One thing that often needs to be solved when making boxes (or anything really) is how to hold the item that is being worked on. Sometimes clamps can be used, or a vice, or a jig is made to do the holding. But sometime the 'thing' doing the holding gets in the way as unrestricted access is needed around the object being worked. Are you following?
An example of this is when I shape box lids so they are curved and tapered. You need access all around the lid without holding device being in the way. The tool being used (hand plane, angle grinder and cutting disc, orbital sander for example) has to have clear access to the box lid. Also, as I am sure you can imagine, the shearing force put on the lid when using a hand plane can be very strong.
A really simple, and I do think rather an amazing method to hold something down, is as simple as masking tape and superglue. It really works well.
In the picture, I am using blue painters masking tape and superglue to hold the box lid to a piece of MDF. The tape is on both the MDF and the lid, and a few drops of glue (and I do really mean a few) are applied to one surface and then the lid is clamped down for about 60 seconds for the glue to cure (the glue comes with an accelerator spray that almost instantly sets the glue, but I like to give it a while to fully cure). The resulting joint is really really strong, and stands the force of an angle grinder, hand plane or orbital sander. To remove the piece when finished, the bond needs to be broken, and usually a sharp tap with a hammer will break it. This isn't a new idea, as paper joints have been used in woodturning for ages, but I always find it remarkable as to how strong the joint is and at the same time how easy it is to break the joint when you have finished with it (only if you haven't used too much glue, then it can be a struggle!).
The lid in the picture was one from a group of three oak jewellery boxes that were made from a single plank of oak.
By careful selection and getting my cutting list organised, I managed to lay out everything so the lids would be cut sequentially along the plank, so the grain would run along the lids.
This picture shows the three boxes and how the grain runs along the lids. As all three were made as a commission for someone, I think it is a really nice touch to do something like this. It connects the boxes together.
In this picture that has the boxes with the lids open, you can see the curved shape on the lids. The outer face is convex and the inner face is concave, and the lid tapers down towards the front.
These boxes are real proof that the tape and glue method does really work!
To see more of these boxes or any others I have made, please visit the Gallery pages of my website.