George Vondriska

Build a Veneer Lid Box

George Vondriska
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Duration:   15  mins

This box is a simple project, but a few things help it stand out: it’s simple to build, its contrasting woods make it visually interesting, and adding a layer of veneer is easy and beautiful.

Cut list:

Ends ⅝” x 5-1⁄<sub2” x 4-⅞”
Front and back ⅝” x 5-½” x 8-¾”
Bottom ¼” x 4-1316” x 8-116
Lid ⅝” x 5-¾” x 9”


All the joinery can be done on the router table. Cut a 5/16” deep by ⅝” wide rabbet on the front and back using a ¾” bit. Be sure to use a backer board to prevent chipping. Use a ¼” bit to cut the groove for the bottom, which is also 516” deep, ¼” from the bottom edge. Do this to all four pieces, keeping the rabbeted faces of the front and back down on the router table. The rabbet in the lid is ¼” x ¾”. Be sure to test the fit to make certain the lid fits on the box. Cut a ¼” x ¼” chamfer on the top of the lid using a chamfer bit.


Sand the inside faces and assemble the box. Double-check the dimensions of the bottom before installing it and gluing the box together. Standard yellow glue works fine for this.

Veneer the lid

If you get a mixed pack of veneers, you’ll have lots of species to choose from. Leave the lid and veneer oversize and cut them to size after the veneer is on. Be sure to use wax paper between the veneer and caul when you glue them up.

More veneering

If you enjoyed this project, check out our veneered-face clock.

More info

For more information on Titebond products, call (800) 669-4583 or visit the company’s website.

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6 Responses to “Build a Veneer Lid Box”

  1. Allen Robinson

    This a great project for a beginner like me. I don't have a router, so how would I build this? What joint would work here? Thanks

  2. Alan

    Even though you say to use a back for a push block to prevent tear out on the router table, after you make the first cut there is no back board there any more to prevent it or is it the sides that still support there is what is helping. Thanks, Alan

  3. Liz

    But how do you cut it to size with the oversized veneer? That was the part I was most interested in. The ends had overhanging veneer that couldn't safely butt up against a table saw fence...

  4. John leon

    Whenever you add veneer to a surface ( Especially a piece of solid wood) you have to add a piece of veneer to the opposite side to “Balance” , the panel. Not doing this will make the panel warp and twist out of shape.

  5. Bill Lanahan

    Were the bottom grooves unglued for expansion? Not needed because the box is small? Wood they be glued or nailed if the box were bigger and holding weight like a tool box?

  6. Stephen McFadyen

    This is a great use of veneer, I have found a simple way, thinly apply glue to both the lid and the veneer, let it dry and activate both glued surfaces with an ordinary household iron.

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