Hand Tools, The Liquor Box
Comments 2

The Liquor Box, Part 4

A reminder that I built this project last year while I wasn’t blogging.

If you recall in my last Liquor Box post (see it here), I had the basic shell of the box fabricated. Due to my chosen joinery method for the interior dividers, I’ll need to make the dividers and fit them to the sides before I can glue everything together.

These dividers are another indicator that box making is different from furniture making due to the fact that box parts are smaller, more delicate things vs. the big honkin’ leg that can be found on a dining room table. Or even the top of a common side table. I chose mortise and tenon joinery for the dividers. The dividers are 1/4″ thick walnut and the tenon on one end is 1/4″ long and the opposite end is only 1/8″ long. Small tenons and equally small, shallow mortises.

Dividers with lots of tenons.

Cutting the mortises for this step is another reason for buying my Lie-Nielson small, closed throat router plane. I used it to fine tune the joinery in the box sides and top (here). But the needed mortises for the dividers were the real impetus for this purchase. Plus, as I consider what my hand tool collection should look like, both a small and a large router plane is on my wish list. Having a 1/4″ wide blade, this small router plane was ideal for this box; a small tool for small joinery.

The small router plane next to a cup of coffee.

Once layout was complete, I decided to make the needed mortises the old fashion way. Not only using a router plane, but the layout was completed using a marking knife and the initial cuts along the knifed lines were made with a sharp chisel.

After knifing the perimeter of the mortise, I use my chisel to better define the edges.
I make repeated passes with the router plane trimming away a small amount of wood with each pass.
A completed mortise, a second in progress.
Walnut divider stock includes some sapwood for visual interest.
Mortises complete and tenons formed. Time for a test fit.
All fits well.

This step was a lot of fun. I used a number of hand tools and the walnut combined with ash looks great.

Next will be final sanding of all walnut parts and the interior of the ash components and then I’ll glue everything together.

This entry was posted in: Hand Tools, The Liquor Box


During the week, I sell flooring products for TDG Floors. Weekends, you'll find me in my basement workshop making furniture.


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