Small cigar box with locking mechanism

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Project by KnickKnack posted 12-21-2016 12:33 PM 2934 views 6 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

It seems like I’ve been working on this thing forever.
Firstly I spent weeks trying to come up with a “locking mechanism” – this isn’t a “humidor” box where expensive cigars sit, moistly, waiting to be smoked, this was designed to be a “gad-about” box that goes in the bag I carry around with me – so it had to shut, and stay shut, all on its own – gravity wasn’t going to work. I didn’t want to use hardware, nor rely on any sort of “firmness” in it staying shut. In the end I came up with the mechanism you see here – basically it’s “spring loaded” with 1.5mm strips of beech (actually wood taken from “tongue depressors”) – the “latches” on the top bend those outwards until they click into place – small “buttons” on the side allow you to push the springs in, thereby releasing the top again. Works a treat.
Secondly I decided, early on, that I was never actually going to use this – it’s a bit too big, so I decided to try a few new things – the bookmatching of walnut burl on the top, and the piano finish. Well – piano finishes are hard – very hard – impossibly hard. I kept trying, then having to scrape it all off and start again, and again, and again. Eventually I called for help and my wife’s brother and his wife flew over to Lisbon from the UK for a few weeks with some hi-tech finishing gumpf which helped – at least that’s why I thought they came – the drinking, partying, eating and gigs we went to while they were here were just a lucky co-incidence. Even now this would only be acceptable on a cheap, second-hand piano – but I’ve learned a lot so next time I decide to try this I’ll be better.

Pretty much self-explanatory – ply and some wood I found a while ago from a busted-up outdoor chair – perhaps acacia (?) – very light, with some nice spalting. Lots of very very tiny dowel joints done with barbecue sticks.

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."

8 comments so far

View Jim Rowe's profile

Jim Rowe

1058 posts in 2490 days

#1 posted 12-21-2016 01:56 PM

That’s a really neat locking solution. Added to favourites.

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

View ahavenz11's profile


7 posts in 713 days

#2 posted 12-21-2016 04:30 PM

The locking mechanism is unlike anything ive seen. Nice work!

-- USA Made or bust! | | The finest Copper Sinks in the World!

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10299 posts in 4230 days

#3 posted 12-21-2016 07:20 PM

COOL project…

Very cool latching mechanism… UNIQUE…

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year Y’all!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:"

View Steve Preslar's profile

Steve Preslar

201 posts in 713 days

#4 posted 12-22-2016 03:57 AM

Very nice, great work!

-- Live, lathe, and prosper. - William Gwin

View Roger's profile


20949 posts in 2982 days

#5 posted 12-22-2016 02:29 PM

Very snazzy. Some nice machining

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View splintergroup's profile


2344 posts in 1400 days

#6 posted 12-22-2016 03:54 PM

That could fit any number of uses beyond the storage of stogies (but one must keep their herfers secure!).

View danoaz's profile


223 posts in 2348 days

#7 posted 01-10-2017 12:44 PM

Maybe you should have “smoke” the finish – I mean “fumed” the wood. Nice piece of work but I hope you really don’t smoke the contents. Like the spring. I am still trying to figure out how you made all those small pieces when I see the size of your fingers in the pictures. I could see you turning it into a necklace holder for your beautiful wife. I think she would love to have one of your projects that is finally “useful”. Good job sir.

-- "Simplicity and repose are the qualities that measure the true value of any work of art." Frank LLoyd Wright

View DocSavage45's profile


8706 posts in 3020 days

#8 posted 02-08-2017 01:26 AM

Detailed to the max and simple to see. which makes it an elegant design It’s you. Nice piece.

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

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