Intro: Create Box With Finger Joints. Slider or Swing Top. I Made It at TechShop.
I always wanted to make my own Laser Cut Finger Joint Box and finally I got to try one.
To show the process of make a box using finger joints.
To share lesson learned.
Decide on the side of the box.
Decide what material to use. Most popular are plywood, solid wood and acrylic.
For rigidity, larger box require could require solid wood (instead of plywood) and thicker gage. If a slider is needed, plywood might not be best for making grooves for the slider. A flipping cover could be used instead by using hinges and holes on two sides.
Go get the laser cut art, simply go online and enter dimension, thickness and a few parameter. Use this link.
http://boxmaker.rahulbotics.com/ The dimensions entered are all outside dimensions.
To make the box rigid, you could add more wood glue along all the line corners. You could also triangular, circular arc or square wood on 4 corners. Glue them and use tiny nails to joint them.
The results from the online tool included a top piece. I deleted this part and edited all the 4 sides so they could be just flat.
Not that a small joint resulted due to joint size selected and dimensions. If we need to stick to our dimensions, we could iterate the joint size until they are evently distributed in all 3 dimensions. Or we could simply adjust the ends to make the neighboring joint combined with the smaller joint.
Depending on the material used, the kerf need to be adjusted to make fit just right.... not too tight and not too loose.
If your slider is fixed, you need to work backward and adjust the width.
I was pondering how to get the glue to all the inside (in between) the fingers. I am reluctant to spend all that time. Then suddenly I found a way that would make it easy. I laid all the pieces flat and then I applied Gorilla only on the top surface (see picture). This would save a lot of time for all of us!
My friends at TechShop reminded me to clamp them well and let the glue dry well. Many said overnight is best. I think the minimum should be at least 2 hours.
To do it right, the exposed burn edges should have been sand off so they don't make dirty marks on our hands. Also, it would be need to have better paint work.
I intend to make a flip top cover. I could have make the 2 side hole laser cut. At this stage, I could drill the holes instead. The hinges need to be screwed on the wood to make a strong hinge joints.