Woodworking Tips Index
Cutting A Lid From A Box
Creating a perfect-fitting lid and box that has matching grain along the sides isn't a complicated task. You simply build an enclosed box to start with. Then you can use a table saw to cut the lid from the box. The problem is, cutting completely through the sides of the box can cause the kerf to pinch the blade on the final pass.
To avoid this, I like to set the height of the saw blade so it's slightly less (1/16") than the thickness of the box, see Step 1. This leaves a thin membrane that holds the box together and keeps the kerf from pinching the saw blade.
Once the kerf is cut on all four sides, you can separate the lid from the box. Now you might be tempted to simply "snap" the two pieces apart. But this can cause parts of the edge to chip out. Instead, it's best to sever the membrane by making a series of light passes with a knife, see Step 2. The knife and a scrap block also make quick work of cleaning up the ridges left behind, see Step 3. Even so, you still may notice some saw marks left by the blade. To clean these up, I attach some self-adhesive sandpaper to my table saw and sand the mating edges of both the lid and box smooth.
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