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Subject: questions about making game boxes with laser cutter rss

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Mark Blasco

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I recently got access to a laser cutter, which I plan to use to make dividers, tokens, and boxes for some of my games.

For those of you who make custom boxes (out of wood), I'm wondering how you deal with the lid. Do you make it fit like a standard cardboard box, which slides down over the top, or do you do a panel that can be removed? Is there some other design that works well?

I have quite a few games that need larger or different boxes due to expansions (Elder Sign, The Others), and others where I want to combine different games together to reduce shelf space (splendor, I'm looking at you!).

Anyways, help from people with experience would be really appreciated. And just to clarify, I'm not looking for help with the inserts, just the outer box, and how to best make that.

Thanks!
 
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maf man
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so you can cut with a laser, how about the rest of your construction? Just doing glue to connect the sides? I assume the cuts are all profile, no option for 45 degree cut?

There is plenty of options out there. You might get some interesting ideas if you look up jewelry cases.

As always it depends on the game.
I'm currently shifting my carcassonne into a treasure chest like container.
If you can get your hands on a hasbro classic wood bookcase box, I've heard some love of those. I think they are top panel sliding type of thing.
I have been considering trying to just make a type of sleeve kind of box, basically a drawer, might be worth considering depending on your small game combining plan.

I think there are just dozens of ways to go, just be sure they stay closed in a way you like. I think thats why the sliding panel is a popular choice, hard for it to open accidentally.
 
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JPotter
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The classic answer is ... hinges. With a laser cutter, you can even laser out the ports for the hardware. Hinges and handles practically install themselves.

The new hip answer is ... magnets.

Box with a lid like a cardboard box? I don't think I've ever come across a telescoping wooden box. Seems like a bad idea.

Another classic woodworking answer is the sliding lid. I really, really hate those.
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Mark Blasco

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I think right now I'd like to go with something that doesn't have hinges, but if that's the best option, I'll think about it. I'm wondering how the large boxes that the Broken Token makes all work (Flashpoint, Firefly, etc.), since these are quite large, but I don't see any hinges or metal work in the pictures.

Ideally I'd like to find a way not to have any protrusions or oddly shaped parts on the outside. Just simple cubes and rectangles would be perfect in my mind, to just slide onto the shelf next to the cardboard game boxes.

My plan right now is for everything to be cut with interlocking pieces (just like the Broken Token pieces) and glue things together. The inserts and organizers are not a problem, but some of them will need a totally new box.

I'm not opposed to a sliding lid, but I don't know how I'd construct one when I'm laser cutting the pieces.
 
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Mark Blasco

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aesthetocyst wrote:

The new hip answer is ... magnets.

Box with a lid like a cardboard box? I don't think I've ever come across a telescoping wooden box. Seems like a bad idea.



I'm curious what exactly you mean by magnets, and why you think a telescoping wooden box is a bad idea.
 
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John Middleton
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You could make a box inside your box to create a lip for your lid, and then you have some options depending on what you want to do. If the inner box extends past the outer, your lid could slid down onto it (like the Lords of Waterdeep box). If you want to make a sliding lid, then you stop the inner box short of the top, leave a gap for the lid, and add a thing rail on the top to hold the lid in.

Plus, you could then do a full cut on the outer box in addition to engraving if you wanted to brand them in flashy ways.
 
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Jay Nabedian
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markblasco wrote:
aesthetocyst wrote:

The new hip answer is ... magnets.

Box with a lid like a cardboard box? I don't think I've ever come across a telescoping wooden box. Seems like a bad idea.



I'm curious what exactly you mean by magnets, and why you think a telescoping wooden box is a bad idea.


The problems I see with telescoping boxes are:

1) size - two layers of wood for each outer wall, times two for each box, multiplied by however many boxes you fit inside the game box, seems like a LOT of wasted space compared to a lid that sits on top of the box with no overlap.

2) wear and tear - sliding two pieces of wood against each other will cause wear on whatever finish you use.

3) waste - you will essentially be using more material for the lid than for the box

 
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Santiago de Arana
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The jumanji box YouTube video uses a hinge and magnets. Mainly you drill a hole half the thickness of the top, and glue a magnet there. You cover it later with another piece of wood, and then use sandpaper to make surface even.
Same deal for the base.
Depending on the strength of the magnet you might need one or one million.

I think that in the broken token boxes you can't lock the top, so you can't store in vertical. Their cases have a hinge and latch.

Btw, has someone tried to store two games in the same box? But si the box opens from the top for one game and from the bottom for the other. So the bottom for both games is a shared plate in the middle of the box.
 
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Peter Horoszowski
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I recently found this video which gave me some ideas for my own projects. Perhaps it will inspire you.

The person is using Fusion 360 (my program of choice) but the concept should translate over to other applications.


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Mark Blasco

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Finally designed and finished my first box, and it came out just as I had hoped it would! I used a box creater plugin for inkscape and modified it to work the way I wanted. Probably about 4 hours of design time (I was learning as I went, so the next one will be much quicker), and about 2-3 hours worth of time on the laser machine.





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Laura Creighton
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YAY! Looks great! Thanks for the photos!
 
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