Laser Cut Roll Top Box
by bdahlem, published
A simple box with a top that disappears inside when opened. Why store your knick-knacks in boring square boxes? This box has nice round corners and box joints that accent its sides.
This design can be cut out of 1/8" (3mm) plywood. It requires 2 sheets on a laser with a 12"x24" bed. Note: the flex hinges and top can take a while to cut (a little over 1 hour on our 25 watt laser) so sending it to a laser cutting service could be rather expensive.
- Open the source file in CorelDraw or a similar vector drawing program. Print the file using appropriate settings for your laser and material. For our Universal Laser 25 Watt laser, 80% power and 1.6% speed works well.
- Cut each page out of separate sheets of 1/8" Birch Plywood.
- The first page contains the outer shell piece, the inner bottom/back pieces, and the roll top. The second page contains the side pieces.
- Start by gluing the inner bottom/back pieces together. These are the square parts with long fingers on the sides and shorter fingers on the edges that join them. Using an appropriate glue (wood glue works well if slowly, super glue can work and is faster) place a dot of glue on each of the fingers of each piece and assemble the two pieces into an L Shape. Masking tape will hold the pieces as they dry, glue the top and bottom of the long fingers of the assembly and slide on one of the inner sides to hold the assembly at the correct angle while it dries.
- While the inner parts are drying, use the same technique to assemble the roll top and its tab.
- Once those parts are dry, wax the edges of the roll top to help it slide in its track. Rub a candle on the long edges of the roll top. Make sure both edges are well waxed, on the top and bottom and outside edges and corners where it will rub against the track.
- Spread glue on one of the outer sides and slide it onto the inner assembly against the side already glued in place. Clamp the inner and outer side pieces together so they stay aligned while the glue dries.
- Glue the other outer and inner side pieces together, making sure no glue squeezes out of the holes. Clamp them together and slide onto the inner part assembly to keep them aligned while drying.
- Once the glue on these parts is dry, remove the side that is not glued in place. Dab glue onto the fingers that will align this side. Align the roll top into its track and replace the side. Make sure the roll top is aligned in its track on both sides and clamp them in place while the glue dries.
- Finally, after the glue on this assembly is dry, dab glue on the fingers of the outer shell and on the inside of the fingers sticking out of the assembled parts. Align the front edge of the outer shell with the tabs on the front of the assembly, and wrap it around the bottom around the back and to the tab on the back of the top. The pressure from stretching this piece should hold it into place, but clamp or tape it as necessary.
- After the glue dries you can enjoy your box and all its fancy roll-topness.