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Kumiko Box

author-gravatar joelav Feb 19, 2019

Cherry box with mitered corners and a kumiko design in the lid

Photo of Kumiko Box

I really like making these lift-lid boxes with kumiko panels. This one is a bit different as I added some padauk banding around the lid edges. It's easier than I thought it would be    

Photo of Kumiko Box

The first step is always breaking down long stock to smaller stock on my low sawhorses. This is some nice cherry here. After it's rough lengths, I'll flatten and mill the faces 

Photo of Kumiko Box

Then I joint an edge

Photo of Kumiko Box

and rip it to final width at the tablesaw

Photo of Kumiko Box

Here is the banding. I cut a 1/8" groove in the top of each board at the router table before I cut the miters. 

Photo of Kumiko Box

Then I glued a 1/8" strip of padauk, and ripped it again at the tablesaw to flush it up 

Photo of Kumiko Box

Came out perfectly

Photo of Kumiko Box

Then I cut the miters

Photo of Kumiko Box

The miters are cut and the banding lines up

Photo of Kumiko Box

I glued it together, inserting both the top and bottom plywood panels. The panels are painted on both sides with black milk paint and a flat waterborne finish. I don't use clamps. Painters tape works fine 

Photo of Kumiko Box

I add splines being careful to put one in the lid section that will be removed after 

Photo of Kumiko Box

I flush cut the splines 

Photo of Kumiko Box

Then true up the outside of the box. After it was trued up, I cut the lid off on the bandsaw

Photo of Kumiko Box

The box has a maple liner. Here I am rough cutting some maple

Photo of Kumiko Box

Making the dividers which will be lap jointed into the maple liner

Photo of Kumiko Box

Cutting the joints for the dividers 

Photo of Kumiko Box

Test fit looks good. This method keeps the dividers in the box without having to worry about gluing them to the bottom

Photo of Kumiko Box

Pre-finishing the dividers and liner with shellac and wax

Photo of Kumiko Box

The tray - another mitered box. Cherry, cherry splines, maple divider, plywood bottom

Photo of Kumiko Box

Now to work on the kumiko. I get one vertical and one horizontal strip fit perfectly and use those as masters 

Photo of Kumiko Box

cutting the half lap joints for the kumiko. Many do this with a tablesaw, I prefer to do it with hand tools 

Photo of Kumiko Box

The pieces for the gridwork 

Photo of Kumiko Box

Once it's rigid enough, I like to test the fit. This will go with some percussive persuasion 

Photo of Kumiko Box

getting the rest of the pattern cut 

Photo of Kumiko Box

With everything cut, it's time to assemble it

Photo of Kumiko Box

Done! 

Photo of Kumiko Box

Finish is oil and shellac 

Photo of Kumiko Box

box and tray 

3 comments

This is such a great box, and not just because I have vested interest in it. I like how the inclusion of something so seemingly insignificant like a spline of padauk can change the look so much.

If I didn't already own one of your boxes this one would find a new home. You are killing it my friend. Beautiful box! 👍

Well done brother, well done.

Your designs are excellent and your work is always top notch.

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