Metal box corners come in a variety of styles and finishes. From low-profile surface-mount types to long-legged trunk corner styles, they are a great way to spruce up your homemade instrument builds.
In addition to their decorative appeal, they also serve useful structural roles. For instance, they can be used to effectively keep your cigar box closed, so that you don't have to rely on the flimsy box latches. And of course, they serve their original protective purpose quite well, keeping the corners of your box from getting all dinged-up over time.
Great Looking and Convenient
In the C. B. Gitty workshop, we put metal box corners onto most of the cigar box guitars and amplifiers we build. Personally, I like how they look. Box corners give an old-timey vintage look and feel to cigar box builds. Plus, their role in helping seal boxes shut saves us having to make other often clunky arrangements with bracing blocks and screws.
Now, some builders look down on metal box corners. They feel that they are overused, kitschy, and unnecessary... and that's fine. I certainly don't think every build has to use box corners. On some cigar boxes that have rounded sides or other fancy shapes, it is impossible to use them. And some decorative boxes designs are cool enough that you don't really need any additional decoration, so sometimes we leave the corners off.
Different Box Corner Styles
Here is an overview of the types of box corners that we carry here at C. B. Gitty, with a link to each one's product page and some thoughts on their use. If you have never tried box corners, take a look at these and give them a go. Also, keep in mind that they can be used on all sorts of other woodworking projects too. From jewelry boxes to kitchen cabinets, anything that has a square corner can use a box corner.
Standard 2-hole 1 1/4-inch Box Corners
These plated steel box corners have a scalloped front side, and legs that are about 1.25-inch long. They have two mounting screw holes on the back portion, which make these good for sealing a cigar box shut. These are the most popular variety of box corners we sell. Note that this style of box corner has a slight radius (roundness) to the point of the corner. So, sometimes you have to file a little bit of the corner point of your box to get them to fit snugly.
Square-corner 3-hole 1 1/4-inch Box Corners
Similar to the style above, these plated steel box corners have no radius to the point. So, they are better at fitting snugly onto the corner of a wood box without having to do any filing. They do have a third screw hole in the top face, however.
Square-style 3-hole 1-inch Box Corners
These are made from heavier-gauge plated steel, and extend 1-inch onto all 3 faces of a box corner. They have a bit of radius to the point, so some filing of your box's corner point will likely be necessary. These corners require 3 mounting screws each, with a hole on each face. For their simplicity, these corners give a nice look and provide excellent protection without distracting from the design of the box itself.
Low-profile 1 1/4-inch Box Corners
These plated steel corners are much lower-profile than any of our other styles, with the 3 mounting holes all being on the top surface. Their legs are about 1.25-inch long, and they only extend about 1/8-inch down the side of the box, making them an excellent choice for thinner boxes and more space-constrained uses. Their simple design can be a subtle accent for a more decorative cigar box.
Small Trunk-style Corners
This style of box corner is more reminiscent of what would be mounted on sizeable steamer trunks and the like, both for decoration and for protecting the corners against being crushed. This is a smaller plated steel variety of that style, which is excellent for use on cigar boxes. The point does have a radius to it, so a little bit of corner point filing on your box is usually necessary to get a flush fit. These corners are terrific for sealing boxes since they extend a substantial way (about an inch) onto each face of the box. They mount with three screws, one on each leg.
Medium Trunk-style Corners
Available in Shiny Brass finish.
This is a little larger and flashier trunk-style corner. These corners, made from brass-plated steel, are good for larger cigar boxes since the legs extend further down across the box panels (about an inch and a half total). These corners will actually hold the bottom panel of your box up a little bit due to their rounded/raised design. These look great on cigar box amplifiers and are also fantastic for larger cigar box guitars. They mount with 3 screws, one on each leg.
Larger Art Deco-style Corners
These plated steel box corners are 1 3/4-inch long on each leg and extend about 1-inch down the back, so they are the largest of the box cornet styles we offer. They mount with 2 screws through the two back faces. These can be a lovely decorative addition to larger cigar boxes.
I hope this survey of our metal box corner varieties has been informative for you. We are always on the lookout for new styles, so stay tuned for new additions.
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Ben "Gitty" Baker