Lined layered box for D&D

I wanted to make my take on a hero vault, something to hold dice, pencil/pen and miniature.


  • Pen and miniature shouldn’t shift around when it’s closed, they need to be gently held in place.

  • Must be able to accomodate oversized miniatures.

  • Must be able to accomodate at least 2 sets of dice.

  • Must be made of 1/8" mahogany (more on this in a minute) and have a wolf motif to match the dice tower. [It’s a complementary gift for the same person who has the dice tower]

The cover matches the dice tower. Not super original, but it really works on the mahogany.

Solid Mahogany hardwood

The box is layered together and aligned using concealed dowels in the middle layers. The “facing” layers have magnet holes cut into them. The box is asymmetrical, so the top only aligns in one orientation – but I arranged the magnets in opposite polarity out of habit to ensure that it only goes on one way. You’d have to be dense not to know how to put it on, but the magnets will force your hand. The magnets are sanded/scuffed on the bottom so they will adhere to glue in the sockets, and are very slightly thinner than the mahogany, which means they don’t interfere with the closure. The pencil matches really well although it’s not made of mahogany. It’s not included with the gift so it doesn’t matter much, but I thought it was a nice touch.

Solid Mahogany hardwood, Headliner foam-backed fabric, 8mm diameter disc magnets, Faux howlite chessex dice, Canarywood mechanical pencil, painted miniature

In this picture you see the inside of the lid is also padded. Notice the different depths of padding, particularly in the lid (on bottom of photo). The miniature (round) and pen sections are both double layers of foam, whereas the dice section is a single layer. This allowed me to customize the fit, ensuring that the miniature and pen are sufficiently padded and are also “trapped” gently by the foam. When closed, the box holds them safely in place, with no rattling. The dice, on the other hand, rattle like you’d expect. (BTW, the design accommodates up to 4 7-sets of dice. It’s tight but they fit.)

Solid Mahogany hardwood, Headliner foam-backed fabric, 8mm diameter disc magnets

The side view shows the layers, which are the achilles heel, and the one thing I’ll do differently if I make one for myself. The first thing is that the middle layers are MDF, which makes them look different from the mahogany. I thought it might look sloppy, but in practice it actually looks intentional.

While I don’t love the edge look of this box, I think that comes down to personal preference. I considered a few treatments; cladding the whole thing in mahogany, sanding and painting the edges, a third option that I won’t go into here (because it’ll probably be the subject of a future post and I’m not getting scooped). In the end, I decided that the edges looked pretty good and that the recipient will be thrilled.

Solid Mahogany hardwood, 1/8" non-pg MDF

Overall I am happy with it, but I think it’d be only an ok box except for one thing: headliner fabric. That really sets it off and makes it feel very finished. I highly recommend getting some if you want to add a easy, luxurious padded interior to a box – it really does make an impression.


Beautifully done.


Wow, Really Nice! I love seeing boxes that don’t look so laser cut. The only boxes I’ve made so far are tabbed and there is nothing like dark tabs to scream “Laser cut!”.


Beautiful! What’s that… 14 layers?! Can’t WAIT to see your write-up!


Thanks, yeah, 14 layers. 4 in mahogany (lid top and bottom, box top and bottom), 10 in MDF. The MDF layers have different hole patterns – they don’t have magnet holes, and add dowel registration holes.

Additionally, one MDF layer has no pen cutout. I didn’t want a full-depth pocket for the pen, it would be impossible to lift out. The cool part is that you just ignore the pen cut on one layer, and then stack them so that you get the depth you want. You can move the “pen-free” layer up and down prior to assembly to suit your fit needs.


The Mahogany really makes it look luxurious! As to the mdf, you cleaned and sanded the sides?


Thanks :slight_smile:
And nope, they come off the machine a rich carmelized brown. I didn’t want to remove the color, it blends better with the mahogany that way. I think if I sanded it, the edges would feel better (no rough bits due to laser cut profile shape), but they’d look like mdf. That’s why I considered sanding and painting, but decided against it in the end.


So, that was my question as well. You telling me these didn’t char at all? Even the MDF? They really blended so well together! I thought for sure you’d sanded and stained it ALL.


Correct. The power of testing settings.

I got my mdf from a lumber store, which has now gone out of business. I can’t tell you if it’s anything special, it seems like plain old MDF to me, it came in a 8’x4’ sheet, and got damaged at the warehouse so I got it for super cheap a while back.

Sadly I am beginning to run out, so I am in the hunt for a new source :frowning:

1 Like

Also, mahogany cuts really easily and consistently. It’s a great wood to work with. This latest batch came from green valley – not the cheapest but solid quality.


Another fun material for projects, especially jewelry boxes, is anti-tarnish self-adhesive felt. Before I had the GF I did a mahogany and maple jewelry box and lined the compartments with it. It means silver jewelry doesn’t tarnish as fast when stored in the box, and it seems to work.


You should make a post about it in BTM! I’d be interested.


Really top notch! Just what we have come to expect from you. I really like that yin-yang wolf graphic.


I cant claim it, it’s all over the internet.

Granted, I did change it a bit, I didn’t like a couple things about the original design, but it’s hardly original. If I could figure out who was the original rightsholder, I would try to compensate him or her for it, if that were an option.

1 Like

beautiful job. the liner does really add to it.

1 Like

do you remember what the settings you used for it were? just looking to improve my cutting on mdf board

do you remember what the settings…

I don’t recall exactly but I can’t really get into settings here, non pg settings aren’t welcome except in beyond the manual. There’s no substitute for a good test routine.


1 Like