Make a Prayer Box
10” x 21” x.75” Wood Blank(or equivalent)
.25” Endmill router bit
.125 “ Ballnose router bit
Overview & Purpose
The purpose of this is to give you light instructions on making this very simple prayer box using a cnc router or mill. These particular instructions are to guide you through the cutting and carving of the box. The entire box can be cut or carved using the cnc router. The stl files that go with this document are intended to go directly to the carving phase. Just take the stl file, import it into your cam software and set the cutting parameters that are specific to your machine. The stl models can be resized but keep in mind that if one piece of the model is resized, then each other piece needs to be resized in order for the pieces to fit together.
Let’s get started
This box consists of 6 wood parts: a lid, base, front and back, and 2 sides. The front and back are identical as well as the 2 sides. The sides connect to the front and back pieces using a tongue and groove joint. The lid has a ¼” tenon carved into the underside of it to hold the lid in place. The base of the box also has a ¼” raised tenon carved into the top surface of it for attaching the sides to the base. It’s designed to be as simple as possible, yet still look quite presentable.
Let’s start with the lid. It’s easiest to start with the underside of the lid so that it lays flat. You can just use the stl file I provided or for me it was more efficient to just lay out the lines from the dxf file and tell the cam software to mill out the area around the tenon to a .25” depth. Using a straight endmill helps to get the sharp inside edge of the tenon.
The top of the lid can have cnc ready vector art added to it or it can obviously just be cut plain. If you download the vector art just import it with the stl file of the lid into your cam software and combine them. I just overlayed the celtic cross into the center and gave it a .25” depth, giving me a total depth of the .75 inches. I used a .125” ballnose endmill for the top carving.
The base just gets milled on one side, I used a .25 inch ballnose endmill for this. Next time I would use a smaller router bit or even better mill the upper flat surface separately to get a nice sharp inside corner on the tenon. I ended up having to do some cleanup on the tenon.
The Front and Back Sides
For the front and back pieces, I just cut both pieces together. One side gets the rabbits cut .25” deep and .25” from the ends. The other side, the outside face, I just milled with the .25” ballnose router bits.
Shorter End Pieces
For the shorter end pieces I just used a straight endmill to mill them down to .5” thick and then cut the tongues on the end.
Here’s an image of all the pieces laid out. Lots of sanding to do.
Here’s the pieces assembled, fits together nicely.
That’s it! Lots of sanding and finishing to do to it still, but I’m sure you get the point. The cnc router did most of the work and the Celtic Cross really improved the look of the prayer box.