Custom Boxes

Sincere thanks to Michelle Hamstra Photography, Kevin and Cassandra Kessler and Reverend Rhonda for the wedding photos

Box Orders

Please visit our Box Order Page

Freehand Routing / Engraving / CNC

My wife, Reverend Rhonda Schienle, provides custom and themed wedding services. There is a beautiful poem titled "The Marriage Box", that she has incorporated into her services, which includes a box. She asked me to build something simple, but nice, that could be provided as a memento for her couples. The above boxes are designed to hold standard # 10 envelopes for folded copies of vows, as well as 4 x 6 laminated cards, for copies of poems and songs. The interior is about 10" wide, by 5" deep and 5" tall. The boxes are typically made of maple, cherry, walnut and/or oak, as requested. Other hardwoods are also available. The contrast of light maple and dark walnut provides an attractive heirloom. Typically, a pair of woods are used, one light, one dark, but pretty much any combination, including a single species, is available.

The engraving is done with a rotary tool called a palm router, which is in between a tiny Dremel and a full-size router. The lettering and artwork is either stenciled or transferred from printer to wood, then carefully routed into the top of the box using a profiling bit with the palm router. In early 2019, we began designing and routing these with a CNC router to provide precise lettering and depth of artwork which is not achievable by hand at an acceptable price-point. Our first CNC box above was for the Meyer-Mellendorf wedding box, which shows off the depth of the rings. Additional figures and words can be routed on the sides, as well. The routed portion is then painted, followed by several coats of clear finish to lock in the beauty of the wood for a lifetime keepsake.


The majority of our boxes are constructed using a post and panel model with sliding dovetail joints. The vertical posts are thicker than the panels, and the panels are connected to the posts using a sliding dovetail.

A dovetail is a locking joint with tremendous strength compared to many other wood joints. The canted walls give the sliding dovetail joint a decided strength advantage over a dado, rabbit or butt joint. The joint mechanically resists tension, meaning that the tailboard can’t pull away from the grooved board. The wood must crush or break before the two parts separate. While it is not a complicated joint to make, it does require some finesse and patience, and the reward of the strength and appearance make up for the effort.


The barrel hinges used for securing the top to the base are made of solid brass with brass links. The base of the box has enough mass to allow the hinges to open 180 degrees without tipping over. The barrel hinges are invisible while the lid is closed. The barrel hinges are sunk into the base and top at the precise depth and distance to function correctly. A set screw is used in each barrel to expand them within their holes to stay in place.

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