WoodCentral's video reviews
Basic Box Making

Basic Box Making
by Doug Stowe

Taunton Press: 2007
DVD, 2 hr., $19.95

    This DVD is an accompaniment to Stowe's new book from Taunton Press: Basic Box Making. Reading about it is one way to learn, but actually seeing the process (and being able to rewind) is a huge bonus in the learning curve. Stowe begins with a few words of advice: "Don't rush yourself," and "Repeat yourself. Making more than one of a design will lead to refinement and success."
    Stowe discusses wood movement, tools, resawing and jigs. He shows how to construct a variety of sleds for the tablesaw to easily crosscut stock, to cut slots for keyed miters, and to cut finger joints. He adds several useful tips for avoiding tearout with the router, for fitting box tops and bottoms, and for using stop blocks on fences of all types for dependable repeatability. He illustrates interior trays and dividers, wooden hinges, and a leather strap hinge based on the Jacob's ladder toys.
    All the procedures allow for wood movement, and the author's use of story-sticks for cutting setups is a marvel of simplicity. He rarely uses numerical measurements, but marks his sticks off of pieces already milled, assuring accuracy through multiple steps. There is a lot of woodworking knowledge to gain from watching Stowe in action. He is a thorough teacher, skilled at more than box making. The DVD offers many detailed close-ups so the instruction is clear. His boxes are wonderful, but learning simplified methods of accurate woodworking is the real value to this presentation.

. . . Barb Siddiqui