Introduction: A Maker's Lunch Box
I've had people stop me and ask me what the hell is it! And I love seeing people being really curious but not wanting to ask, just stare…
So put simply, I wanted the outside to be as intriguing as the inside.
I hope this inspires more than wanting to replicate, you should definitely build your own dream box!
…are optional, as you will see this box is unique and what I had at hand was used to create this maker's treasure chest.
Step 1: Sketch… Then Cut!
I made some rough sketches for this project, but I also wanted to see what would evolve along the build process. One goal though… beveled top!!! Also, I wanted to use as much leftover wood as possible:-)
I've been fascinated by the typical American lunchbox, I found several and had great fun reading up on the history of the treasured food storage case (www.smithsonianmag.com)
Step 2: Bevel Me!
As I pointed out, this box is all about the bevel! being my first attempt I had some spare wood to try out. Some thin popple made the cut. I ran it over the table saw multiple times, I knew I had to cut ridges to make it curve. I even added some water to soften the wood before starting the attaching. At each end, I had a pretty thick side panel for the bevel to attach to and rest while glue would dry.
I had measured twice so I was sure there was enough wood to go all the way. I cut off what was not needed, but as you can see I quickly added some wood putty:-)
I used small nails to hold the top in place, as an extra precaution I strapped it down as well.
Step 3: Put a Handle on It…
The bevel was pretty thin so to make sure my handle would not pull the top right off I added a split round stock. This enabled me to have a good base for the handle.
I had some bamboo left over, it was perfect for a nice smooth grip. I bent two pieces of solid metal rod where I had previously welded screws to both sides. Now I could use the bamboo as a connector and hold the metal in one place. This solution turned out to be rock bamboo solid:-)
Step 4: Inventing Along the Way…
Creating the different box parts meant I needed to make a jig to hold the sides in place while gluing. A big round wood slab, from an old washing contraption (squeezing the water out), made for a great corner fit. So using a tightening rope I had made myself a very flexible glue jig.
Step 5: Let Glue Dry!!!
I wise maker once said (ok she's said it hundreds of times), but I always have a hard time being patient. With this build, though I had so many parts going parallel most of the time I was able to hold off. I knew I wanted to make this box strong so it could be with me on the road.
Step 6: Projector Made in the USSR
Yup, I got this from a flea market in Poland! It's a real beauty, rock-solid. I wanted this to be the centerpiece inside. The lift is from an IKEA lid rack, I modified it a little.
I swapped out the old lighting in the slide projector with a 12v led, but still, the front lens was missing the slide switcher… 3D print to the rescue, but as you can see I did not measure twice this time😂
I ended up cutting the piece of PLA in two and with quick epoxy and metal studs, I got the right size. I had printed transparencies in the inkjet printer with different graphics related to my maker philosophy…
Step 7: Done… No Mister, Not by a …
BUT it had grown to show the basic shape. I could finally add some simple locks and for the lid, I used a piano hinge. Next, I started to install the led strip that would light up as I opened the box.
And not to forget the pen holder on the right side:-)
Step 8: Is It the Inside That Counts…
What to do with all this space? I gave myself some time to try out different arrangements for the inside organization. Luckily I left it alone for a while to focus on more fun issues.
Step 9: An Over Weight Lunch Box…
The size is a bit challenging, when full of different projects, it weighs a decent amount. That's why I added shoulder straps. But still, you don't want to carry this for hours.
Step 10: Refining the Inside
I gave the top tray a color treatment so it would be easier to differentiate the compartments. This top tray could be lifted out and underneath you'd find two more trays and a mini slide projector. And not to forget the 12v battery, a voltmeter, a USB connector, and a mono speaker. I wanted the wiring to be visible so all my ideas and work could be seen for others to ask and laugh:-)
Step 11: Details to Wrap It Up…
The stamp bonanza could begin along with all the other visual goodies. I love how I could just add pieces that had no specific meaning but would add to the mystery and confusion surrounding this box.
The compass is one of my favorites, it signals some kind of greater travel and a long voyage ahead…
Step 12: One More Thing…
Thanks for taking this time to get inside my boxed-up world! Hopefully, I've made you want to build more boxes. As you understand the purpose of this box is the box itself, I bring it where ever possible and continue to enjoy seeing others light up in pure lunchbox engagement.
One more thing, if you have paid close attention you will have noticed there is a "secret compartment" If you can identify it I will reveal what's inside, but till someone does it will stay a secret:-)
If you enjoyed this Instructable please follow along over at my Instagram: @smogdog for more builds… & boxes
Second Prize in the