How to Make a Wood Keepsake Box

In the video “Building a Modern Pencil Box,” Billy Newton from Newton Makes takes viewers through the process of creating an elegant, modern pencil box.

This project aims to gather all those scattered pencils into one beautifully crafted container, using contrasting wood species for a striking visual effect.

Billy starts by selecting his materials, deciding on an outer shell made from Sycamore and a drawer from a darker wood. After considering his options, he chooses a piece of chocolate ebony for its rich color and unique grain. His meticulous attention to detail and thoughtful material selection set the stage for a high-quality build.

One of the key techniques Billy employs is using miters for the box’s construction. He creates a custom jig with MDF and CA glue to ensure precise, safe cuts. This setup not only improves safety but also enhances the accuracy of the miters, crucial for the box’s seamless appearance.

As the project progresses, Billy demonstrates the importance of careful assembly and glue management. Despite a minor setback with dried glue in the corners, his perseverance pays off, resulting in perfectly aligned seams. He highlights the lesson learned: always remove excess glue before it dries to avoid tedious clean-up later.

The drawer’s construction features a book-matched bottom made from glued ebony pieces, adding a touch of sophistication. Billy’s choice of ebony for the drawer contrasts beautifully with the Sycamore shell, achieving the desired modern aesthetic.

For the handle, Billy experiments with brass, testing its adhesion to the ebony using CA glue. His thorough testing ensures the handle’s durability, ultimately deciding to go with this method for its strength and ease of use.

Billy finishes the box with a matte lacquer, a departure from his usual finishes, to maintain the modern look. The final product boasts clean lines, a striking contrast between the Sycamore and ebony, and a sleek, modern design.

“Building a Modern Pencil Box” is an inspiring and educational video for woodworkers of all levels. Billy’s clear instructions, innovative techniques, and eye for design make this project both accessible and rewarding. His expertise and enthusiasm encourage viewers to get into their shops and create something exceptional.

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