Bamboo Box Joint Spaghetti Box

A month or so ago some YouTube friends of mine asked me to be part of the 2015 Kitchen Utensil Build Challenge. Nothing specific and no prizes involved. Just get creative and build something for the kitchen. I’ve already got a lot of wooden spatulas and spoons so both of those are out of the question. I don’t need any salad forks because I just use my hands like a cave man (kidding) (actually, not kidding). So due to the fact that I love spaghetti I decided to make a spaghetti box. Uncooked spaghetti only of course.

For the materials I used some really awesome bamboo flooring samples Eric Penewell sent me last week (Thanks again!!). All the square samples he sent are 18” x 18”. Most are 1/4” thick but a few are about 3/4”. For the sides I planned on using the 1/4” material with the grain horizontal and for the top and bottom caps I was going to use a few pieces of the 3/4” material.

The spaghetti box is going to be made with box joints. This will give me a great opportunity to test my new box joint jig and see how well it performs. My test pieces from that jig worked great but they were about one quarter the length of the joints in this project.

box joint spaghetti box (1)

Because the material I am working with will have the box joints cut on the long edge I added a couple hold down knobs to the box joint jig. Normally with the pieces standing vertical a regular clamp can be used to hold the material to the carriage.

box joint spaghetti box (2)

The first batch of box joints were cut on opposite sides of the actual box. This way I could cut both sides of the joint with the material resting against the stop block. Doing so will produce symmetrical pieces for the actual box, both with a full finger spacing on the top side of the box.

box joint spaghetti box (3)

Because the reference pin and template are on the users side of the jig you can either lean over the jig to look at the blade or you can look at the actual pin to see the position of the blade.

box joint spaghetti box (4)

With both sides of the first batch of joints cut I setup for the adjacent joints. These will have to be spaced one tooth width away from the stop block. I had scrap material left over from when I cut the templates for the jig so I just used one of those teeth as a perfect spacer.

box joint spaghetti box (5)

With all of the joints cut I did a test fit of the joint. At this point I was a little leery about how the glue-up would go. These were a bit too tight for my liking. I would consider a good fit to be one that is easy to assemble but will hold it’s own weight against gravity. Obviously holding it’s own weight against gravity is relative to how heavy the actual piece is but you get the point.

box joint spaghetti box (6)

The glue-up was indeed a bit stressful. Lots of glue surface with a glue that doesn’t have a long open working time. I ended up using all of my F style clamps on the box and had just a little bit of empty space left over. I was a little afraid at how difficult the glue squeeze out would be to clean up once it dried as I couldn’t wipe any of it off with all of these clamps in the way.

box joint spaghetti box (7)

For the top and bottom I went super simple. It’s just a box to hold spaghetti. Nothing fancy is required. And besides, the bamboo looks great so I wanted to showcase it more than anything. Regular square plugs will be fine. But for these I went with 3/4” end grain bamboo.

box joint spaghetti box (8)

I cut two large squares and two smaller squares. And glued them together.

box joint spaghetti box (9)

While the glue was drying on the caps I used my cheap-o low angle block plane to clean up the joints. This actually worked really well. I’m quite pleased at the performance of my cheap-o plane.

box joint spaghetti box (10)

I got the joints pretty close to perfect with the plane and finished them up with a little bit of Binford Belt Sander 6100 power. I didn’t want to go too aggressive and accidentally have the sander dig into the material so I just took really light passes.

box joint spaghetti box (11)

By that time the glue was dry on the caps. The bottom cap was glued in. Because the joint was pretty snug by itself I didn’t go crazy with the glue. I actually wiped most of the glue off before I put it in place. The top cap goes in the same way but isn’t glued.

box joint spaghetti box (12)

I finished the project with a little bit of spray lacquer. I think it turned out great! The bamboo really looks good with a clear finish applied and as much as I love spaghetti I’m sure I’ll be filling and emptying this little box pretty often.

box joint spaghetti box (13) box joint spaghetti box (14) box joint spaghetti box (15) box joint spaghetti box (16)


As I said earlier, this was my entry into the 2015 Kitchen Utensil Build Challenge. A LOT of fellow YouTube folks ended up participating. As of the time of me posting this article I have no clue what the others have came up with so I’ll be checking them all through the day. In my YouTube video description I have links to all of the other participants for you to check out. In tomorrows Around The Web post I’ll be sure to include a few of my favorites from today. I hope you enjoyed this project and thanks for watching folks!



  1. Ummm, Jay. There’s something that just doesn’t belong in one of the screenshots… a fire extinguisher? A little homage to someone’s cooking or perhaps an inside joke? Nonetheless, I cracked up when I saw it lurking. Neat project – the bamboo doesn’t do much for me but the idea is really useful. Thanks for the post!

  2. I’m fairly new to your site and was wondering how you attach your push sticks to your table saw fence? Good job on the box BTW.

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