Hardwood Watch Box




I made this wooden box as a present for my brother over the holidays. The box is made of two pieces of Padauk hardwood (love the red color). Box pieces of wood have had pockets CNC milled into them to fit a 2 watches, and the top of the box has been CNC milled with a v-shaped bit to make his initials (DLK) in a cool font. The two parts are brought together by some small brass hinges from the hardware store, and 4 magnets securing the front of the box to give it a nice snap when you open and close it.

Step 1: Gather the Materials


  1. (2) 5x8x0.75" African Padauk (or any kind of decorative hardwood)
  2. (4) small magnets, I had some left over from buying them on etsy, but you can get them at any hardware store.
  3. (2) small brass hinges, also best from a local hardware store.

Step 2: CNC Mill the Inside of the Box

I specifically made (2) 2x10x0.3" deep rectangular pockets in order to fit 2 watches, as my brother loves his new watches. But you should be able to customize the inside to look however you want, depending on the application. The two long rectangles also works well for a necklace box.

Step 3: Create the Decorative Top

I used a cool font I found called Dia to engrave his initials (DLK) on the top of the box with a vertical line across the top and bottom. The key to CNC milling fonts is to use a v-shaped bit, learn more about the technique here.

I used Vectric V-Carve CAM program to create the machine paths from the Illustrator vectors of the font.

Step 4: Add the Hinges

Carefully screw in the hinges. I say carefully because if they are not properly aligned, they will open crooked. That will either look sloppy, or else bind and make it hard to open. Take care and time to align everything correctly.

Step 5: Add the Magnets

I used 4 magnets (left-bottom, right-bottom, left-top, right-top) to make the lid snap shut when the box is closed. To do this, simply use a drill press / handheld drill to drill out 4 small holes exactly big enough to fit the magnet into. Then just use some hot glue to secure the magnets in, taking special care to make sure the polarities of the magnets line up so that the attract, not repel!

Step 6: Finish With Some Light Sanding!

And you are done! Great holiday gift that tool about 4 hours to make, including design time.



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    6 Discussions


    4 years ago

    Will be using this to make a case for glasses. thanks for this!


    4 years ago

    Absolutely beautiful result! This may be my first CNC project. Thanks a lot for including info on the font!


    4 years ago

    Can I borrow your CNC machine?

    plkap74lets build

    Reply 4 years ago

    The font is called Dia, there is a link in the instructions.