Quick and Dirty Box Making Jig

What I truly love about bookbinding (woodworking, other crafts) is that there is always a chance to experiment, find some new tricks, small hacks and create strange jigs. Currently I’m working on a couple of large boxes (for dolls) designed to resemble books. The project brought me a lot of fun, and I plan to share all of it in time =)

Since the last year’s study at the American Academy of Bookbinding, I wanted to make myself special surface for making boxes. I like the method used by Sage Reynolds in his videos very much. However, a special surface seemed to be more handy and practical.

2016.07.29 - Surface with Edges for Box Making

If a straight edge is enough for making books, with boxes you have to keep the angles straight in three dimensions. That’s when vertical walls of a special surface (or a metal bar like Sage Reynolds uses) become handy. The surface has another useful quality: you can use its walls to measure and cut all the elements of boxes (e.g. clamshell box) with special jigs. That’s exactly what I planned to do with my current project.

Couple of months ago I even planned to spend some time in my woodworking workshop to make a replica or even my own version of a surface for box making (I have a couple of ideas how to improve it). However, making presses, cutting wooden letters and working with some other stuff, I never have found enough time for that project.

Now, when I finally needed to make the sides of my box straight, I had to master something right away at my bookbinding workshop.

Here is what I have fixed for my current project:

The structure is pretty simple: a steel straight edge and two L-shaped aluminum metal section pieces fixed together with a masking tape.

I’m not even sure that I want to make a special surface anymore. Particularly while I have a spare straight edge I’ve bought at Leroy Merlin that has only 9 millimeters in each centimeter (luckily the angle is 90 degrees) =)

2016.07.29 - 9 Millimeters in Centimeter Fail

What jigs do you use while making boxes?

Additional Resources