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An Exercise Project For the Bandsaw

Before locating your bandsaw box tray read safety message below please.


Someone said, “I don’t mind you using a bandsaw in your videos so long as you don’t make another of those bandsaw boxes!”, so I did. Hannah had brought me a wire metal version of a magnetic container intended for a fridge and I liked its usefulness for keeping wrenches like spanners and Allen keys. I needed a second and a third because of their handiness so I made them using the bandsaw box making method. They are fast to make, super strong and everything shrinks appropriately in the right direction. I added my magnets from eBay and hey presto. Right where and when you need them.

Safe work practices

Before you begin, work safely. Make certain the guards are in place and adjusted to the correct protective height or distance and then fully locked off and locked down. Slipping fences, stops and guards are not always obvious to you when your focus and awareness is on the blade and cutting.

Keep your push sticks close to hand and USE them! Be conscious that would can split when you least expect it. Hands close to any blade can lunge when resistance is removed by fractured wood. You should always be conscious that this is nine times out of ten totally unpredictable.

Square up a piece of 2×4 ??” long.

Mark a parallel line 7/16″ in from each end…

…and along the front edge. Also, mark a line along the back edge 11/16″. These lines will guide you in subsequent work.

Set a 3/4″ Forstner bit in the drill press to 7/16″ from the bottom of the 2×4 block. This will leave 7/16″ between the bottom of the hole and the surface of the table.

Drill the two holes exactly on the lines in the two front corners.

Slice off the bottom at 7/16″ on the bandsaw.

Plane the two mating surfaces smooth if you want to, otherwise they can remain as bandsawn surfaces. (Strictly speaking, the bandsaw box meeting surfaces are generally left as bandsaw cuts without hand tool refinement but this project lends itself to perfecting the joint lines and it is good practice.)

Slice off the back piece on the 11/16″ line leaving 11/16″ of wood as the finished size from the bandsaw.

Plane the two mating surfaces smooth if you want to, otherwise they can remain as bandsawn surfaces.

Cut along the 7/16″ lines on either end of the main block into the holes but take care not to overcut into the corner.

Make a curved cut from the rear edge into and along the front cut line.

After removing the offcut and with the machine switched off, align the inside of the cut nearest to the line and set the fence as a guide to cut parallel along the front edge as shown.

Sand the inside faces if preferred otherwise leave with bandsaw marks.

Glue the main box body to the base piece aligning the front long edge and corners as closely as possible and clamp. The back end edges can be moved in or out to align once the front corners are clamped.

Layout of the two magnet recesses in the outside face of the rear piece centred in height and 1″ in from the ends.

Mark the depth of the magnets onto the back piece to set the depth of the cut…

and set the depth on the drill press.

Drill the two magnet recess holes.

Glue the rear piece to the ends and the bottom and leave to dry.

(In one of the above pictures you can see a small step. This step occurs because the saw kerf removes around 1/16″ of wood and then a few shavings even more. Once the glue is dry it can be planed flush.)

When the glue is fully dry you can plane out any discrepancies.

Shaping the front corners reduces the risk of snagging.Start by removing the corners at 45-degrees with a rasp, file, chisel or plane.

With the 45-degree done, begin rounding with any of the same tools.

I used a flat file to refine the roundover.

With the roundover completed you can 0lane the end grain into the roundover and the roundover stop the out cut from splintering as long as you plane in that direction.

Plane the top and bottom faces making sure not to catch the ends with the fore-edge of the plane as this could split off the short grain.


Sand the whole outside of the box tray.

Add the two magnets.



Before Hanging the Bandsaw Box Tray—More On Safety

Make certain to consider safety surrounding its location. The idea of the tray is good stowage and accessibility and then its relocating ability. I would not for instance hang the box on the front upper area above the cutting blade even though my magnets are exceptionally strong and the tray does not move. Vibration will effectively move anything given time. Low, below the table and to my left works well for me. Generally we will have always unplugged the machine from the electricity before we make any adjustments. I hang mine on the rim of my bandsaw table when adjusting roller bearings and guides etc.I then move it to a permanent location as discussed.

Hang it!

Choice of protective finish is yours but shellac or waterborne varnish will work fine.




  1. Donald Kreher on 3 December 2018 at 7:07 pm

    Cute. One could make several of these and with a strip of sheet metal, side of file cabinet or even the bandsaw have nice way to store small parts, screws, nails and so forth. Or portable tool trays.
    My band saw might just get one tonight.

  2. John Heintz on 3 December 2018 at 8:31 pm

    I like it. A bandsaw box with a purpose. Made with inexpensive lumber . Win Win

  3. Johan Basson on 4 December 2018 at 1:00 pm

    Who would have thought that Paul Sellers has secretly been a hybrid woodworker all along.

    All jokes aside though, there’s something about the photography in this post that makes it look intensely real – not at all studio-like. It makes you feel like you’re right there in the workshop with Paul. Great job!

  4. Heinrich-Peter Himmelbauer on 10 December 2018 at 12:21 pm

    I do not have a bandsaw, but I like the design and the approach of having small woodboxes. I do have a standing drilling machine and did holes similar like in the pictures for other projects (used the copy saw, tedious) – but seldom leaved them round. That has some charme!

    Thanks for this, another great idea. Reminds me, that I wanted to overwork my drilling machine stand… For holes bigger than 20 mm. And a lot other reasons.

  5. Terry Dixon on 24 December 2018 at 1:59 pm

    Hi Paul,

    Any chance of a link to those magnets? Or an idea of the size, I can make a guess from the pictures but I’d prefer to avoid an expensive mistake!


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