way in

Explain progression of grits

Demonstrate gluing of covers

  • Clean up joints
  • Sand sides
  • Tape-up sides
  • Sand and plane flat
  • Mark up cover stock to fit + extra
  • Cut cover stock with bandsaw
  • Sand with random orbit sander--80-150-220 grit
  • Glue on covers with bar clamps using woodglue- take care that clamps put pressure over sides, not middle

Bandsaw Safety Form

Option: Glue up sides and covers in one operation- helps maintain flatness





Demonstate safe use of router

Demonstrate use of plane.

Demonstrate doweling technique.

Demonstrate use of drill press.

  • Trim most excess wood with bandsaw
  • Trim cover flush with sanding block or flush trim bit
  • demonstrate router safety
  • Mark location of cover cut
  • Cut box open on table saw( teacher)
    Sand/Plane edges
  • Add pull or handle-dowel in place
 Router Safety Form
   Demonstrate cutting a hinge mortise.
  • Final sanding
  • Mortise hinges
 Sanding Tips by Norton Abrasives Company

Videos: Cutting a Hinge Mortise

  • Mark holes for feet
  • Drill holes for 3/8" feet with Forstner bit, glue in place
  • Sand
  • Glue lining onto bottom
  • Add acrylic base colors
  • Print design
  • Transfer to box with carbon paper
  • Etch design into wood with woodburning tool
  • Finish with acrylics or dye-stains; gold leafing with size; add polyurethane gloss(2-3 coats) using buffing pad between coats
  • Optional: 1/8" pine lining
  • Add paper lining or acrylics or flocking to inside
  • Install hinges; adjust
  • Add latch or pin


World of Boxes

How to Design Beautiful Boxes by Doug Stowe

Video- Nested lid cover

Box Planning Sheet

Mitered Boxes by Matt Kenney
Revised August 2015  by Jonathan Dietz, dietzj@weston.org