One of the more common ways of making a lidded box is to make it as a solid piece and then separate them. This way the grain is continuous and you know they will be perfectly aligned -- after all they were made as one piece! The two most common ways of doing this is by using either the bandsaw or the tablesaw. My preference is the tablesaw, it just seems to make a smoother and more uniform cut then the bandsaw does.
In practice, it's simple. Set the rip fence to the required size and cut away. However, there is a potential for problems which usually occur on the last side cut. What can happen is that on the final cut, the box and lid squeeze together resulting in a snipe. On a recent episode of Rough Cut with Tommy Mac he did this process but didn't do what I recommend doing.
Here's what I suggest, first cut the two longest edges of your box completely through. The blade is set slightly higher than the thickness of the box sides. To cut the other two sides I'll adjust the blade so that it is 1/16"+ lower than the thickness of the sides which results in something like this:
|Tablesaw Work to Separate|
|Finishing the Separation|
You can hold the box either as shown or horizontally. This results in a small fin of wood that can easily be pared or chiseled flush with the box.
|Paring the Cut|
Now that the two are apart, it's time to check the fit of the insert ….
Next step was to mortise in for the hinges. These are a quality pair of solid brass hinges from Lee Valley. I'm planning to use a set of Brusso hinges for my next custom box project. They're not that much more than these and I've heard so much about the quality of them I believe they'll be worth the couple of extra dollars. I use a template and bearing guided router bit to start the process.
|Hinge Mortise Guide|
|Exact Distance from End|
The way the insert will be held in place is with strips of Sapele that will do double duty to not only secure the insert but also function as a dust check for the box. After carefully fitting them in place I needed to taper the outside of the front one so the lid would close easily over it. The other edges will have a slight round over. These pieces are only 1/4" thick and 3/8" wide so no way could you use a router or even a small block plane. I have the perfect solution for this; an old, Stanley #101.
Last up today was to shellac the dust check and the top edges of the newly separated box. Diane is going to sew the felt covered, foam piece that will secure the flute in the case. All that remains are a couple more hand rubbed coats on the outside followed by wax, apply the handle and nameplate, and this project will be ready for shipping. I've met the Christmas deadline!