After building my tool chest and feeling pretty comfortable with rabbet and cut nail joinery, I wanted to expand my box building experience with a dovetailed box. My design for this box was of similar style to the previous box I built from pine joined by nails. It would end up a little larger, 9 5/16″ L x 5 1/2″ D x 4 1/2″ H, and be made from 1/2″ yellow-poplar. Before cutting the boards to rough length with my sash saw, I did a couple practice dovetail joints. After these practice joins, I felt reasonable confident I could layout and cut the ones needed for the box carcass.
I finished the box at the beginning of this summer after a couple of weeks of working at night, perhaps 8+ hours of work including stock flattening to final finishing. Dovetails were cut by sawing pins first, removing primary waste with coping saw, and finishing with chisel paring cuts. Box lid and bottom had 3/8″ chamfers made using my jack (no. 5) plane. The dovetail joints were trimmed with a no. 4 Stanley smoothing plane which I bought for $12 at an antique store and restored in the fall 2014. This plane was also used to true-up and smooth the box sides, lid, and bottom. The bottom was attached to the carcass using 4d (1 1/2″) headless cut brads. Brass hinges and Danish oil finished this piece.