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A plain hexagonal box that I designed in SketchUp, made from 2mm thick HDF and cut with a lasercutter. I'll use this as a base for marquetry and other decorations in later videos, but I've shared this first because I found it a really neat and satisfying design.

The SketchUp files showing the assembled box and the 2d sheet ready for cutting are in the .zip file attached to this instructable, lasercut_hexagon_box.zip .

The easiest way to cut those shapes out from SketchUp is with my SketchUp to Gcode plugin: https://www.instructables.com/id/Export-Laser-Cutte... - that will also make sense of the test shapes I cut out of the HDF at the start of this video.

You will need:

  • HDF (High Density Fibreboard) - 2mm thick, approx half a square metre in area
  • PVA Glue
  • Large rubber bands
  • Masking tape
  • Stanley knife / x-acto knife
  • Laser cutter, at least 40W

0:22 Export the shapes from the SketchUp file '6 sided wooden box 2mm cut sheet' to Gcode. The easiest way is using my SketchUp plugin, that I've linked to in the intro above. You can export the four side pieces as one group, to make them easier to cut. On a K40 laser cutter, I got the best results using full laser power, 2mm/s feedrate, and 10 passes over each cut.

0:50 Cut the pieces from the HDF on the laser cutter. You'll need 6 copies of the side pieces, and 2 copies of each top/bottom piece, as shown in the video. Good extraction and air filtering is vital when cutting HDF on the laser cutter because the smoke is toxic.

1:29 This shot shows all the pieces needed to make one box.

1:50 glue the pairs of top/bottom pieces together, making sure the smaller pieces are glued precisely centrally on the larger pieces leaving a margin of exactly 2mm around the smaller pieces.

2:02 Glue the outer bottom side pieces to the base - these are the largest side pieces.

2:13 Use masking tape and rubber bands to clamp the pieces together.

2:24 Glue in the inner bottom side pieces - these are the second largest side pieces.

2:30 Wipe off excess glue.

2:38 - 3:20 Following the same method, glue the outer then the inner side pieces to the box top, clamping them with rubber bands.

3:20 Leave to dry for 24 hours.

3:28 Remove the tape and rubber bands.

3:44 Test fit the top to the bottom. If it doesn't fit, use a knife to gradually trim down the corners and top edges of the lip until it fits snugly, but make sure you trim it down gradually, otherwise the top could become too loose. The top should friction fit to the bottom.

Please check back for more Instructables, where I'll show how I covered this box with marquetry.

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