Custom sized boxes for storage

I need about 60 custom sized boxes. The dimensions are slightly larger than a 5x7 photo storage box, or almost 5.5"(H)x8"(W)x12"(D). I’ve made boxes using medium proof grade, but I think for this purpose I need something thicker. Possibly, 3/16" - 1/4" thick.

They don’t need hinged lids. Lids would be good, but if I can stack them, then I’d only need one for the top of the stack.

The real question is, how much would each box end up costing, not including assembly? Photo storage boxes, which come closest in size, are $3 each, but they’re ugly and flimsy. I wouldn’t mind spending $20 per box, to do it myself, and even engraving a design on the surfaces that are visible, and an identification code so I can easily tell what’s in each box.

Any thoughts?

Thank you!!

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Without an actual design to lay out it’s hard to say, but I’m guessing that size will take a couple of sheets of PG. Cost will depend on which particular material you choose.

If I were doing this I’d probably opt to use Baltic birch for a more cost-effective approach.


A combination of a box designed using one of these Box Generators

and after cleaning up the patterns provided (merging/deleting duplicate nodes etc.), nest the pattern using to get the most efficient cut in a 10.5x19.5 area. Then you’ll know how many sheets you’ll need and only then can you truly estimate prices.


I’ll be using designs from Festi. I probably will need a good part of two large sheets for each box.

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That 12" depth is going to make these very large. I have a 4x6" photo box I make and sell which fits on a single sheet of material, but it’s only about 1.5-2" deep (holds about 100 photos). A similarly shallow 5x7 box would take maybe one and a half or two sheets of material.

At 5.5x8x12 you’ll be using entire sheets just for the 12x8 parts and a top or bottom…depending how thick the wood is, maybe even just a 12x8 side per sheet. So 3-5 sheets of wood per box?

I’m also checking to see how much thicker sheets of plywood cost, and whether they’d be less expensive than Proofgrade, even through thicket and larger.

Just about everything is cheaper than Proofgrade. You need to decide if “measure twice, cut once” [not cheap] is more important than “cheap, I can save money” [not reliable] [therefore, not always cheaper in the end]. You will need to factor in the need to buy more of the cheap material to make a project, since voids/bondo/gaps/etc are known defects in non-PG materials. Depending on your goals, you may not save as much as you thought you would, if you lose a whole sheet or two due to incomplete cuts.

I have a Glowforge Plus, and it’s challenged by several quarter-inch wood products (non-PG). If I really needed a largish box that needed thick walls, I would just design a double-walled box. Sort of a box-within-a-box, “kiss-fit” and tapped in with a mallet. The inner box can be slightly lower to act as a seat for the box (or lid) above it.

Why would I go to such trouble to use 1/8" material rather than 1/4" (if their costs relative to each other were the same)? Because I’m contrary like that, and it’s cheaper to replace a lost 1/8" board than a 1/4" board.

edit - I assumed that things like volume discounts, S/H charges, and other costs kept the prices equal between the two products.


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