One Day Builds: Adam Savage’s Traveling Beaver Box

One Day Builds return! This week, Adam constructs a traveling case for Winston, a dashing beaver that’s also the official mascot of The Talking Room. Winston’s box needs to be a very specific size to fit in airplane overhead bins, so a little taxidermy surgery is required. Winston goes under the knife!

Comments (73)

73 thoughts on “One Day Builds: Adam Savage’s Traveling Beaver Box

  1. I really enjoyed the editing in this episode! As with the banter between Adam and Will, it was far more enjoyable compared to the voice over “One day builds”; though that’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy the spit out of the others. Anyway, thanks for another great show!!

  2. Another interesting video, I really enjoy the box making vids. Regarding the molecular behaviour of adhesives; I took a course on Joining lightweight materials as part of my materials science degree, and we looked at the chemical behaviours of some common adhesives (mostly for metals). I could find my notes if anyone is interested.

  3. The best part of these videos is watching the process that Adam goes through as he identifies and then tackles each problem/challenge. Very illuminating and insightful.

  4. The sheer variety of drills, saws, routers, and other myriad of tools is amazing, and strangely satisfying to watch them being there ready and waiting when called for.

  5. Hmm. I understand that Adam had to do this one rather quickly, but I think he could improve it by making that sort of foam insert that Harrison (of Volpin props) does, cutting to shape, and also putting Winston on a permanent varnished wooden base so that Adam could take him out and place him quickly over a table or something. A wooden base with that green felt… Hmmm, it’d be oh-so-nice.

    EDIT: Oh, but it was a great ODB. I love these. Thank you everyone!

  6. I think the one thing I would have done differently was to drill deeper into the foam insert and install a 1/8″ metal rod about halfway up the height of the beaver, to add stiffness and provide a much stronger mounting point. It would have taken a much longer time than the threaded inserts, but I’d want to make sure I didn’t open the box to find tear-out on poor Winston’s feet 🙂

  7. Fantastic build but I share others concerns for Winston’s well being over time. I was expecting some foam inserts in order to stabilize him and not put all the weight on the feet threads and never got it. I hope that Adam puts something AT LEAST behind his head as just a little extra insurance.

    Joey, wonderful job on the editing!

  8. Another interesting video, I really enjoy the box making vids. Regarding the molecular behaviour of adhesives; I took a course on Joining lightweight materials as part of my materials science degree, and we looked at the chemical behaviours of some common adhesives (mostly for metals). I could find my notes if anyone is interested.

    That would actually be very interesting.

  9. I hate watching these box builds because they make my tool wish list grow exponentially each time. I want a set of those forstner bits real bad.

    Really love the different style of the edit and production of this video too. I feel like I’m just hanging out in the room the whole time. Keep up the solid work!

    SIDE NOTE: A little sad no one made a Mel Gibson joke.

  10. A completely fascinating build, but I think the thing I enjoyed the most was how tenderly Adam handled Winston throughout.

  11. Anyone notice Norm in the clip? He silently appears at 5:21 checking out Adam’s threaded brass thingies =)

    Great box!

  12. I have that table saw, Curse you Adam, now I’m building that sled w/ the classic directional arrow. Love the Arrow. One day Builds are the best!

  13. Anyone have a link to that leather paper used in the build? I’d like to look at using some in a project of mine.

  14. Adam mentioned ” my model making book” in passing and a quick look on amazon did not turn up such a tome. Anyone have the details on this volume? Is it still in print? Sold online?

  15. Someone posted in the Blade Runner video comments that he or she had gotten the name from FLAX, the paper is called Skivertex and comes in 18″ x 36″ sheets and (I believe) several colors and textures.

  16. Funny coincidence here. I recently purchased and read Kevin Kelly’s “Cool Tools”, in which Adam gives a recommendation for portable bandsaws and even mentions the Dewalt saw he uses in the video.

  17. Not finished, I think. He’s mentioned it a few times as a “one of these days I ought to do” sort of project.

  18. For some reason I really wanna see Winston in a Top Hat with specs.

    He could easily pull off a monocle and small moustache, too!

    I love watching the one day builds (over and over and over again)

  19. Love it. As a Brit, bad puns and innuendo are in my blood *remember, we are the home of Carry On movies*

    This box desperately needs a Beaver Liquors label. 😉

  20. perhaps this is the project he was working while tour? (Reference: most recent still untitled, Jan 21, 2013)

  21. The project he talked about is a papercraft model. I won’t spoil what it is of, as he is planning a reveal, but if you look at the early road-blogs he did you’ll see a few shots of it, enough to recognize it if you have seen the source material 🙂

  22.   well it’s not like he is doing anything else 😉 tell hime to get his finger out and finish it! Seriously I expect it is something he might have time for in his retirement when his keepers no longer let him near machines or sharp things (I guess the way I heard it in this video to me it sounded like something he had written in his pre mythbusters days, and that is why I dashed over to amazon to hunt for it) is I am already past retirement age I hope I am still using my workshop when it comes out.

  23. I read the bold typed header, “One Day Builds: Adam Savage’s Traveling Beaver Box” and saw the still from the video and totally thought he was making a box out of the beaver… I was STOKED!… and then super let down by my further reading of the description. I would like to see Adam turn any taxidermy’d animal into a carrying case…. any takers?!

  24. I hope you’re going to add some detail photos of the finished product. Maybe as a premium feature?

    I love these box building videos. (Especially since I’m currently in the middle of a similar project myself.*) I just wish I had easy access to such a selection of hardware and building materials Adam has managed to collect in his cave. Every time I realize I need something more exotic I have to drive to the hardware store. Thus turning a one day build into a week long build…

    *I’m restoring a Singer sewing machine case from the 50’s with my wife. It’s the most modern case we’ve worked on so far so it gives us some more artistic freedom than our previous projects, that have been from the beginning of the 20th century. With the older cases we’ve tried to keep true to the original look as much as possible, but with this one we’re mixing it up a bit. We’ve added some classic details but also giving it a more modern flair. (I’m happy to show you guys some photos once it’s finished and of course give you some more details if you’d like.)

  25. That slide on the table saw is impressive – I wish we had thought of that at the lumber yard I used to work at. I also thought it was funny that you said the Forstner bits were really cheap – they’re the most expensive bits we sell at my hardware store. Really cool build. Would have liked to see the weathering and labeling (I know it’s been covered before, but I think it’s neat.)

  26. These videos make me want to make boxes for everything I own. Also there is a Beaverton Michigan, please o please put a Beaverton Michigan sticker on that box.

  27. I love these videos! It always makes me want to break out my table saw again & build that next Arkham Horror case.

    I just wish that faux leather paper was readily available here in Australia.

  28. Watching these box builds always makes me want to build one for my Telescope. Adam just makes it look so easy, or perhaps that’s just the editing?

  29. More “One Day Builds”!!!!!! Please! Couldn’t help but provide my own “beaver” jokes as I watched! LOL!!

  30. Adam if you are going to be working with metal wear your safety glasses! even with those coke bottles metal can still get in your eyes

  31. I’m really loving the cuts you guys do now, those quick little snippets of Adam working, it’s really professional and fun. Keep on doin’ what you’re doin’!

  32. these box builds are so much more entertaining than they have any right to be. also a great reminder of how far my shop has to go. keep the box’s coming!

  33. That is one of the best taxi’d beavers I’ve ever seen. I’ve seen some really bad ones, including one that was in a natural history museum that had been done by someone who had obviously never seen one live…..

  34. Might I suggest putting some type of Oregon State or Corvallis shipping label on there? It seems rather fitting for your beaver box to have some reference to Oregon state, and i know the OSU community would get a hell of a kick out of it.

  35. I have been looking for skivertex everywhere local to Los Angeles i had no luck. But i found Cover Materials Sales, Inc. They sell per yard. 54″x36 is one yard for $15 for orders 10 yards and over its $8 a yard there customer service is great and helpful shipping is cheap. im thinking of making a space in my shop for the Skivertex i love the look of it that much. Hope this helps some one thanks.

  36. The “things I won’t work with” Adam refers to is actually part of Derek Lowe’s blog “In the Pipeline” (, and is well worth a look if you need a laugh.

    Very nice beaver there, Adam. He has a philosophical sort of air.

  37. I never thought I’d see the day where i heard the sentance, Traveling Beaver Box.
    Also legit died when adam said “if his name is winston i now need to buy him.”

  38. Adam if you are planning on making your beaver case look like another oversized beaver it just might be the best use of taxedermy I have ever seen in my life.

  39. Did Mr. Savage run out of screws that wouldn’t protrude into the box to hold the piano hinge on? Hmm. Maybe all those sharp points were all ground flat and safe. Incidentally, I have found that the case corners used are rarely true on the 3 sides when bought, and a better fit is obtained by gently tapping them into place on the corner of a suitable block of metal or on the corner of the box they are going onto before it is covered, taking care not to ding the ball part of the corner. This eliminates the overhanging of the corner from the case, evident in the video. I used to make flightcases. The first 100 cases are the hardest…

    I only discovered Tested two days ago. Until now I wondered if I was alone. Now I know there are others.

    Thank you.

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