Inlayed Square & Oval Boxes


Don't we just all love to have little boxes to keep our special things in, whether it be a piece of jewelry, cufflinks or just your loose change!


Making small boxes with the Scrollsaw could not be easier and it's also a great way of using up those small pieces of leftover wood, here we have used Tulipwood and Walnut.


1.  Getting started. First make two copies of each lid pattern and one each of the box sides, prepare the wood by sanding both surfaces.

Attach the side pattern to 25mm thick wood and the lid underside lip pattern to one of the 6mm pieces of wood, leaving two 6mm pieces one of a contrasting colour for the actual lid


2.  With a 3mm drill bit fitted into the pillar drill, drill the blade entry holes within the box sides and the lid underside lip pattern


3.  Attach a No. 5 blade to the Scrollsaw and cut out only the inner compartments of the box at this time


4. Returning to the corners to remove the waste.

Remove the bur with a fine 320 grit sandpaper and clean away dust


5.  Apply glue to the underside of the box sides and spread out evenly with an old artist brush


6.  Flip the box over and attach the box sides to the box base, push down firmly and wipe away any glue that oozes out within the compartments


7.  Protect the top of the box with a scrap pieces of ply and either clamp to secure or add a weight on top as we have


8.  While the body of the box is drying, make a start on the lid.

Use masking tape to stack together the remaining two pieces of wood, bearing in mind that the top piece (Walnut) will drop down into the lower piece (Tulipwood) to become ine inlay, attach the pattern to the top over the masking tape


9.  Before cutting the inlay you will need to establish the degree of angle you need to use to make a snug fit, the test pattern is an easy way of finding this.

You will need to use the same No.3 blade & thickness of wood that you intend to use on the actual piece (6mm).

Tilt the table down 3 degrees to the left, this is a good starting point, if you have a digital gauge so much the better as it is more actuate and takes out a lot of the guess work


10.  With the test pattern attached to the  two-piece stack, make the first cut in the direction of the arrow


11.  If the 3 degrees tilt is successful the lower piece will fall away and the top piece will fit sngly within the lower section.  If this is not the case try tilting the table 2.5 degrees for a tighter fit or 3.5 a degrees for a looser fit.


12.  Once you have determined the correct degree for you particular Scrollsaw, you can then tilt the pillar drill down towards the left by the same degree.  Then using a 1mm drill bit, drill the blade entry holes in the sharpest corners of the inlays making sure that the inlay that is to be cut out is on the left hand side as you drill.


13.  Cut out the inlays within the lid, making sure you that you start your cut from the right hand side, cutting towards the left.  Once all the inlays are cut out return the Scrollsaw table to the original position.


14.  Separate the two pieces of the lid, make sure the pieces of the inlay are seated nicely within the lower piece.

You can then disregard the top piece, which is no longer needed, but could easily be used as a decorative coaster!


15.  Remove the pattern and masking tape from the inlaid pieces


16.  Cut out the lid underside lip, by following the inner most line on the pattern.


17.  Clean up the inner corners, do not cut the outer edge at this time.



18.  Apply glue to the lid underside lip, spread out evenly along the edges, align and adhere to the underside of the lid, clamp to secure and then seyt to one side to dry.


19.  With the sides and base of the box dried, cut along the outside line of the pattern, this cut will then trim both the sides and base at the same time.


20.  Once the lid section has dried, cut the remaining outside line of the lid underside lip pattern, as with the sides this will trim the lid and the lip at the same time.


21.  Glue the inlay pieces into the lid, one at a time so as not to mix them up, use the glue sparingly and wipe away any excess before it dries.


22.  Handsand the sides and lid of the box smooth inside and out, round over the  edges to give a nice finished look.

To disguise the tiny blade entry holes, fill with a matching wood coloured wax stick by first making the wax soft , then rolling it into a very thin sausage and then remove the excess with a craft knife.


23.  The Oval Box is made in exactly the same way, but instead of the inlay being made of a contrasting wood, we used the same Tulipwood and then just painted the flower inlay using acrylic paints.


24.  To finish both Boxes apply a coat of Mat Varnish, allow to day and then give a nib down as it may have raised the grain slightly.

Lastly apply a clear Wax Polish and buff to a nice sheen.


Square Box - with inlaid abstract lid



Oval Box - with inlaid flower lid



Cutting List

Square Box

4 x 100mm x 100mm x 6mm ( 1 being of a contrasting wood )

1 x 100mm x 100mm x 25mm


Oval Box

3 x 155mm x 100mm x 6mm

1 x 140mm x 100mm x 6mm

1 x 140mm x 100mm x 25mm


Square Box - pattern

Oval Box - pattern

Print Print | Sitemap
© Pictures in Wood