George Vondriska

Build a Wooden Recipe Box - Great Woodworking Gift Idea

George Vondriska
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Duration:   11:55   mins

This is a great woodworking project. We’re calling it a wooden recipe box, but it could be used for nearly anything; jewelry, knick knacks, or any other small items. It’s simple to make, and could easily be built in a day.


A common approach to creating solid corners on boxes or cabinets is using rabbets joints. A very easy way to cut rabbets is using a dado head on the table saw, which is the approach we’ll use for our wooden recipe box. Whether you’re building this project, or another type of box, you’ll find rabbets joints very useful.

A Perfect Lid

Creating a lid that is a perfect fit for the base of the box may seem daunting. If you’re slightly out of square, or the dimensions are off just a little bit, the lid and box won’t align. Don’t sweat it. On this project we use a technique that creates a perfect fit between the lid and base every time. Guaranteed! In addition to giving you a perfect fit, you’ll see that this approach creates perfect alignment between the grain on the box and the grain on the lid.

More Boxes

If you like this project and want to see more like it, be sure to have a look at our instructions for making a wooden keepsake box, and a different style of recipe box.

More info
For more information about the Delta Portable Table Saw used in this video, video

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24 Responses to “Build a Wooden Recipe Box – Great Woodworking Gift Idea”

  1. imran sajan

    Hi George. Nice video. When you are cross cutting the smaller pieces why do you go to the other side of the blade? Can these cross cuts be done towards the fence just like you did the cross cuts on the longer peices? Thank you

    • Customer Service


      The main reason this is done is to maintain safe control over the piece. This is a helpful technique when your overall board length isn’t sufficient to give you adequate control on the non-fence side of the blade. If your work piece is long enough, you can have the miter gauge on the other side.

  2. Alec

    Also after you have signed into your account where do you go from there to get the PDF?

    • Customer Service

      Hi Alec. If you scroll down under descriptions, you can click on “Making a Wooden Keepsake Box”. There you can click on download plan. If you have any questions or need assistance you can call our customer service team at 1-855-253-0822.
      Jean-WWGOA Video Membership

      • Wade

        I downloaded the file you suggested, but that is not the file for this simple box. Do you have pdf sheet for this project? Thanks

          • Customer Service

            Hello Daniel,

            Thank you for contacting us. To get tot he download click on these words :making a wooden keepsake box, and a different style of recipe box.” then you enter in your email address, then click on Download. The recipe box ix on page 21.

            If you have any other concerns, please contact us at 1-855-253-0822, or chat with us on our site.

            We greatly appreciate your business!


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  3. nikki

    can I get a pdf of the cuts for this project? sizes cut, etc.
    I’m new to this and this will be my first project. I need a cut list to help me get started.

    • Customer Service

      Hi, Nikki. You may access the referenced material by logging into your membership account.

  4. red58impala

    Nice video.

    How about a video of making this same, or similar, box made with hand tools instead of with machines?

    Machines are fine for most. Some of us cannot use them due to the amount of dust machines make. Even with proper PPE and dust collection this can be an issue for people with breathing issues who want to do woodworking.

    Others, prefer the near silence that hand tool woodworking provides and more videos for human powered tool workers would be greatly appreciated.

  5. raypletan

    What is the distance from the edge of the pieces to groove. The grove is 3/8″ deep and 1/4″ wide, but I must have missed the spacing from the edges? Thanks for a great project video.

  6. Robert

    I would have like to see the box fully clamped for the glue up,and I would have like to see a bit about installing the hinges. Sorry those were not included in the video. Other than that, excellent! Thanks for making this available.

  7. Mike Davis

    Nice project. Thanks for posting.

    I am curious about the throat insert plate that you used for the dado blade. I have this same table saw and I have not been able to find throat inserts anywhere (including from Delta). Where did you get this insert? Did you make it in the shop? If so, what did you use for a blank?


  8. Greg Peters

    Isn’t the short side piece dimension mentioned in the video incorrect? For a 6-1/4″ finished side dimension with two 3/8″ pieces from the fronts that makes the side piece dimension 5-1/2″ rather than the 5-3/4″ stated in the video. Either that or the finished box will be 6-1/2″. Sorry if I am missing something.

    • Customer Service

      Hi, Greg. You’re math is correct. Thanks for letting us know about this error.

  9. jim swett

    why not cut the back side and install the hinges then proceed to cut the rest of the sides?

  10. Emad Allaho

    What do you think about cutting the lid off using a bandsaw? What are the advantages/disadvantages?

    • Customer Service

      Hi, Emad. That is a valid approach as well. The disadvantage of this approach is that it can be tricky to get a good straight cut as you remove the top, but if you have a good bandsaw and blade, this approach can work well.

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