The bottom of the box is where I usually start as it’s the part of the design that requires the most to be done. I like to get the bulk of anything done first, so this is where we’ll start. We will be working from the outside-in as well.
The first step is to create a shape with the square tool. Make a square or rectangle the desired size you wish the box to be in it’s final outside measurement. If you want the box to be 2″×4″ on the outside diameter, set the shape to this size, I’ll use this size as the example because this is the size box I used in this project.
Change the cut type from “fill” to “outline” then, set the outline cut to be an “outside cut”.
After this, center the object in the work area, do this by selecting the object, clicking “edit” at the top of the page and going to the bottom and selecting it.
I round all the corners on my boxes at an 1/8" or .125". It seems to give a better “snap” connection when the two box pieces are brought together. To do this, select the shape and look at the editing window to the right and select the tab to the right. At the bottom above the “end points” area, there is a corner radius tool. Type in .125 in the top “X” adjustment, then hit tab. That will transfer the same .125" radius to the corners in the “Y” direction as well.
The next step is making the “Shoulder” of the box bottom. Select the shape that was just created for the outline and copy and paste it. Change the cut from “outside” by “one path”. While the shape is still selected, click on “shape” in the edit window. Look for the “X” and “Y”, this is the shapes size and is where you can change the shapes size to the specific desired size. Subtract “.093” from the “X” and “Y” values to create the shoulder of the box. Since this object is smaller than the first object, click the object and go back to the edit tab at the top of the page, and center it to the material. This will ensure both shapes are centered with each other and the material.
The corners of this shape should already have the same .125" radius on them because you copied it from the previous shape. With the shape still selected, click the edit tab at the top of the window, and click “send to back”. This will help change the virtual look on the right side of the page and make it look the way it should when it’s being machined.
Next, Select that last shape we just made, and copy and paste it again. Set the cut type to “fill” to make this cut a pocket. Go back to the “Shape” tab in the edit window and subtract “.448” from both the “X” and “Y” sizes. Center this shape to material as previously done in the last couple of steps.
Note- The depth of cut depends entirely on the thickness of the material you’re cutting. This box is half inch Purple Heart. I set the cut depth of this box to .35". The shoulder cut and the pocket cut should both be set to the same value in the depth setting. you want the mot space you can have while still maintaining strength in the bottom of the box. The “white” area between the shoulder cut line and the inside pocket cut will create the inside wall of the bottom of the box, The thickness of this wall is the difference of the shoulder length and width and the length and width of the pocket cut. I use 2 tabs per Lid and Bottom. I set them to the short sides and make them .08" tall and .25" wide.
Making sure that the rest of the work area is clear of anything other than the objects we just created, hit “CTRL + A” to select all objects and drag them to the bottom most left part of the work area. You need to do this to center the new shapes we’re about to create to the material, as we just did with the box bottom.
Select, copy and paste the outline shape of the first box, then center it in the material as we did before. you can set your tabs at this point if you wish to use tabs, I recommend doing this as they’re not hard to remove and they make things a littler safer and it’s just god practice.
Select, copy and paste the last object again, then change the cut type from outline to fill.
Go to the “shape” tab in the edit window and subtract “.179” from the “X” and “Y” sizes, then I set the cut depth to .35" again to match the cut depth of the base of the box. With the object still selected, go to “edit” at the top of the page and center it to the material.
This should complete the lid of the box. Now you should be able to see in the virtual view what these objects look like together and you can set them in any orientation you need to make your cuts.
These will not fit together properly is modified. They have to be remade with a specific formula. If you try to resize them, even if you resize them together the exact same in every way, they will not fit together properly. Also, YOU HAVE TO USE AN 8TH IN BIT WHEN YOU CUT THEM. The formula I create to make these was made using the measurement when cut with an 8th in bit. This is because some paths are cut outside, some are on path and these paths with the bit size determines the wall thickness and placement. I haven’t tried resizing them and then cutting them, but I have to imagine that since everything is changing and the bit size remains the same, then I have to assume the wall thickness and placement must also change. The only thing that is changeable is the material thickness and the depth of the POCKET cut only. The shoulder on the box bottom should stay at or about the same, though I assume making it thicker shouldn’t matter too much and would only be necessary for personal preference, or to make the overall height of the box taller, or the overall pocket cavity bigger between the box bottom and lid. I’ll be uploading the method I use to make these shortly, that is if there’s a demand for it. It’s not very hard and it’s laid out in plain sight in the predetermined measurements used in the files provided.
ROBERTO A LEMA