Updated: Mar 4, 2020
Owning a laser cutter pretty much means making boxes is an obligatory responsibility. And yeah, honestly, it's been pretty satisfying to be able to rip out a custom size box with the awesome looking laser cut finger joints in an afternoon.
However... Kerf was a 4 letter word here at first. The box joints were too tight. Then they were too loose. Then you forgot to zero your calipers and there's that one box that shattered when you applied a bit too much Percussive Persuasion trying to get the last joint to set - Good job there Goldilocks...
But I've gotten things mostly figured out now. The porridge is finally just right, I think...
So what's that mean? It means its time to throw a wrench in things! Curved boxes, mixed material boxes with a sliding front panel were on tap for this weekend.
Overall I'm happy with how they turned out, but I'll be making a few tweaks to the next sliding front box. This is going to be more of a show and less of a tell blog post. There's a surprising amount of work that goes into getting a usable first iteration, so while the SVG files I created for these boxes are functional, they're not as polished as I'd like for public sharing.
Alright, enough talk, onto the pictures!
Here's a rounded corner living hinge rectangular box made from maple plywood. It's part of a custom His and Her's bathroom counter organizer set. I really like this one. The kerf was perfect, it snapped together with no adhesive.
This is an oval box cut from MDF. It was mostly an experiment and was a variation of a box I'd seen while browsing Instructables. You can see the corners of the lid don't really want to stay down, I'll need to glue and press them in place.
Here's the pièce de résistance for the weekend.
This is a mixed material box with a sliding front panel for a friends birthday. Engraved on the front is my wife's favorite margarita recipe.
This box uses maple plywood, mirrored acrylic and blue translucent acrylic. Acrylic and wood cut slightly differently, so there was some sanding required to make this work. And the front was a little loose due to the finaggling of the finger joints. Not perfect, but still way cooler than traditional wrapping paper so we'll roll with it!