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Here's a fancy schmancy napkin holder for your Gatsby parties. Didn't take that long with a laser, and glued together in a snap! 
Materials:
24 x 8 inches of 3/8" hardwood (I used 1/2" oak, thinking it was 3/8" . . . made laser cutting tricky . . .)
small amount of 1/4" MDF
Masking tape
Spray Paint
Wood Glue
Small screws


Step 1:

There is a handy dandy box cutting template program at http://boxmaker.rahulbotics.com/ that I used.
Just enter the size of the box (outside dimensions. add twice the thickness of the material to the size of your napkins to get your outside dimensions) and how big you want your finger joints to be and poof! There's a .pdf you can open in Adobe Illustrator to cut things. 

I adjusted the file so there would be no top piece, cut the front piece into rounded sections, and extended the sides into cool looking steps. 

Line with a weight of .001 will cut, while lines with any other weight will just etch. The large lines that are to be etched and filled with gold will be etched through masking tape.

So! First step is to tightly cover your hardwood with masking tape. After laser cutting the wood, raster the thick lines (might take a couple passes) nice and deep.

Step 2: Feet and Painting

To do the stepped feet, i cut a series of squares out of 1/4" MDF. Etching the shape of the piece that goes on top of the piece being etched ensures they would fit perfectly and not show any gaps.  Glue these together.


Step 3: Paint!

Spray paint the pieces the pieces covered in masking tape, as well as the feet gold. 
I had a few problems with bleed under the tape, but if you etch deep enough, you can sand that bleed through off afterwards. 

I went back later after the box was assembled and re-etched some of the lines because i didn't do them deep enough and sanded to far. Then I touched up paint with a gold marker. This is also how I got the lines to wrap around the edge of the box. 


Step 4: Assemble!

Next, pull off the tape and slap the pieces together! 

Wood glue inside the joints and clamp together, and glue the feet to the bottom.
I sanded the edges down smooth, you can leave the burnt wood look if you like, it looks cool too. 

I did have the feet fall off afterwards with heavy use, so I went back and screwed them in through the bottom.

You can stain it first if you want the pieces to be different colors, or afterwards, just be careful of the gold lines, to not get stain in them.

Ta-da! 

I made it at TechShop!
http://www.techshop.ws

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