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Tips To Building Small Woodworking Projects

Sometimes building a smaller project can become more difficult than a larger one because working with small – especially tiny parts – can raise the difficulty of a woodworking project.

When it comes to a woodworking box, this is no different. If you are looking to make a small box, it can be difficult to make everything match up correctly such as the lid, hinges, and more. And if you have large hands, this makes tedious work as such very difficult. So here are a few tips:


Sanding small parts can be impossible with machines such as electric sanders, random orbital sanders, and especially large sanders such as a disc or belt sander. So here is where sanding blocks are key.

A sanding block that you purchase at the local hardware store may still be too large. A simple block of wood that is smaller with slits at both ends where you use a key (small wedge of wood) to hold the sandpaper in should suffice.


If you want to prevent stains that are caused by glue that oozes from the joints, clamp the two parts together without any glue. Add tape to the joint, then cut along the tape with a utility knife or sharp blade.

Once you separate the two pieces and apply the glue, the tape will be there to catch the excess that oozes out of the sides instead of it pouring out over the piece of lumber itself.


Options are typically somewhat limited if you need a square in the 2-3 foot range. Drywall squares, or T-Squares are large and cumbersome, so they are difficult to use on a smaller work piece. Carpenter squares such as speed squares are only 6 inches unless you can find a 12 incher at your hardware store. And then this still may be too small.

A drafting square will get you around this obstacle. It typically is more accurate and is 3 foot for the standard length.


At times, clamps are just not the answer when trying to hold two small pieces of wood together. If this is the case, reach for your hot glue gun (or your wife’s but she probably will say you are going to break it like mine does – they are cheap, get your own.)

It will hold just about anything as well or even better than a clamp could on small surfaces. Once complete, you can carefully pop the pieces lose using a putty knife. Make sure not to use too much force or you can crack or even break into some of the wood. Or it could even cause tear out with excess force.

There are a variety of methods when working with smaller woodworking projects. With a little patience, add a few hacks in such as above, and you will have beautiful pieces to show for it.

Below is another great video from Izzy Swan on building a small wooden box. Enjoy!

Source: Woodesigner (

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