Picture of Playing Card Holder from Reclaimed Lumber
I made it at TechShop.

This playing card box was made from a floor joist salvaged from a 150 year old house that was in the process of being renovated. While working on this project, another TechShop member identified this piece as Spruce, and from the small amount of discoloration caused by Spalting, it was most likely cut from a tree that was dead for some time.

That means this project may actually be the second time this piece of wood was reclaimed!

Tools (available at TechShop):

Planer (optional)
ShopBot with 1/4" spiral bit
VCarve software
CAD software (Autodesk Inventor)
Table router with 3/4" round over bit
Laser etcher
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: CAD Design

Picture of CAD Design
cardholder cad 2.jpg
Using 3D solid model CAD software (Autodesk Inventor available at TechShop), a design was created. The reference dimensions were the length, width and height of a standard deck of playing cards, as well as the overall dimensions of the piece of lumber (this sets the size of the work piece).

Prior to creating the CAD design, the lumber was run through the planer (sorry no photos) just enough to remove the rough sawn sides. Afterwards, the thickness was measured, and fed into the CAD design.

The final design was read into the VCarve software to program the cutter paths and output the tool path file for the next step.

Step 2: CNC carve the shape

Picture of CNC carve the shape

The two halves were cut on the ShopBot using a 1/4" spiral bit. This made the machine time a little longer than using a larger diameter router bit, but it allowed us to make deep cuts, and complete the job with a single bit.

Step 3: Personalize

Picture of Personalize
Using the laser etcher, we added the personalization to the lid. We chose to do it at this point because we would be finishing edges and sanding after this, and could clean up the residue (caramelized sugars and soot) at the same time.

Step 4: Edge clean up

Picture of Edge clean up
Using the sander, the sides were cleaned up, then all the edges and corners were rounded off with the table router and a 3/4" round over bit.

You have been busy lately! Another great project! It's just so professional! I love it :D

lime3D (author)  Penolopy Bulnick1 year ago

Thanks. I got the idea when we were in the craft store and saw really cheaply made card holders made from super thin pieces of wood, that were basically just empty boxes with a divider in the center. The idea is that you could paint or stain it yourself. At first I thought about just adding the laser etching, but then realized I could make something much nicer.

Very impressive. Time for me to build that CNC router and Laser engraver!!

sabrososki1 year ago
ecsaul231 year ago

great job!

seamster1 year ago

This is really nice, and aside from the laser etching wouldn't be too hard to make using traditional tools. I love that Johnson's paste wax, it's great stuff!

lime3D (author)  seamster1 year ago

For the first coat of paste wax, I actually melted some in a coffee cup in the microwave and painted it on with a brush, and it soaked right in.

Good tip, I'll have to try that if I'm ever using it on especially dry wood. Thanks!