Here’s a handy, highly saleable item that’s not only attractive, but quick and easy to build, as well.
Everyone needs a place to put the day’s mail, and this little Letter Box makes the perfect spot. Designed to hang on the wall or sit on a desktop, it is a simple enough project that it can easily be modified in its design to suit a variety of different room decors.
Our example is an “Early American” style, but by merely squaring-off the scalloped top of the back (A) and front (C)… then changing the curved edges of the sides (B) to a straight 30-degree angle, as an example, you have a more modern design. Or, use your imagination to modify the shapes of the various pieces to make a design or series of designs that you feel will be appealing to your buyers. This is a great “Money-Maker” for you to experiment with!
1: Resaw the lumber to a 5/16″ thickness, using your Bandsaw and a 5/8″ Resawing Blade>. Then, use your Belt Sander or Thickness Planer to bring all the pieces to final dimension.
2: Cut all pieces to approximate size, using your table saw.
3: Cut the side (B) tapers that allow the front (C) to tilt forward. Use the taper jig idea shown in the “Making Multiples” article
4: Use regular masking tape or High Adhesion, Double-Stick Tape to fasten a number of pieces together in preparation for “pad sawing”, where you cut a stack of several pieces at once to save time. If you’re cutting outside shapes, you can use your Bandsaw and make your stack up to 5-1/2″ thick. If you’re cutting internal shapes (such as the heart cut-out in our example), use your Scroll Saw and keep your stacks under 2″ thick. Pad sawing is just one more technique that will save you loads of time. Again, see the “Making Multiples” article for a full explanation of this technique.
5: Split your pad sawn pieces into 3″ high stacks, in preparation for drilling and sanding. This is necessary because your Drum Sander and 1/4″ Brad Point Drill Bit won’t handle stacks of pieces that are higher than about 3″.
6: Drill 1/4″ holes in the sides (B) using a Brad Point Bit and a stop attached to your rip fence. You can use a small handscrew clamp , a block of wood attached to your Rip Fence, or a Flip-Up Rip Fence Stop to help you get all of your holes positioned identically in your pieces. Again, the “Making Multiples” article offers some alternative choices.
7: Sand the pieces using your Disc Sander (for straight edges) or your Drum Sander (for curved edges).
8: Separate your stacks of pieces and assemble with wood glue and small brads. Insert the 1/4″ dowel into the sides (B) before attaching them to the back (A). Finish sand the project by hand, then apply the stain and sealer of your choice.
Suggested retail price: $15 to $20