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Make a cathedral box

SAFETY FIRST: Ask an adult to help with tools you haven't used before.


Build a handy place to keep your keys, coins and other small stuff.


  • A clear wood plank 18” x 2-3/8”  x 3/4”
  • Carpenter’s glue
  • Jigsaw
  • Sandpaper
  • Woodworking clamp
  • 1/2” wood drill bit
  • 1/4” wood chisel
  • Fine-toothed ripsaw
  • Fine-surfaced rasp
  • Utility knife
  • Steel ruler
  • Small wood gouge
  • Q-tips (for applying glue)
  • Oil or stain sealer


1. Rip the top, bottom and sliding lid with a fine-toothed saw. (See pattern below.)

2. On the opposite end of the plank, lay out the box frame. At the center of the box frame, drill a 1/2” pilot hole to thread the jigsaw blade through. Clamp wood securely, then saw close to the layout line. Use the fine rasp to remove excess wood to the layout line and to square the inside. Sand smooth.

3. Use the utility knife to make vertical cuts a little more than 1/8” deep at the ends and sides of rails marked on the box frame.


4. Using the angled side of the wood chisel, gently shave a little at a time toward the vertical cuts. When cutting with the grain, use a piece of wood clamped at the end of the cut to prevent overcutting — the cut stop. Be careful not to damage the wood with the clamp.


5. Cut the sliding lid, top and bottom pieces to the correct sizes using a steel ruler and utility knife. Thin and smooth the rough sides of all three pieces with the rasp until all are the right thickness (1/8”).

6. Lay out and saw the cathedral top. Glue and clamp box together. When dry, sand smooth and seal with oil or stain.


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19 Comments on Make a cathedral box

  1. I can’t make it but it looks super fun!buzzdave213

  2. you guys should make one out of lego’s is fun and very efficient

  3. I made one out of origami one time it didn’t turn out so good though

  4. This is a good afternoons’ fun! I made a couple of them, one longer and one short like in the directions.

  5. I might do that!😀

  6. thats really AWSOME

  7. coooooool

  8. its awsome

  9. awsome 17 // May 29, 2013 at 9:22 pm // Reply

    how big is the inside

  10. dylan is awesome // March 3, 2013 at 8:01 pm // Reply


  11. that looks cool

  12. leopard ninja // June 21, 2012 at 10:53 am // Reply

    A cathedral box is what you keep handy trinkets like keys, thumbtacts,and erasers

  13. in answer to stanley’s question, i have no idea, would have been nice to have that in the article, really

  14. what is a cathedral box

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