December 5th – 9th, 2022 | 9:00am to 5:00pm
This 5 day course will teach you the fundamentals of box design and construction. You will design and build your own amazing box under the guidance of the instructor, Matt Kenney.
- Materials are NOT included. We will go to the lumber yard together as part of the class
- Lunches are included
See Details and Tool List Below
Name: Box Design – Design and Craft Your Own Boxes
Instructor: Matt Kenney
Skill Level: Beginner and Up
Age: You must be at least 18 years old to participate
Format: 5 Day In-Person
I’ve designed and made an absurd number of boxes over the last 10 years, from tiny ring boxes that fit in
the palm of my hand to tea (and jewelry) cabinets that are just as complex as full-size furniture. Along the
way, I have learned many valuable lessons about how to design them, which techniques work best for
construction, how to weave together design aspirations with the need to make a strong box, and how to
finish them. I’ve also taught many box-making courses through the years, and written many articles and
two books about them. This course is different from those classes, articles, and even my books. The goal
of this course is to share with you the process that carries me from initial design ideas to a completed
box. Over the course of 5 days I will help you design a box, select wood for it, and then navigate the
Day 1 (morning): I will explain how I design a new box. For me, design begins with a blank sheet of paper
and a pen, which can be intimidating, especially if you believe that designs spring fully formed from your
mind. They do not. Design is an evolutionary process. I’ll design a new box in real time, explaining the
decisions I make, answering questions. We’ll dicuss things like proportions, how to move from
proportions to dimensions, and figuring out how design influences construction.
Day 1 (afternoon): You will apply what you’ve learned, and design your own box. Of course, I will be
there to help, offering design suggestions, and tips for good construction.
Day 2 (morning): We head to a local lumberyard to pick you boards for your box. First, I’ll explain how I
read and pick lumber for my work, then I’ll help you do the same.
Day 2 (afternoon): Milling! From jointing and planing, to resawing, to cutting parts to their final
dimensions: We will do it all! I’ll also discuss the timing of when you should mill different parts of the box,
how to compensate for wood movement, and other related concerns.
Day 3: Finally, we start making boxes! I’ll demonstrate how I cut miters and rabbets, the two joints I use
the most in my boxes. After that, you get to work. The goal today is to have your box body glued
together before you leave.
Day 4: Making the lid and bottom. All of my bottoms are made from plywood and covered in shopsawn
veneers. I’ll teach how to make veneer, and an easy way to glue them to the plywood. Tops can be either
plywood core, or solid wood. I’ll explain who to work with both.
Day 5: Details and finish: We’ll start by making pulls and gluing them to the box top. Then, I’ll demonstrate
a quick shellac finish that’s nonetheless beautiful.
You will need the follow to complete the box:
- Standard layout tools: tape measure, combination square, 6” and 12” rules, 0.5 mechanical pencil with leads, small try square
- Block plane (If you dont have one you can borrow one of the school’s)
- Mix Media Sketchbook, like the Canson XL (7 x 10 in. size)
- Pigma Micron Pen (size 05)
- Drafting triangle (can be a 90/45/45 or 30/60/90 triangle)
- Pad of graph paper (I use Bienfang 10 x 10 gridded paper), 8.5 x 11 size is fine
- Materials – We will go to the lumber yard together to select and buy wood. You may also bring your own wood.