Experiments in laser woodworking

I wanted to try to see what a laser cut wood box would look like so I designed one.  Six inch square (inside dimension) with small line detailing on the sides, skull decoration on the lid.  Laser cut on “Bamboo – Amber – 3 Ply”  6.7 mm material in P3 size.  It turned out well, but I had to cut it a second time to correct one mistake.

So what did I learn from this?

– Know your materials!  RE:Grain pattern!  Ponoko states “Grain direction will always run horizontal as drawn on the computer screen.”  (Note to self, read the materials page very closely before submitting a design.)

– Orientation! If adding a decoration to a side, make sure you have all the sides aligned correctly.  I cloned the hinge box side but forgot to mirror it.  Wound up with two right sides.  I could have avoided this if I had printed the design on paper first.

– Too much space in the hinge!  Ponoko states that the material could be +/- 10% over what the stated size is, so not thinking about this, I made the hinge +15% larger.  Should dial it back to only 10% to ensure it would be (at worst) an exact fit or (at best) smaller than the full width of the material.

I’ll need to sand, stain, varnish and glue before this project is done.  I’ll make another post about this to show the results.

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