Under sink boxes for toiletries

Laser cut two toiletry boxes for under the sink at my new flat. One has a lid, the other doesn’t. I used the boxes.py site to generate the plans (a kerf correction of .07 worked for me and gave a pretty tight fit) and touched up in Inkscape.

I made sure to put care into aligning the finger joints to be at the same height, though Conrad has already pointed out that the grain direction is flipped on the two faces, which I can’t unsee…

Here’s the back of the box with the lid, showing the hinge. I ran a 4x4mm piece of ply through a draw plate to make the hinge pin.

Lessons learned:

  • Make use of test settings and cuts. I wasted a piece of ply because I kept the kerf setting in the template generator at the default, and I just assumed that the default laser settings would work for 4mm ply.

  • give the pieces a light sanding on the outside face if you want a finish. Do this before assembling if you want the browned burn marks to show through on the joint.

  • during the glue up, apply glue with your finger to the inner edges of the finger joints, and make sure to wipe excess away in the direction of the fingers (rather than along the edge).

  • make use of a scrap piece and a mallet to get the joints tight. When clamping, use a scrap piece wrapped in paper to avoid imprints in the ply

  • I think it looks fine for the lighting it’s in, but I’d like to improve on my finishing skills.

One thing that did keep happening was that in a handful of spots, it looked like the laser only cut halfway through. All of my test cuts would work fine, but on a full sheet of ply, I’d get spots like in the pic below, which I’d have to cut out. After cutting out, it looked like the laser only penetrated about half way. I’m not sure if I’m not using a powerful enough setting, if warping in the board is throwing off the focus, or if there are inclusions of something within the ply. Do any of the @lasertechs have an idea of what I could do next time to address?


Beautiful work :sunglasses:

Perhaps as an added perfection, think of grain alignment across the pieces too? :wink:

At least you got the boxes the right way round this time… :wink:


In terms of the ‘half-way’ cut, I think we need to get better at multi-pass cuts which avoid burn and also allow deeper cuts, I think @father did some of this with foam but would be great to learn some more advanced techniques on the laser cutter ?

I was asked about best way to cut 9mm or 12mm today by @Geraetefreund so whoever knows better how to use our Trotec super-toy the better yes?

Also, slower speed creates burn so we can get much cleverer with settings I am sure, after the power, speed and frequency there are also passes which reduce chance of fire and allow faster head travel, I think?


I did 2 passes, but pretty much just guessed at the other settings until I found something that worked on a small test cut. The numbers on the spreadsheet behind the computer didn’t work too well for me

Perhaps it is time to make a much better ‘basic’ sheet for behind the laser cutter, not sure where that originated?

If you’d like to research that then I am sure other laser users would be happy to use it?

Doers not need to cover all possibilities but would definitely help to keep our usage within our agreed guidelines?


The 3mm acrylic numbers definitely seemed off to me, I had to slow down the cutter to actually make cuts through it, but that could be a difference in material or user error (I was using a translucent material not from the space)