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Greetings!

This is my first post on this website and I've been learning a lot from you folks all year. I am new to woodworking this year and I have a project idea for a wooden box with an LED display on the front spelling out my friend's name.

The rough dimensions of this box are 6" W x 4" H x 3" D. The board thickness is roughly 3/8" thick. There's going to be wood on 5 sides (top, bottom, right, left, and back) and I'm thinking of joining the corners with rabbet joints. The front panel will be an electronics perfboard (pictured below) with LEDs mounted onto it, and I want the perfboard set inward from the front about a half inch.

I'm thinking of finishing it with black walnut Danish oil and maybe spray a little lacquer over it.

My dilemma is how do I assemble and finish this box? If I assemble the whole box and then finish it, there's a risk I'll get finish on the electronics perfboard. My other idea is to finish the pieces of wood separately, and then assemble it, but that just seems like poor practice to me.

As I was writing this post, it occurred to me that I can assemble the whole box and then cover the electronics with plastic packing tape during the finishing operation.

What do you think I should do?
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Hi, I've been binge-watching lots of woodworking Master Class videos this week, and have seen quite a few box and cabinetry constructions where they do the finish stains and the like before assembly. There have been lots using blue painter's tape where they didn't want stuff to go, too, so either way should work well for you, too. Good luck, and post a pic of your finished project!
 

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Could you leave the top, bottom or one side off? Finish the piece, slide the perf board in and then attach the last piece?

As mentioned, taping should work. Be careful laying the tape down as I would avoid getting the tape inside a joint as you could pinch it. So tape the perf board after it is installed. Getting that last bit of tape out could be really difficult. If possible, use painter's masking tape as it has less grip and would be easier to remove.
 
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