Done With School? How About Lunch?

lunchbox_open

My favorite project from “The Joiner and Cabinet Maker” is the Schoolbox. I like its simple lines, its perfect proportions and its robust joinery. I’ve made at least 10 of them since reading, editing and publishing the book.

But what is the project good for if you aren’t going to school?

I use the original as a small tool chest for household tools. Other people have told me they use them as jewelry boxes, book boxes or a place to hide their weed.

However, David wrote to me today to tell me what he did with his Schoolbox:

I enjoyed the book, “The Joiner and Cabinet Maker.” However, I suspect that many of the readers of the book are like me, and dislike the idea of working on a project without an intended use. I could not think of a use for the schoolbox.

But I needed a new lunchbox. The construction of my lunchbox is similar to the schoolbox.  The only major differences is that it does not have a stopped dado. I cut several through-dados for removable partitions. The partition walls warped slightly after construction,
which is perfect – the spring of the boards keeps the partitions from rattling, but they are still easy to remove.

I’ve used the lunchbox for almost a year now, and it is far better than any other canvas lunch bag I’ve used. Plus, it gets a lot of compliments at the office.

The sides are all 1/2″ thick and the removable panels are 1/8″ thick. The moulding is also 1/2″ thick, but I would consider making it thinner if I were to make it again.  The inside dimensions are 10″ wide, 5-1/8″ deep, and 4-1/2″ tall. The partition dados are at (from left) 3″, 5″, 5-3/4″, but you can add more. It is handy to have more dados than partitions. The leather handle allows the box to fit into a backpack, and the stop-hinges prevent the top from opening too far.

The handle is from BrettunsVillage.Com and the hardware is from smallboxhardware.com.

About Chris Schwarz

Publisher of woodworking books and DVDs specializing in hand tool techniques.
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4 Responses to Done With School? How About Lunch?

  1. Marilyn says:

    Very cool! I like it. I will some day make all the projects in this book.

    One of my ideas is to make the packing box sized for two wine bottles. Then give it away filled with pretty wine bottles and wood savings for Christmas presents.

  2. mike homer says:

    that’s a pretty big box to put weed in, must be hardcore airheads

  3. Paul says:

    Doubt it would stand up to the punishment of my “100Mph poly box”, referring to it being launched from my motorcycle at over a ton! The sandwich, banana and chips were unrecognizable, but stayed in box!

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