I have the 500mm X-carve, so the first thing I needed to do was to cut my stock to length to fit my machine. Even though the materials list says 1/8", I used 1/4″ × 6″ × 24″ red oak stock from the local big box store. It is key that the grain orientation of your stock is horizontal so the the springs can flex without breaking.
The next thing to do was to set the stock pieces up on the machine. I have a laser mounted to the router to allow for a more precise x-y zero when using multiple tool changes. I am then able to export the G-code from Easel and load it into Universal G-Code Sender. This is also beneficial because my machines location doesn’t receive a good internet location.
Now I don’t have a 1/16" bit, which the original project used, so I had to do some modifications. I used a Dremel carving bit with a diameter of 0.115". The links to the pieces to be cut out are:
Spring Box Side
Spring Box Ends
You need to cut out two of the Spring Box Sides. The slots for the top and bottom of the box can also be modified depending on the thickness of your stock. I used some scrap acrylic for these pieces and cut them out on the table saw because I don’t have a proper bit to cut them out accurately.
The final part of the project is to engrave the sides of the box. The files for the engravings are:
Tall End Engraving
Spring Side Engraving
This is where using UGS comes in handy, using the laser, I am easily able to line up the cut pieces to make sure my engraving is centered. I again used a Dremel bit for these engravings. The bit is a .055" ball end mill.
The final thing to do is to apply a finish, if you choose, and assemble your box. The spring tabs are bent down and forced through the slots in the ends. The slight force from the springs keep the box held tightly together.
I am still new to the whole cnc machining thing and I think it is important to share your errors.
One of the problems I had at the beginning was using Easel to cut out the pieces. My connection kept dropping and this is evident in the first spring side I tried to cut out. Luckily, I was able to export the G-code from Easel and use it in UGS, and I no longer had any errors.
The second error I made was that I got excited during the engraving and forgot to change files. This is evident in the spring side box that has the “D” engraved in the side. Luckily, I caught the error before it was to far in to the file.
I hope you enjoy this project and it was a fun experience trying to adapt someone else’s project for my own needs. It is pretty cool that you can make a box that is held together with nothing but itself.