Introduction: Steampunk Tool-Box for the Engineering Guy

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We've made this as a present for a special friend for 27years from the engineering school. He had liked the trumpet box We've made previously. We (Çiğdem and me) decided to make him a similar special present. We knew that he likes to have nice cigars and occasionally and seldomly likes to smoke one. So we decided to build him a cigar box. To give the box a bit more personality, we liked to shape it like an engineer's storage box of tools of the steampunk era.

Step 1: Cutting the Plywood Pieces.

We used 8mm pine plywood. As the laser cutting we did for the trumpet box left some burn marks at the edges and our laser cutter itself nowadays is out of order, we went for the classic way of manually measuring and cutting.

After cutting we cleaned the parts and also shaped the edges into roughly 45° angles for being able to glue them forming nicer corners later.

Step 2: Laser Engraving Some Graphics

our laser cutter is out of order with a dirty lens unable to cut but it is still powerful enough to make some engravings. So here it goes.

Step 3: Gluing the Box

Here is the old and trusty stich and glue method from boat building. Take a look at our boatbuilding albums while we've built a small sailboat back in year 2001.

instead of stitching and gluing, this time its screw and glue. I've added the explanations onto the photos.

We used a thin layer of fiberglass fabric to give the box more strength. We didn't use a thicker fabric as we did for the trumpet box, as this box will be sitting on top of a table all its life. No need to withstand great forces as my trumpet box suffered during my 20 days bicycle trip around europe last summer.

Step 4: Cleaning the Box and Prepping the Parts for the Assembly.

We remove the transparent tape, cutting off excess epoxy at the corners and slightly sanding it to get it ready for varnishing. there are also explanations are on each picture.

Step 5: Varnishing the Parts

After cleaning and matching the parts to each other. It is time to varnish the parts with two layers of epoxy to give it more strength, protection and also shiny looks. there are also explanations are on each picture.

Step 6: Leather Stripes for the Edges

The leather stripes will hopefully give the box a more steampunk era looks and also hide the edge of the top and bottom plywood parts. there are also explanations are on each picture.

Step 7: Horse Legs at the Corners.

bought this horse box support and corner protector from ebay

if you prefer a more traditional one, this might be it

I've also bought several of them for later box projects.

there are also explanations are on each picture.

Step 8: Corner Protectors for the Lid.

bought these corner protectors from ebay

there many other types, shapes and sizes. check them to find your favourite.

each picture has a small explanation to show the steps i've followed.

Step 9: Hinge for the Lid.

ancient bronze looking hinges bought from ebay.

pick your favourite one

each picture has a small explanation to show the steps i've followed.

Step 10: Box Locks.

We need to close shut the box so we need locks. Used one of the many types of them which can be found on ebay easily.

each picture has a small explanation to show the steps i've followed.

Step 11: The Handle

Find a suitable handle and install it on the box.

if you don't have a handle collection readily available for you, ebay is full of them.

Step 12: Edge Protectors / Supports.

these give a more authentic look and also support the box edges, giving more strength.

Drill with a 1mm drill bit first, then insert the nails. Do not hammer it down.

Step 13: Corner Decorations for the Lid.

the same with edge protectors, drill with a 1mm drill bit first, then insert the nails. Do not hammer it down.

here is one from ebay you might like

Step 14: Some Steampunk Gears.

I wanted to improve the steampunk look of the box by installing some gears on to it and the gears actually turn.

The gears with large center holes are quite useless as it is quite difficult to screw them. So it may be wise not to buy similar ones. You can also disassemble any old mechanism and use the gears inside or use the whole mechanism and place it onto the box, or in the box, visible from the outside.

ebay link for the gears

you might also like some necklaces which can be used for box decoration:

what about a gear lever?

or a compass?

Just glue or screw them onto your box.

Step 15: More Gear Decorations to the Sides.

I've added several more gears and wheels to the 4 sides.

Step 16: Interior Details

the box needs a bit of a cushioned interior for the cigars and the tools.

here are the "tools" inside

Step 17: Lid Support Chain.

I preferred to use a chain for lid opening limiter to aid the steampunk looks.

ebay is full of things to be used as decoration, they are nice and cheap.

Step 18: More Interior Cushioning.

asked a friend(the one who we make this present for in fact :))) ) a piece of artificial fur like fabric. He gave us a big piece 2mx2m. Will be good for many other projects to come.

Step 19: Final Result

This is how it looks now. Ready to be given to new owner. I'll add the delivery photos after new years eve when we gave him this. Ah and yes, we should also find 2-3 Cigars to put it in.

happy building and merry christmas.

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