Joining the future

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The fanciest joinery in the world isn’t always the best choice for a particular project. Sometimes simpler is better.

Back in 1992 I needed a small box to enclose a gift for my wife. I didn’t have anything even close to the right size and so decided to make one, figuring the size would be exact and a wooden box would be nicer anyway.

I didn’t have much time, and for the purpose I needed it, it just didn’t have to be my absolute best – what it contained, after all, would be the gift, not the box. Still, I wanted it nice and this is what I came up with.

That’s some 1/4" oak I had on hand. I cut the parts to size, glued it up with simple butt joints, clamped it up for maybe 20 minutes, and then rounded the corners on a disc sander. The whole project, including the glueup, took slightly more than a half hour. Yes, it was a quick and dirty project, but it came out nice and was perfect for its intended use.

And yet, here it is 23 years later. The gift that was in it is long gone, but Sally uses this box on her dresser to hold jewelry. (Yes, she has a larger jewelry box, but uses this one on a day-to-day basis.)

Had I known Sally would use this little box for nearly a quarter century then, sure, I’d have done some fancier joinery. The point here is that even though the box is scuffed up a bit from years of use, the oft-maligned butt joinery in this quick-and-dirty project is just as strong as the day I made it.

A.J.

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