‘The Packing Box’ for One Book

The first project that young Thomas builds in “The Joiner and Cabinet Maker,” is a packing box, which was meant for a customer who was taking some books to the countryside.

Most modern-day readers skip building the packing box and move right on to the second project in the book, the schoolbox. And that’s too bad, because the packing box is great fun and has some good lessons in working entirely by hand.

One reader came up with a great use for a packing box. I love it. The box mimics the box on the cover and in the book. Great idea.

— Christopher Schwarz

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Publisher of woodworking books and DVDs specializing in hand tool techniques.
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18 Responses to ‘The Packing Box’ for One Book

  1. michael says:

    and you’ll be making one of these boxes to ship with each new purchase of Joiner and the Cabinet Maker.

  2. David Pickett says:

    Not sure about a nailed-together packing box with smart brass hinges. Just looks all wrong, somehow.

  3. John Cashman says:

    I think you should make one of these for all the copies of the leather-bound Roubo when it comes out. You’ll probably need it to ship that beast too.

  4. billlattpa says:

    Very nice. Seems like it would be a good idea for a special edition/first printing, or possibly a first 10 copies. Then again, I’m sure that would just add more work to your pile.

  5. Marilyn says:

    I see an Ipad packing box in some wood workers future. That be a interesting combination of old and new.

  6. John Gornall says:

    Great idea! Unfortunately wood is acidic and not a good choice for storing paper. Old paper doesn’t go brown because it’s old, it goes brown when it’s in an acidic enviornment like wood or cardboard. For a long life in the box the book would need encapsulation in a suitable conservation material. I will however build a box for my book and wrap it in a polypropylene sheet.

  7. Rich says:

    Looks like a great project to learn a number of different skills. Is flattening and planing the stock to thickness part of the project? (I know, I know: read the book … :)

  8. Patrick says:

    I just showed my 13 year old boy this post and the first thing he said was.” That would be perfect for my nerf gun bullets.” Thanks for posting this. He seems excited to try it. (I’ve been trying to get him interested in woodworking, or some other way of expressing himself artistically, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed on this one.)

  9. John Callaway says:

    I like it, but I believe I would scale down the thickness of all the parts just a bit, do that it could fit reasonably on the book shelf with other books, or near them….. And perhaps use a curly maple or maybe even an exotic, with black himges….. And I also agree on the wood prematurely aging the paper….. Perhaps a liner of some sort…, but over all , it’s a neat idea and certainly deserves to built in the manner described in the text, only thinner stuff.

  10. Doug says:

    Great idea, I love it. I just order the book and think I will copy this version of the packing box.

  11. Tom Dickey says:

    I was told at a document preservation place that Japanese maple should be used for cases for documents, I would think the same would apply.

    • John Gornall says:

      Perhaps someone misheard – “Japanese paper” is used in paper conservation as a catch all term for many papers. I would hinge a piece of art on paper for a frame and say I was using “Japanese Paper” but would actually choose a suitable paper from a list of many such as Kitakata or Mulberry. I wouldn’t use any wood. I suggest the inside of a book box have a good finish of shellac at least.

  12. Marty Backe says:

    Would Thomas have used a magnet for the clasp?

  13. Kim A Howarter says:

    I too skipped the packing box and took the class to build the school box. It was great fun as well as a learning expernce. Maybe I need to rethink not building the packing box.

  14. Scribe says:

    Make sure you remove the book first before driving in the nails…

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