Introduction: Making a Tooth Fairy Box
This little box started out as a 3 inch by 3 inch business card which was laser cut from 1/8 inch Baltic birch plywood.
The pieces poke out to make a small hinged box.
The business cards turned out to be really expensive.
The box is really too small to hold any but the tiniest of rings. However, my wife was quick to point out that the box is the correct size for a pair of diamond stud earrings (Absolutely . . . . Use it for that).
I needed another reason for a small box.
One of my friends pointed out that the box is the perfect size for a tooth. So, the small box became the Tooth Fairy Box.
As one parent later told me, the box is way easier for the Tooth Fairy to find than a lone tooth under a pillow.
I carry the 3x3 panels with me and make them to hand out when we go to restaurants. I also make and hand out toys (see the dinosaur toy Instructable). The toys go to the kids, the boxes go to mom and dad.
DXF, SVG, and Corel versions of the file
Caution: You will note there are outlines of the pieces in the center of the panel and an outline of the finished box in the corner of the panel. Those are meant to be engraved, not cut. Just sayin'
- To import the vector file into something your laser will recognize
- My program of choice is Corel Draw (V16)
- The attached files are DXF and SVG exported from Corel Draw
- With enough power to etch AND cut 1/8 inch plywood
- I had access to a 60 WATT Universal and 75 WATT Epilog
1/8 inch Baltic birch plywood (my material of choice)
- Other materials will work but the vector file will need to be changed to accommodate the thickness of the material being used.
Note: 1/8 inch thick wood might work except that the cutout pieces are small and have small tabs which might break along wood grain lines.
- If you scale the file correctly, the parts will press fit together.
- Variations in the thickness of the material sometimes means a loose fit.
- I use Titebond original wood glue. I use a TINY amount (two to four drops per box / see picture) and it sets up fairly quickly.
Step 1: Poke Out the Pieces and Start Assembly
Carefully poke out the pieces.
- If you hold the panel up to the light, you will see little tabs holding the individual pieces to the panel.
- Apply pressure to the border at the tab holding the piece in place, the piece will usually break free,
To start, you will need
- Back, both sides and bottom (shown)
Note: Careful not to confuse the front and back pieces. The back piece is taller.
Note: The sides are interchangeable.
Add a SMALL amount of glue to the mating surface on the BOTTOM PIECE ONLY
Note: The point is to keep any glue away from the hinge pins
The curve in the side pieces goes next to the hinge pins (see the picture)
After the bottom, sides and back are glued, find the front piece.
Add a SMALL amount of glue to the mating surfaces (bottom and sides)
Attach the front piece and squeeze the pieces together slightly.
Each tab should be fully seated into its adjoining slot.
Step 2: Gather the Pieces for the Top.
Now that the bottom part of the box is complete, it should look like the first picture.
Now find the top, top sides, and top front pieces.
The pieces are shown in the picture in their correct orientation
Note: The top piece has a straight edge without any slots. That is the back of the box lid.
Apply a small amount of glue to the mating surfaces on the TOP PIECE ONLY
When assembled it, will look like picture 4
Step 3: Assemble the Top to the Box
While the glue on the top is still wet,
While the glue on the top is still wet, put the top on the box.
Note: It will be necessary to move one of the top side pieces outwards a little bit so that it can slip over the hinge pin (as shown in the picture)
Once the top is in place, squeeze the box on all six sides (Slightly, remember its 1/8 inch plywood) to make sure all tabs are in their slots
Its not a bad idea to open the box carefully a few times to make sure that the lid is not glued down.
Note: The lid may be difficult to open if the perimeter of the top side pieces have been charred during the cutting process. A little (tiny bit, small amount, hardly nothing) lubrication ( olive oil, mineral oil, butter) on the perimeter will usually take care of this.
Allow the glue to dry for a few minutes before handing the box to someone.
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