Batch of Business Card Boxes

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Project by oldnovice posted 05-31-2013 06:52 AM 5338 views 74 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

5 Business Card Holders for U.S. Standard Business Card
1. Top Cherry, tung oiled
2. Second row left to right Zebrawood, tung oiled and Corian, no finish
3. Third row left to right Clear Pine, tung oiled and Maple, satin lacquer

1. Using my router plane sized the stock to just over 1/4” thick.
2. Router template, bushing, 1/8” diameter straight bit to cut the card pocket perimeter.
3. Router template, bushing, 1/4” diameter straight bit to cut the remainder of the card pocket.
4. Router table, 1/2” dovetail bit, to cut the sliding detail for open/close in bottom and top.
5. Sharpened the 1/16” radius in the Zebrawood version with a chisel.
6. Table saw, cut to size after all the detail work was completed.
7. Round over edges on Corian version with carbide round over bit, as the edges were way to sharp to handle.
8. Sand, sand, sand, apply tung oil to three versions, let dry, and buff.
9. Sand, sand and buff the Corian version.
10. Sand, sand, sand, apply three coats of spray can lacquer to the maple version.
11. No glue, nails, or screws were injured during this process!

The detail work, steps 1 … 3, can be done in one evening on one holder. The remaining work can be done in multiple evenings and the set below consumed the evenings of about two weeks. All of these were made with scraps. The Corian was the noisiest and appeared to create more of a mess as the chips were black. As one would expect, the Corian version is also the most stable with temperature/humidity as the wooden ones will swell out of shape, and return to normal, when carried in the shirt pocket (perhaps another type of finish would help). This does not occur when carried in outside coat pocket or off body.

By folding one card in half and placing that on the bottom of the stack of cards, the top cards pop out when opened at the proper end! I really don’t have a count of how many of these I have made and given away but these are my last 5 versions I made and there are no more are in the pipe!

-- "Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." -- Aldous Huxley

21 comments so far

View Jim Rowe's profile

Jim Rowe

1137 posts in 3769 days

#1 posted 05-31-2013 09:02 AM

A neat solution for using scraps of wood that would otherwise be binned! Nicely done. Thanks for the drawings.

-- It always looks better when it's finished!

View muleskinner's profile


941 posts in 3893 days

#2 posted 05-31-2013 02:01 PM

As usual Hans, elegance in the disguise of simplicity.

-- Visualize whirled peas

View Jim Bertelson's profile

Jim Bertelson

4275 posts in 4621 days

#3 posted 05-31-2013 02:40 PM

Very nice, Hans, I like that style of work.

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View DS's profile


4108 posts in 3877 days

#4 posted 05-31-2013 02:49 PM

Very impressive!
When I saw the title of your post I had a completely different expectaition of what I might see.
I like them very much. Congrats on a job well done!

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 5523 days

#5 posted 05-31-2013 03:58 PM

Very nice project, simple but useful. I like it :-)

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View Ken90712's profile


18113 posts in 4645 days

#6 posted 05-31-2013 04:52 PM

Great job and thx for sharing the plans. Thats very kind, I send out alot of plans i have but never thought to put it in as a pic …. Very nice.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 4493 days

#7 posted 05-31-2013 06:29 PM

Nice work and design, Hans. I’ll have to adapt this to the European standard.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View Dusty56's profile


11868 posts in 5145 days

#8 posted 05-31-2013 07:10 PM

Nice selection : ) Great project right down to the plans …thank you : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View oldnovice's profile


7791 posts in 4824 days

#9 posted 05-31-2013 07:19 PM

Thanks everyone!

A simple project to reduce scraps, make something useful, and get tool time!

-- "Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." -- Aldous Huxley

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 4426 days

#10 posted 06-01-2013 12:41 AM

Very nice work Hans, did you have any problems with workholding on these?

View oldnovice's profile


7791 posts in 4824 days

#11 posted 06-01-2013 04:18 AM

renners, the short answer is NO.

The long answer is: my template has two moveable cauls on both sides of the long opening in the template. I can move these towards/away from the template opening about 2” on either side with slots and flathead screws. Each of these cauls has a number of small nail points to grab the oversize stock. It has to be a little oversize to remove the nail bites from the cauls.

I take a piece of stock and move it around the template opening to guesstimate the best result. I draw the opening on the stock and at my TS cut one edge parallel to the drawn opening. Then I place the stock under the template again and adjust one of the cauls to grab the straightened edge … applying some pressure to get the nails to bite.

I then take the template with loosely held stock into my Workmate vise and crank down the jaws to force the other caul into the workpiece and I am ready to crank up the router (the Workmate is ideal for this as it will allow me to hold stock with non-parallel sides). Some slight readjustment may be required at this point, depending on how fussy one wants to be. After emptying the pocket (that was rather cute), it is off to the RT and TS.

At the RT I cut the matching dovetails into the top and bottom. Typically I double side tape the top piece to some thicker stock for the RT machining for two reasons:
  1. so I cannot bear down in the center section and make that cross-section too thin
  2. to save my fingers from the router bit.

After I have a matching bottom/top and assembled (sometimes very tightly as no sanding has been done) , I begin the cut out process at the TS cutting both halves at the same time and that is why the outside dimensions vary from piece to piece.

I guess I could have posted a picture but I just ran out of digital film! grimace

You know after writing/reading this, my original work description left a lot to be desired!

-- "Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." -- Aldous Huxley

View Woodknack's profile


13593 posts in 3837 days

#12 posted 06-01-2013 05:07 AM

These are wonderful. I’ve been wanting to make myself a card holder and there have been many creative versions posted but this is my favorite.

-- Rick M,

View Rob Drown's profile

Rob Drown

849 posts in 5290 days

#13 posted 06-01-2013 05:50 AM

Beautiful little projects . Very clever design. Nice work!! #1 for the whole site! WOW

-- The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools. Confucius, 经过艰苦的努力的梦想可以成真

View doubleDD's profile


11282 posts in 3500 days

#14 posted 06-01-2013 01:34 PM

These are really cool. I will steel this idea for my nephew. He carries his business cards with a rubber band around them. I’m sure he will like it. Thanks, nice work.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View oldnovice's profile


7791 posts in 4824 days

#15 posted 06-01-2013 10:40 PM

For anyone interested access to the prints and the fixture used to make the business card holders along with the instruction in post #11 above should get you going!

-- "Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." -- Aldous Huxley

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