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#### johnniece28

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Good Day all! I am trying to calculate outer box dimensions based on the size of what I want to place inside the box. The project is for a set of odd sized playing cards. I want to build a box with an inner dimension that is just large enough to hold the cards tight, but not too tight that suction causes the cards to be hard to remove. The cards would be laying horizontal (flat). I am thinking 3/8" boards with mitered corners with splines or possibly box joints.
I can't find a way to calculate the board dimensions. Even better if I decide to make a "vertical" box (cards standing on the short end - how would I calculate that?
The dimensions of the cards are 4.5" x 2" x 6.75"
Any ideas are most welcome!

#### waho6o9

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I would build a test piece using scrap lumber and go from there.
Best....

#### John Smith_inFL

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John, Welcome to the forum.
How would you get the cards out if there is such a small amount of clearance? Turn the wood box over and just dump them out each time ? I agree with Waho - cut some boards and lay them out to dry-fit your items. How many decks of cards are you talking about to be in the box?

#### jwoodcraft

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Another way is to stack two pieces of the stock and the cards and a shim for the desired clearance, and mark that.

#### WoodenDreams

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+John... I would add 1/4" to the inner box dimensions on each side, for ease of deck removal. Another removal method, is to drill a 1" hole in the bottom of box. So you can poke the deck out from the bottom with your finger.

#### splintergroup

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I've made a number of card deck boxes

Another version here

As already stated here (assuming 45deg mitered corners) each side is the width of your cards + twice the thickness of the sidewalls. Add a small amount of clearance for the deck to fall out into your hand when you tip it over.

#### KentInOttawa

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Working with a TBI. Handtools for me...
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I am doing a similar project, although I can guarantee that you'll finish yours first. I'm building mine for Skip Bo cards, so that is essentialy 3 decks of cards with jokers combined and then stored in the box in two piles (162 cards total).

What I'm doing is duplicating an existing box's dimensions. I know that the box works because I use it regularly. To get the dimensions I just set the box on a sheet of graph paper, marked the dimensions and connected the lines with a ruler.

I wound up with a full-sized, old-school, 3-view isometric drawing. If I need a dimension, I can read or transer it directly from the drawing. FWIW, I'm doing mine 100% unplugged, so I'll cut the total length needed for the sides and ends combined (with some fudge added) so that I can mill the widths and thicknesses the same before gang-cutting my pieces to final length.

I also mocked up two piles of cards from some softwood SPF 2x offcuts that I can use during the build. I glued some old cards to the blocks so that they don't get lost or chucked into the burn bin. You can see the actual cards and the model piles here.

@jwoodcraft's (math) technique will work well for mitred, spline-mitred or dovetailed joints, but any sort of rabetted or notched joint will get more involved. Making a full-sized drawing would be a big help to help you visualize and confirm whatever dimensions you come up with.

As an alternative variation, you could mock up the stacks of cards like I did and then use the models to lay out the "holes" that you'll need for the cards in your boxes. Draw the sides and ends in the desired thickness and, Bob's your uncle, you've got the same type of working drawing to work from.

#### horky

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Just food for thought or a possible starting point

#### johnniece28

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All, I can't thank you all enough! I'm blown away by the amount of answers and the details! This is why it is great to be a woodworker! I can't wait to start on the project! Have a great weekend!

#### johnniece28

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#### woodnek

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I like jwoodcrafts solution.
Teach them the solution and they can do it themselves next time.
Show them the solution and well, they'll be back next time.

#### johnniece28

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I am doing a similar project, although I can guarantee that you'll finish yours first. I'm building mine for Skip Bo cards, so that is essentialy 3 decks of cards with jokers combined and then stored in the box in two piles (162 cards total).

What I'm doing is duplicating an existing box's dimensions. I know that the box works because I use it regularly. To get the dimensions I just set the box on a sheet of graph paper, marked the dimensions and connected the lines with a ruler.

I wound up with a full-sized, old-school, 3-view isometric drawing. If I need a dimension, I can read or transer it directly from the drawing. FWIW, I'm doing mine 100% unplugged, so I'll cut the total length needed for the sides and ends combined (with some fudge added) so that I can mill the widths and thicknesses the same before gang-cutting my pieces to final length.
View attachment 3861463
I also mocked up two piles of cards from some softwood SPF 2x offcuts that I can use during the build. I glued some old cards to the blocks so that they don't get lost or chucked into the burn bin. You can see the actual cards and the model piles here.
View attachment 3861466
@jwoodcraft's (math) technique will work well for mitred, spline-mitred or dovetailed joints, but any sort of rabetted or notched joint will get more involved. Making a full-sized drawing would be a big help to help you visualize and confirm whatever dimensions you come up with.

As an alternative variation, you could mock up the stacks of cards like I did and then use the models to lay out the "holes" that you'll need for the cards in your boxes. Draw the sides and ends in the desired thickness and, Bob's your uncle, you've got the same type of working drawing to work from.
Beautiful box! Thank you!

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