I really enjoy making wood games. They make great gifts and are a great way to try out some new woodworking techniques to customize them. This time last year I made a Quarto game, which holds endless design possibilities. Like some chess boards, they become works of art as well as pastimes.
Shut-the-Box is a very old game dating back to the 12th century. I’m going to guess that it is most popular as a gambling game, since it isn’t very involved and each game lasts a minute or so. I think it would also be a good early-learning game for children to reinforce simple arithmetic.
I made mine out of cherry and paduk left over from my recent cheese cutting board project. I used all 1/2″ thick wood because 3/4″ boards always look “heavy” to me on smallish-sized boxes. I like to add inlay on lids such as this, where I drop a plywood panel into a rabbeted frame. It looks good, but the main reason is to conceal any gaps where my cuts aren’t perfect!