Curvy box

There are lots of great laser-cut box designs out there, but I’ve been searching for ways to create a box that isn’t quite so boxy - something with interesting curves. So, here’s what I’ve come up with: a box created from curvy slices which would be stacked and glued. Like most, I won’t receive my Glowforge until next spring, so the design hasn’t been tested. I’m sure the “rails” of the slide-top lid will need some adjustment/cutting off more material or extra sanding to make them slide smoothly. I’d love more feedback/constructive criticism. If the general principals of the design work, then there are plenty of potential variations (more interesting side-curve-shapes, hidden compartments, false bottoms, etc.).


Very interesting looking design! (Looks a bit like an old fashioned kettle or pot! Kewl!) :smile:

That’s “thinking outside the box.” (Pun intended.)


Yes! Everything is a bunch of slices if that is the way you want to think about it. The only caveat I’d suggest is that for the dovetails to work you would have to be precise and there would be a bunch of sanding.


Maybe simplify the dovetail detail a little bit? Something like this might be a little less fussy to assemble. You could even make the top of the wall at the interior side a flat ledge and the dovetail would be even simpler to produce, but then the box top won’t be able to “capture” the walls and keep them from possibly flexing outward… but the thickness of the walls will probably prevent that from happening anyway… Or you can insert a solid slice to not only add support but act as a divider.


Another thing that will help if you’re going to be stacking lots of consecutive layers will be a couple of guide holes that you can run a dowel down to keep each layer EXACTLY in line with the one that comes next.


Very cool! I like the dowel alignment idea.


Without wishing to traumatize the true believers, I must say that the design is more appropriate for 3D printing.


I love my 3d printer, I really do, but there is something about wood or polished acrylic.


Very nice - would be interesting in alternating wood types…


I’d second (third, actually, I think) this. I’m hoping that for something like this, I could engrave a circle for the dowel at the outer layers rather than cut a hole to keep the outside solid. Also, laying this out on as few sheets as possible might be a part of the design process.


I think a dowel arrangement is key to alignment but I’m not sure why everyone is talking about circles. Use the laser to cut a rectangular hole and also a square section to go in it. You’ll have enough scrap material to make all the ‘dowels’ you need.


To get fancy, you can make (or use) the dowels from a different material and just incorporate them into the design (Think Greene and Greene design where they have ebony “buttons” on many of their pieces)


The last time I purchased ebony it was right at $100 per board foot. great stuff for accents.


Black Walnut could also work quite well as a contrasting color, and MUCH cheaper. Just thinking about this style and using it to “inspire” us.


Toying with exactly that idea for a brace type arrangement on that Kitchen Brush Stand that @Hirudin tested on the Collaborations thread : :grinning:

Round would look better on that particular design, but will probably go with a square or diamond shape so it can be cut from scrap.


I always suggest round dowels because they’re easy to find in uniform diameter and if you put two in you get a little extra structural stability for the same reduction in degrees of freedom. There’s absolutely no reason that cutting the rectangles from the scrap and using those wouldn’t work, it’s just not the first place that my head goes.


thx for all the feedback - yes, I agree that the dovetails/rails will need lots of tweaking to get them to slide in smoothly and be generally less fussy. I’ll need to play with some prototypes to get that right. I also really like the idea of dowels for stability, ease of assembly, etc.

lots variations to consider:

  • as mpipes suggests: use some solid pieces (like the ones on the ends) interspersed in the body to make compartments
  • as PIGHEADED suggests, use different types of wood (or stain batches of slices different colors) to make interesting/striped patterns
  • use different thicknesses of wood arranged in different ways to make the stripes interesting
  • engrave nifty designs on the flat end pieces
  • instead of the opening on the top, make one of the faces open and fill it with a drawer (think: bandsaw box)
  • hidden compartments: the “body” slices could define holes on either side of the center/main opening, and the end pieces could cleverly hide a cover to that opening [ha - at work, I often leave myself comments in the code, “do something clever here” :slight_smile: ]

I’m going to adopt that…chuckle! :smile:


You are right.

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Regarding the slide top, an old trick is to lubricate the faces by rubbing bar soap on them.
“Soaping” wooden drawers was standard to ease sliding and sticking.