Adventures in CNC routing #5: Making a "Wine" box

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Tooch posted 05-25-2018 07:13 PM 2827 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 4: Sorry my last post got hijacked Part 5 of Adventures in CNC routing series Part 6: Wine Box pt. 2 »

So I am currently in the process of making several wine boxes for upcoming weddings. These have been a staple of mine for the last few years, but I never explained how it all works. So here it goes!

I start with a solid piece of wood, and square it up to the appropriate dimensions (usually 5-3/8” wide by 44” long). I lay out and make all my cuts, being careful to alternate between sides and ends so that the grain will wrap around the corners giving a “waterfall” effect.

Next thing I cut my joints and check for fit/square. In this case I’ll be using mitered corners.

Taking measurements for the lid and bottom are easy when you lay the ruler flat in the dado cuts.

Then I cut down a piece of 1/4” Maple plywood, and again, check for fit/square. I found that using maple is most ideal when engraving, because the lettering and pictures show up so well compared to grainier woods like oak.

Before I glue it up, I design artwork for the carving for the front of the box using VCarve software. I normally use rings, but being that this box is for a second marriage, I figured I’d go with something else. In this case, I am planning to have a motorcycle theme, so I figured a bald eagle would be cool.

Prior to running the file, I find the center of the work piece by connecting opposite corners to make an “X”. Then I clamp the work piece onto the table of the CNC router, making sure it is square to the ends of the table.

Once the artwork is converted into a toolpath, I start up the Shark Control Panel, load the G-Code, and admit its hard to tell what the toolpath will make because it just looks like a big circle. The controls have an X and Y coordinate indicator which I use to jog the router into place, directly over the “X” that I marked on the face.

Before I run the file, I use a depth gauge to help me locate the Z coordinate datum. The depth gauge uses electrical current to complete a circuit, telling the computer when it touches and immediately setting Z0 (height of material).

Now I let the machine do its work, and in about an hour or so when I check on the machine the magic is complete!

For the Lids, I use a separate machine that is a laser engraver only. Of Course, a separate machine means separate software. This time I’ll be Using CorelDraw to create the artwork.

This file takes about 20 minutes to burn. While its engraving I begin work of the bottom of the lid. I will spare you the intricacies of the program, but once again, once I finish with the artwork I need to send it to a post processing control panel which controls the settings of the laser.

That file takes a little bit longer, as it covered more surface area of the panel. While its burning, I get things ready for glue up. Glue ups for this project require a little more attention to detail, to make sure that each piece is layed out to properly align with the next, and that the lid is facing the right direction, too.

After carefully running beads of glue on all corners and dados, It is built, lifted, and clamped for drying.

I think that’ll be all for today. It the Friday before Memorial Day Weekend, and I wont be sitting around to wait for this glue to dry. It’ll be here when I get back on Tuesday waiting for me. The Wedding is next Sat, june 2, so I have PLENTY of time :-P

Thanks for reading along, please feel free to ask any questions as I’d be more than happy to answer them!

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

6 comments so far

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3640 days

#1 posted 05-25-2018 07:19 PM

This will be a very nice box and it’s an interesting post.

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View hoss12992's profile


4171 posts in 2666 days

#2 posted 05-25-2018 07:57 PM

That looks great and very well explained. The lid panels you make REALLY set off the boxes. My son and daughter n law absolutely love their wine box and have had ALOT of compliments on the lid panel. Great job buddy

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View Tooch's profile


2013 posts in 2649 days

#3 posted 05-25-2018 10:09 PM

Thanks Charles I hope you liked it. Crazy, but there are 2 different machines and 4 software interfaces in this process!

Hoss I’m glad they like their box and am happy to be contribute to it. Although I re-use the file setup for most of the boxes, I always enjoy branching out like I am for this box

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

View Boxguy's profile


2876 posts in 3040 days

#4 posted 05-26-2018 12:35 AM

Tooch, thanks for writing this process up in two languages…words and pictures. This is a great box and the engraving that you do really enhances and personalized these projects. Thanks for taking us along on this. Now if it only had splines…

-- Big Al in IN

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

24794 posts in 3878 days

#5 posted 05-26-2018 01:50 AM

Nice work, Mike. Thanks for the instructions. Having a CNC router or laser sure enhances your woodworking projects. I wish could learn it, but I have so many irons in the fire now, I’d never have time to sleep..

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View Tooch's profile


2013 posts in 2649 days

#6 posted 05-26-2018 11:22 AM

Thanks Jim. It has been a learning experience for me, but I need to be able to do this for the kids at school to be able to do it. I know what you mean about irkna in the fire, for sure!

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics