How to Build a Box With a Band Saw

Make a simple gift box from a single block of wood

Make a nice little jewelry or knick-knack box from a block of wood and your band saw. You can cut it out in minutes and finish it in an hour.

By the DIY experts of The Family Handyman Magazine

Cut and assemble a band saw box

Here’s a quick project that family and friends will love as a gift: band saw boxes. In less than an hour of sawing, gluing and contour sanding, you’ll create a four-sided box and lid that looks almost seamless, all from a single piece of wood.

From a 4-in. wide x 3-in. thick x 18-in. long piece of wood (see photos), you can make one large box and two smaller ones. Give it a try!

  • Set the fence 3/8 in. from the band saw blade and cut both sides off the board. Be sure the board you’re cutting has 90-degree corners and the blade is 90 degrees to the table. Use a 10-teeth-per-inch (or more) blade to ensure smoothly cut, nearly invisible glue joints.
  • Flip the middle piece on its side and cut off another 3/8 in. slab for the lid.
  • Remove the fence, trace the contour of the inside of the box on the center piece and saw it out freehand. (Leave the ends and the bottom 3/8 in. thick like the sides and lid.)
  • Glue the sides back on to the inside piece, placing a clamp every few inches to create tight joints and glue seams that won’t show when dry.
  • Sand the glue joints, file and sand the box’s corners and edges to a desired shape, add a handle and apply finish. Turn the leftover, inner waste piece into two boxes. They’ll fit inside the larger box if you don’t add handles.

Finished Boxes and Assembly Details

Follow the numbers for the correct cutting order.

Finished boxes and cutting order
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Required Tools for this Project

Have the necessary tools for this DIY project lined up before you start—you’ll save time and frustration.

  • Wood glue
  • Clamps

Band saw

Required Materials for this Project

Avoid last-minute shopping trips by having all your materials ready ahead of time. Here's a list.

  • Sandpaper