Help Please! Making a box

Long time reader, first time poster.

I’m still getting my feet wet with the Glowforge. Definitely good times! Hit a bit of a snag though. I’m guessing this is the sort of problem that’s been solved about a thousand times, so I thought I would check with you all and see what the best way to solve the problem is.

Let me back up and talk about the project a bit. The wee one in our house has been going to bed with a sound machine for the last few months. The one she’s been using is an old crappy one that I had in high school. It does static-sounding waves, static-sounding birds, static-sounding rain … you get the idea. I got the bright idea that I could make something better. For a cat lover such as she is, what could be better than falling asleep to the sound of a purring cat?

Step one: find something to play the sound. That was pretty straight forward - there’s a nice, compact circuit board that I was able to purchase with more than enough space for an hour long MP3. Step two: generate the sound file. Also easy enough. A little poking around on the internet and a few minutes in a sound editor has me with a 1 hour MP3 of a happy kitty on a loop. Step 3: package it all together in a neat little box. Here’s where I got into trouble.

After some careful measurements and math, I was able to create an SVG that fits the circuit board quite nicely. I was even able to cut the hole for the big red button just the size I need. Here’s what it looks like all put together:

Here’s a view from the back where you can see the headphone and power jack:

I think she’ll really like it! There’s just one more snag - how do I hold it all together? The tabs don’t fit super snug together, so it certainly doesn’t just snap in place. Glue? I’m worried that just glue won’t be strong enough. Also, I was hoping to be able to take it apart again if I need to - I don’t trust myself that I haven’t screwed this up somehow! I thought about little brads, but, even after pre-drilling the plywood started to split. I bought the smallest screws my hardware store had, but they’re still kind of large and I’m worried that they’d look a little silly on the tiny little box.

What would you all do? Should I go back to the design and modify it with more tabs that fit more tightly together? Should I just glue and forget?

I’m happy to share more if anyone finds the project interesting! Even if you don’t have any ideas, thanks for reading!


I’d glue 5 sides with regular wood glue and then put one side on with hot glue if you’re worried you want to take it apart again. You can always use hot glue on 2 sides.

Cool idea for a project. :slight_smile:


I’d glue all but one side. Then I’d re-cut that one side to friction fit the finger joints. problem solved :slight_smile:


In general, wood glue is stronger than the adhesive properties of the fiber of the wood you are gluing. Sanding off the finish adds a little more adhesive properties.

Gel type cyanoacrylate glue works very well. You can get different versions with longer or shorter set up times.

Great project. Thanks for posting. Hope the baby has sweet dreams.


Looks like a great project! (And I echo what everyone else has said, if you just use wood glue and clamp it while it dries, the wood will break before the bond does.) :slightly_smiling_face:


I would use RTV which is a silicon rubber glue. You would be able to take that side off if needed. :grinning:

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Thank you everyone! I just realized after staring at this for a couple weeks that I had messed up a couple of the measurements. I’m going to re-cut the sides and try gluing it tomorrow. I definitely appreciate the advice and I’ll post a picture when it’s all put together!


This is just too cute! She is going to love this when you are done! Great work!

For ease of taking apart they have “Chicago screws” that have screw heads at each end but one is a regular bolt and the other a tube threaded on the inside.
If you glue and clamp the ring about the shortest direction you can drill a couple holes for the Chicago screws to pull the box together but will easily unscrew for maintenance.

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You have a glowforge and that box is not very large. My approach would be, make a box I can break apart without breaking the circuit board. I’d glue all six sides using a CA glue. CA glue is strong, but also brittle. It will break with some pressure. Consider making a slot in one of the sides for a large, flat bladed screw driver. If you need to remake it in the future, insert screw driver, twist, tear apart box and save the circuit board.

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