Wooden Deck Box




When I was first beginning my journey into the board gaming hobby I joined the website boardgamegeek. One day I stumbled upon wolfzell and his woodworking projects. He had made a small wood box to hold cards. He posted pictures and sent me messages of help although I never got the tools to make them. The image above is one that he made and that first caught my attention. Years passed and unfortunately he passed away in 2013 and I just got the tools to make some boxes and decided as my first wood working project would be in his honor and create some boxes for one of my many board games. He used a scroll saw while I have a band saw so I had to modify the design. But it follows in the same spirit.

You will need:

Cutting tool (band saw or scroll saw is recommended)

Sanding tools ( I used an orbital but dremel or hand would work as well)

1/4 in. plywood or some other then lumber sheets

lumber about 1/2 in. thick

wood glue and clamps

Step 1: Create Your Template for Your Boxes

You need to create a template that will fit the size of card you want to protect. I created a basic one for the classic card size of 2.5 X 3 in. All my measurements are in cm as noted on the graphic I made this should be the proper size if you print it out at full size. Then cut it out so you can outline on your wood.

Step 2: Prep Your Wood

I went the thrifty way and used some low profile pallets which you can get for free from any hardware store. Low profiles don't have any lumber on the bottom of them making them cheap and no one will buy them. Because it was from a pallet I sanded it down to be roughly smooth and cut off the one board I was going to use with my band saw.

Step 3: Trace Your Outline

This is pretty simple just trace our the pattern that you printed our or drew for the card size you wanted. I did this on the whole length of the board I found I could stick the top piece into the center cut out for the box.

Step 4: Drill Holes

At each of the spots in the corner I drilled holes with a 1/2 in. wood bit so that I could turn my band saw at around a 90 degree angle. If you have a scroll saw you can probably skip this step. I then sanded it down just to get the excess blow out from the drill off.

Step 5: Connect the Dots

I then draw lines down the sides and the bottom so I have a guide to run along that will match up with the holes I just drilled.

Step 6: Start Cutting

Follow along your lines and make sure to never let your hand get to close to the blade. I use scrap wood I have lying around to keep my hands a safe distance away. On some of the corners and in cuts I just slice a layer off at a time moving down but you could use a chisel if you want. Once you are done cutting you will most likely need to sand or trim down your wood so that it will fit together snuggle you want as tight a fit as you can.

Step 7: Sand Again.

I just hit it real quick with my orbital so that all the flak was off of it.

Step 8: Now Onto the Sides

I use 1/4 in. plywood for my sides just some thin lumber would work as well lay your box down and trace it out then flip it over and do it again.

Step 9: Back to the Saw.

Cut them out you'll want to leave them a little big so that you have room to sand.

Step 10: Putting It All Together

After that grab some wood glue and clamps and clamp it down. Don't forget not to glue the top to the sides or you'll have a time getting it apart.

Step 11: Finishing Touches

I don't want to limit you in what you can do with this. Sand down all of the excess and your ready to go. Burn a symbol or paint one on. You could leave it as it is rough and tumble or lacquer it. Make it something you can show off to your friends and if you want to make it more secure you can add small magnets to the top. Do what you can to make it your own as wolfzell showed me.

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6 Discussions


3 years ago

That's a nice build, and a clear instructable. A pair of tiny (<0.5cm) neodymium button magnets recessed into the zigzag portion of the lid, and the cooresponding spot on the box would make it snap closed and resist casually popping open. There's something satisfying about the snap of a magnetic latch.

2 replies

Reply 3 years ago

Very true there are a lot of things you can do with them. They should stay closed with friction but you can hardly go wrong with magnets.


3 years ago

This is really cool. I am interested in ordering a few for an event I am hosting. Anyone in this group interested in making a large order of these? Like 50? Would need by Mid July 2016. Thanks! Marla Marla@iheartphl.com


3 years ago

Made this last week and it came out beautifully, but I think I'm going to make it again with a thicker center piece of wood. I tried putting a deck of cards into the case and it didn't fit! I'll post pictures once I make it!


3 years ago

I've never seen a wooden deck box! Really cool!