Tea for Who? No, Tea for Thomas!

Slowly but surely I’m making progress in my ability to make useful things with the Glowforge. My first “useful” item was requested by my wife, for me to make a box for our son (Thomas) to store his tea bags in. He likes to drink tea while doing his homework after school and I’d rather he do that than soda any time. I took the challenge and started working on the box. I used this as an opportunity to use Fusion 360 and learn a little bit. I did some measurements, plugged in some parameters and started building up the box and lid for it. Applied some wood affects to it and thought it looked pretty darned good. So being the fool hearty person I am, I printed it. It looked really good when assembled too! Score! I went to put the tea boxes into my newly minted box and… the box was too small. Yup, I messed up my parameters and set them up to be the inside dimensions but applied them as outside dimensions. sigh. Well, got a nice box for my shop!

I went back to the drawing board and gave it another go. Double checked my settings, triple checked them and then did a print in MDF. My adjustment for the kerf was a bit too tight but was able to get it to work (it was a “throwaway” box just for testing). I checked that the interior space was correct and YES! All 5 rows of tea fit perfectly. I printed the box on walnut ply and then started working on the lid. Well, lets just say the lid caused more problems than the bottom but I finally got it finished and correctly sized to fit the way I wanted it to. Yes, there are weak points to the lid design (another lesson learned) but I liked it so didn’t want to change it for this project.

After I got the box semi-assembled, I realized it needed some art work on the top of it to really make it his. He’s a Doctor Who fan and I figured that Doctor Who must love tea, so maybe I could find a nice picture of the Doctor drinking tea. I wound up finding a really great piece of art (by taconaco on deviantart) that had a Darlek serving the Doctor tea and we both knew that was the piece the box needed. I contacted the artist and they graciously allowed us to use it for his tea box!

He was really excited when he saw the completed box, as was I. We might still paint in the engraving area to darken it up a bit. We’re going to sit with it for a bit and see how we feel about that…

The inside of the box allows for 5 full rows of his tea.


Spectacular box! I hope you sent a shot to the artist so he could enjoy it as well.
(He might just decide he needs a Glowie too.) :wink:


Yes, I’ve sent the photos along to them as well! I should send them my referral link too! :slight_smile:


Excellent idea! They can save some $$$. :slightly_smiling_face:

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What an awesome project, that engrave is really clean on the Walnut! And the artwork implementation is super appropriate!


I love that! I am a big Dr Who fan, and I bet your son was over the moon about it.

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I really dig how you made that lid! Looks like the top of the lid is inset a little so you wont see the finger joint look at the top lip but looks like a nice long line from the side view.

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The lid is my first “real” attempt to do something fully custom using Fusion 360. The bottom box I generated using the online box generator after having some issues figuring out how to adjust for the kerf with Fusion. The Fusion box worked but was looser than I wanted with the fittings. I had the same problem with the lid as well but since it isn’t as important structurally, I’m just going to trust that the glue will keep it together!

The downside to the really longer finger joint is that it’s a bit wibbly-wobbly (Doctor Who speak) in the center but once it’s glued that’s no longer a problem. I like the look of the long finger there rather than a bunch of smaller ones. I should have done the same for the lower box as well but I’m still happy with it. If I remake the box again I will probably do that. I had wanted to make it out of solid walnut but the top & bottom surfaces were literally millimeters larger than any walnut I had on hand. It still turned out looking really good with the walnut ply though. My son was very happy with it and in the end that’s all that matters.


Your box is outstanding … And really enjoyed reading your write-up!

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