Type of wood for living hinge?

Hello there, I’ve been stalking the forums for a bit now (got my Glowforge some weeks ago and I’ve already made some cool things I’ll show off later…) and I have a question. Today is my mom in laws birthday and I want to make her a box. I found a box maker website via this forum, downloaded my svg, I’ll be adding designs to it later to make it extra awesome -but-

The box has those cool rounded corners/living hinges. My question is will those work on any type of the proof grade wood or is there a wood that’s more flexible that I need to be using? I’d ideally like to use the stuff I got with my glowforge so I can make this today but if it’s not good for a living hinge I’ll make a different type of box. :slight_smile:


Welcome to the community. Living hinges work with plywood. Regular wood will break when bent. :blush:


So the draftboard would be a no?

Draftboard and the Proofgrade plywood should be okay, I don’t use anything else to design with living hinges. (Don’t make the curves too tight. Standard box generators will probably calculate the correct length of hinge.)


Thank you both so much! That helps a lot!

First off, welcome to the forums, lurking a bit is a great way to get the feel of this place but now that the ice is broken go ahead and post early and often.

As is the case 99.6% of the time, there is not much I can add after @Jules, but I will add that you specifically don’t want to use single ply hardwoods for living hinges. The draftboard, the :proofgrade: plywoods and other plywoods work well but hardwoods that are not laminated simply break when you add a living hinge.


Also, if it’s a tight curve you can dampen it a little with alcohol while you’re encouraging it to bend, and that will help to keep it from breaking. (Alcohol dries faster and doesn’t cause warping like water might.)


I would also add that if you are using plywood, try to orient the wood in your Glowforge so that the cuts are with the grain rather than perpendicular to the grain.


I love this forum. Between this and my other topic you guys are insanely helpful. Thank you so much!


This means a lot, so many new posters pop in with questions, get good answers and never let us know if they were helpful or not.


Oh you guys will be seeing a lot of me and I promise I’ll let you know how helpful you are. :smiley: This extremely expensive shiny magical machine is going to revolutionize my business and I have a lot of intricate projects planned hahaha. I’ll need and appreciate all the help I can get.


I actually have been using 1/4 maple from lowes to make living hindges on these boxes. Just had to measure exactly.Only broke on one box because I was a rough while bending it. Just have fun and experiment!!


Oh, those look cool, I need to see more of them!!!

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There was a luthier with all of his equipment a few years back at the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival. He heats his wood that he is going to bend in a special oven that he built. He said that steam works better, but raises the grain too much on his wood that he is going to bend.

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My video was to large to upload…heres a snippet


Those are seriously awesome. :heart:


The living hinges are the coolest! Have fun … and welcome to the forum!

Seriously cool! You picked some of my favorite cards. I intend to do something with those cards and color them as well. Still going through the thought process though…

The best project I have seen on the forum so far! Would be nice if you would share more process detail.

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