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Push-Button Bandsaw Box


Push-Button Bandsaw Box

How do you open it? Just push the bottom drawer.

By Alex Snodgrass

If you've ever been to a woodworking trade show, you’ve probably seen me demonstrating on the bandsaw. I’ve been doing it for, oh, 21 years now–a long run. Last year, I introduced a box whose drawers pop out with the push of a button, and folks have loved it. It took me a while to figure out how to make the mechanism work, but it’s really quite simple.

There’s a T-shaped piece of bent metal hidden inside the back of the box (it’s just a mending T-plate from the hardware store).

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When you push the bottom drawer, which I call a push button, the T-plate pivots and pops out the drawers above. When you push in the drawers, the T-plate pivots the opposite way and returns the push button to its original position.

If this is your first time around making a bandsaw box, don’t worry. This one is pretty easy, and the pivoting mechanism really doesn’t complicate things. The main idea is that you’ll be cutting things apart, removing a waste piece, and gluing the parts back together. The pictures on the next two pages tell the story quite well, but I’ve also made a video that shows every step of the process.

Before you begin, make sure that your bandsaw’s table is square to the blade, side-to-side and front-toback. I use three different blades for making this box, and they really have to be sharp to accurately cut wood this thick. Take care when installing each blade; setting the guides properly is essential for you to be able to follow the cutting lines.

Think carefully about working safely. Your hands will often be very near the blade, but make sure they’re never in front of the blade’s teeth. Cut at a slow but steady pace–don’t force the cut. A new or sharp blade will make this much easier.

This complete project plan available from the AW bookstore (see links above and below) also includes 7 helpful tips for making bandsaw boxes.

                                                                                               Click any image to view a larger version.

This story originally appeared in American Woodworker April/May 2010, issue #147.

April/May 2010, issue #147

Purchase this back issue.