Dovetail Utensil Box

Date Published: 2013-12-03

Dovetail Utensil Box cover image

This is a dovetail box that I made for the purpose of holding utensils in my kitchen, such as large spoons, ladles, spatulas and the like. It was also to practice making hand-cut dovetails and finishing. The dovetails were all made with nothing more than a saw and chisels and a marking template I made as my first attempt at woodworking a few months back. I also made a tiny square to check them for square as I went. It’s not perfect, and I have some gaps and splitting on a couple of the joints, but all in all I’m happy with how it turned out as my first ‘real’ project (real in this case meaning ‘not a tool to be used to make other projects’).

The cross beams are just half-lapped together with square notches cut into the sides for them to rest in (again with a saw and chisels). It’s all held together by wood glue, and only wood glue. The bottom was actually made from two boards that I jointed by hand and glued together, then I glued the whole thing to the sides. I’m not too worried about wood expansion, as it’s only 8” long, but hopefully it doesn’t pop off at some point down the road. If it does, I could always dowel it into the base and hope that’d hold better.

I finished it with two coats of shellac that I mixed myself from flakes. It seems to have worked out well, despite a couple bumps I still need to sand off. This is also my first attempt at finishing a project. Sorry for the lack of progress photos. I didn’t have my phone on me while I was making most of this project. I’ll try to keep a better log on the next one. Lots of learning going on. Next stop: breadboard ended cutting board town.