final interlocking panel box

interlocking panel box

Is there a shape (solid) which can be repeated 6 times and interlocks to form a hexahedron? I’m still not entirely sure. This may even have search results, but I never looked it up. I wanted to figure it out for myself.

I mean, I still haven’t figured it out, but I got kind of close.

foam core interlocking panel box

Just thinking about it only got me to the point where I realized I needed something in my hands. My first attempt was with foam core, but as you can see from the painter’s tape, I wasn’t entirely sure this would work. The idea is there, but I think I figured out that 2 of the sides need to be different than the other four.

balsa interlocking panel box

So, I moved on to balsa wood because it’s very easy to cut and has a thickness you can work with. And it’s wood. More or less.

poplar interlocking panel box (partial)

This is where I got overconfident. I had some leftover poplar from another project so I went straight for the power tools. What you see are the panels that made it. My router ate the rest.

whiteboard interlocking panel box

But that was the table router, and I knew that the concept was there if I could just make one and keep all my hand parts. So, I went to the CNC router, using whiteboard because of its very uniform thickness. Also, I wanted a hexahedron I could draw on with dry erase markers for yet another project.

final interlocking panel box

That worked fine, but now I wanted something a little fancier so I returned to poplar. I also wanted to test my band saw skillz [sic] which are lacking yet pretty well concealed here.

The router approach was my favorite, although I had to clean up the interior corners. On the final box, I finished the corners with a roundover bit which I think does a better job of bringing the eye around the corners and makes the box more of an object of interest.

So, if you know the answer to my original question, I guess you can just go ahead and tell me now. I feel like I’ve done enough to not feel lazy.

P.S. Yes I know you can just bevel the edges, but the panels have to interlock and all be identical.