Laser Cut Game Card Box With Internal Hinges




About: I'm a social-worker, working with 12 - 23 year-olds. I used to be a printer. In 2018 I opened a small makerspace ( in my house, where I have lasercutters, 3d-printers, Arduino's, Mindstorms and ...

Intro: Laser Cut Game Card Box With Internal Hinges

15 years ago I designed a box to hold CD's and makes it easy to flip through them. Now someones project to make a game card box inspired me to use that mechanism on a laser cut box for game cards.

We are kind of addicted to playing "werewolf" and created our own deck for it. This would be a great box to hold that deck. (that explains the wolf theme)

Step 1: You Will Need


  • 4 mm plywood (25 x 50 cm)


  • lasercutter
  • sand paper
  • glue
  • brush or cloth
  • clamps
  • optional: paint, wax or oil

Step 2: The Design

The most work was designing the box. I was amazed that the hinge mechanism actually works.

I used 'Gravit Designer' to draw the box, so I added both the original Gravit file and a PDF.

The red-lines are cutting lines and everything black is for engraving.

Step 3: Lasercutting

  • Lasercut the parts.
  • Sand smooth the sides of the moving parts.
  • The four curved parts also need to be sanded slightly thinner for easy sliding.

Step 4: The Inner Parts

  • Start with the bottom.
  • Glue the two inner sides in.
  • Add the inner back.
  • Glue on the outer back.
  • Clamp everything together.
  • Use a wet brush or cloth to remove excessive glue.

Step 5: The Mechanism

  • Glue the 3 non moving parts on the side.
  • Put the 2 moving parts in between for accurate spacing.
  • Clamp the not moving glued parts.
  • Repeat for the other side.
  • Glue in the outer sides. (make sure that the moving parts are in before glueing the outer sides)
  • Clamp.

Step 6: The Front Door

  • Glue the inner front door in the nick on the hinges.
  • Make sure that it is all the way down.
  • Glue the outer front door on top.
  • Clamp together.
  • Remove excess glue.
  • Close the front door while drying for correct alignment.

Step 7: The Top Lid

  • Glue the two inner pieces of the lid to the hinges.
  • Glue the four outer sides around the inner part. (the front and back are the same, but the sides can be put on backwards.)
  • Glue the top on.
  • Clamp everything together.

Step 8: Finish the Box

I had to sand a bevel to the inner lip on the front door to make it easier to close the lid. I also sanded the laser marks from all sides.

If you want you can wax, oil, paint or lacquer the box.

Step 9: Just Add Cards

Now just add the cards.

(there is a notch for a coin in the back, because we sometimes flip a coin while playing werewolf)

I think it came out great.



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    10 Discussions


    Question 18 days ago on Introduction

    Hi, I am very interested in the way you have done the hinges. Would it be possible to provide the design in ai or dxf format please?

    3 more answers

    Answer 18 days ago

    You can open de PDF in AI without problems. (AI also saves in PDF, but just calls it AI)


    Reply 18 days ago

    Thank you for your prompt response, appreciated. Regrettably, I am using light burn and each time I try to import the pdf or having renamed it .ai, it crashes. I will try converting it using Corel. Great innovation on the hinges. Thanks again


    Reply 18 days ago

    I use Gravit-designer and that program doesn't have many export options. I'm not sure if it can export in dxf. It is a free program that works on all platforms, so you might give that a try.


    3 months ago

    What type of Laser cutter are you using? How thick of wood can you cut?

    Your project looks Great, I like the hing design.

    1 reply

    Reply 3 months ago

    Hi cburg,

    Thank you.

    I use a Trotec speedy 300 with a 60 watt laser, but this works also great on any other laser like a 40 watt Glowforge. The max that I managed to cut is 15 mm soft wood.


    Question 3 months ago on Step 9

    I love this design. How easy would it be to scale up to fit 12" vinyl records?

    1 more answer

    Answer 3 months ago

    Hi JKotecki,

    My original design (15 years ago) was for cd's, so records would bring it closer to it's original purpose. I just changed one for 3 mm wood instead of 4 mm and that was more work than I expected, but it is absolutely doable.


    5 months ago

    Love the hinges! Will definitely use that mechanism design in the future.

    1 reply

    Reply 5 months ago

    Thank you. Please post a picture when you do.