Leigh Jig Parts Storage Box

Project Information  (Previously posted elsewhere)
I've owned the Leigh dovetail jig and the Leigh Mortise and Tenon jig for a few years now. There are lots of pieces and parts, as well as extremely helpful, well written user's manuals that come along with these top quality jigs.

Until now, everything has been unceremoniously dumped in a couple of drawers here and there which makes finding the necessary parts a bit like a scavenger hunt. A storage box for the parts has been on the to do list for quite some time.

Technical Details:
7/8" QSWO box sides and lid, 18-1/2" x 14" x 9", half blind dovetails, stained with dark walnut
5/8" red elm - box bottom
1/2" maple insert, 4-1/2" tall
1/2" maple tray (~12" x 16")
walnut base trim and edge banding
1/2" x 5" katalox lid pull
handles are pinned with cherry Miller dowels
Rockler piano hinge with a lid support arm
Mosaic/inlay - 3/8", mesquite, citrus, lacewood, maple, chakte viga, redheart, bloodwood, katalox, granadillo, wenge, black palm, chestnut, walnut.

Finish - polyurethane, sanded between coats (600 grit), final sanded to 2000 grit and waxed with Behlens Deluxing Compound

What would accommodate all of the bits and pieces? The router base for the M&T jig is a large piece of aluminum with a couple of indexing pins on the bottom side. A tray would provide a flat surface to store it. Holes were needed for the pins and finger holes to remove the tray.

The M&T templates were 4-1/2" tall which meant the insert needed to be that tall so the tray would be flush with the top of the insert. Similarly, storing router bits vertically would eliminate riffling through a cluttered heap of plastic tubes with bits in them to find a bit.

I also wanted a place to keep the user's manuals where they would be readily accessible without getting in the way.

After clamping a lot of pieces together and checking to see if all of the part would fit I settled on a box size.  Since the box will be storing the dovetail jig bits I used half blind dovetails as a decorative feature on the corners.

If you look close you can see them under all of the clamps:

After building the box, all that was left was the inlaid lid. A Google search of "Craftsman stained glass" provided plenty of ideas.

Here's an overview of the bench while making the inlay:

Almost done with glue-up:

After everything was glued together, the inlay was run through the planer. I was terrified that the planer blades would destroy the piece due to all of the different grain orientations, small pieces, and different wood densities. With the DW-735 setting on "finishing" (2x cpi) everything went well. There was some very minor shredding on the walnut around the edges since the grain was parallel to the blades.

After planing, the top was glued to a 1/8" piece of plywood. A 1/2 rabbet was cut into the lid side pieces for the top. Another slot (1/8") was made for the plywood that would make the pocket to store the manuals. All told, the lid is 1-7/8" tall, with a 1/2" pocket for the manuals. It's a bit too tight for both manuals.

Waiting for the finish to dry:

Closer look at the inside:

I used a forstener bits for the straight bit holes, and 3/4" openings with 3/8" spacers for the dovetail bit sleeves

This thing weighs a ton. Maybe I should have used 3/4" rather than 7/8". At least it's solid.

sounds like it's built to last a couple lifetimes earl. and it's got your signature style. well done my friend.

working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

One cannot miss your style Earl, looks like a good storage box and well built.

Main Street to the Mountains

Dyammmm Earl. Another masterpiece, both in construction and artistry. 
Makes me ashamed to look at my cigar box full of Leigh parts sitting on the shelf. Of course if I had something like yours instead, I would have sold it (I'm a capitalist!)

That lace wood looks awesome in the lid field! Just poly, no oil? A lot of depth in the colors and grain.

👏👏👏 (golf clapping)
So, Earl, I am going to go out on a limb here, and posit that you are a perfectionist?  Takes one to know one.  It is a beautiful box, like all the other fixtures in your shop.

No Bees. No Honey. Bees Lives Matter

I'm pulling some of my favorite projects over here from LJ just so I don't lose them.  I am working on a drill press table though which will include my usual style.  Brian - yes I am a perfectionist, usually to my detriment.
Just be sure to include a thick cover or replaceable center so you don't fill your art with holes!
An advantage I see to your approach is anything you make for yourself/others will always push you to make it look better than your shop storage🙂

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