This Christmas, I bought her one of the extensions she didn't already have by now. I thought it'd also be nice to make her something to keep all the parts in as once you have more than 3 extensions it becomes a bit of a struggle to get all of the pieces into the original box, even with the cardboard padding removed. I set out to design and make her a themed wooden Carcassonne storage chest.
The box I made was first designed in 3D in CAD software called Alibre Designs. This allowed me to check that everything was going to fit and easily adjust dimensions if I changed my mind. I laser cut all of the parts in 3mm birch ply, all of the finger joints you can see around the box were cut 4.5mm long so that they stuck out past the corners. This let me trim off the excess with a chisel after to remove the slight charred and bevelled edge you get when laser cutting. All the finger joints pointing up towards the top of the box were intentionally designed 10mm too long so they stuck up to look like the crenelations of a castle.
The main box is made up of 7 parts. The front and one side were glued together and clamped to keep them square and the back and the other side were glued and clamped. This gave me two halves I could then put together when dry with the lid. I used Gorrilla glue because it's nice and strong and fast curing. After this point I had a bottomless box with no lid. I used a table saw to cut the lid apart from the base. Doing it this way means you end up with a lid that HAS to be square to the base and will fit perfectly. It can't not fit! The base is supported by a protrusion in each corner, and extra 3mm piece of ply is glued to the lid and base on the inside at the back to give enough depth to cut a notch to screw the hinges to.
I also designed, laser cut and assembled a removable tray to store all of the tiles. Two of these rows should be enough to store every card from every extension, leaving the third row for Meeple or other parts of the game.
All of the wood was finished with Colron Danish oil to bring out the colour/grain of the wood and seal it from dirt.
Overall it took 4-5 hours of design work, less than an hour on the laser cutter and 5-6 hours assembly and finishing (mostly waiting for glue to dry).