Dodecahedron Box

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Project by kmitty posted 07-08-2011 01:43 PM 7154 views 13 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This box was inspired by one I saw a long time ago while searching the net and thought it would be increadibly difficult to make to the necessry accuracy – filed it away at the time as a ‘maybe one day’ activity. Regretably I can no longer find that inspiration online to give attribution – perhaps it was someone here?

Finally decided to have a go as I have a couple of watches that needed an appropriate place to live.

The box is 15cm in diameter. The edges are American walnut and the inset panels are bird-eye maple veneer on mdf ground. Finished with sanding sealer and wax.

I had a couple of false starts deciding how to make the 12 sides. I started off trying to cut pentagons the full size of a side with the idea of veneering that with both the maple and using walnut veneer to form the edges. In the end it proved easier to actually make each side of each pentagon in sold walnut and then glue the 5 pieces of walnut for a given pentagon together around a dummy centre which was popped out once the glue had dried. That gave 12 penrtagon frames which was useful as I could then wrap tape around the edges to hold the overall dodecahedron together while glueing up the complet shape (obviously without glue around the edges where the box opens). The picture of the sketcup model may show what I mean more clearly. Once dry the walnut panels were glued in. Small embedded magnets hold the lid shut.

13 comments so far

View SgtSnafu's profile


960 posts in 3268 days

#1 posted 07-08-2011 01:55 PM

Awesome – Very Well Done. That is a quite complicated box, and yours turned out very well..

Thanks for sharing

-- Scotty - aka... SgtSnafu - Randleman NC

View Dark_Lightning's profile


3159 posts in 3105 days

#2 posted 07-08-2011 02:11 PM

Maybe from the cover of this book? I made a hollow copper dodecahedron based on that figure. It’s just the edges.

or maybe:

-- Random Orbital Nailer

View Bluepine38's profile


3379 posts in 3082 days

#3 posted 07-08-2011 03:23 PM

Do not know where you got your inspiration/challenge, but you made a great project. I am just starting
segmented turning and regular angles are bad enough, you and Sam Shakouri make those compound angles
look so simple and wonderful, maybe one of these days,LOL. Thank you for sharing and challenging.

-- As ever, Gus-the 79 yr young apprentice carpenter

View shipwright's profile


7980 posts in 2794 days

#4 posted 07-08-2011 03:28 PM

Wow, That looks familiar.
Good job and welcome to the dodecahedron club.
The link provided above is to my construction blog .
The project is here:

I’m not at all sure that was easier than veneering both sides and just gluing up the pieces like I did but it certainly came out nicely.
More than one way to skin a cat. Congrats. It looks great.

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View Bricofleur's profile


1442 posts in 3189 days

#5 posted 07-08-2011 04:30 PM

Wow! What a patient and skilled woodworker you are! It must be a real challenge. Congrats.



-- Learn from yesterday, work today and enjoy success tomorrow. --

View BertFlores58's profile


1698 posts in 2918 days

#6 posted 07-08-2011 04:42 PM

This is geometry realized in a box. Excellent planning.

At Paul, There are now new breed of LJ who are inspired from your work. A day ago was Zebrabox from Martyn. And probably I will copy your hinge this weekend for one special box. Thanks for the experts who really are the mentors…

-- Bert

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 3033 days

#7 posted 07-08-2011 05:00 PM

Clever technique and a good looking box. Well done indeed.

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

View peteg's profile


4284 posts in 2819 days

#8 posted 07-09-2011 12:54 AM

This is one of thoes ones you have to get your head around to have a successful result.
Nice job well done :)

-- Pete G: If you always do what you always did you'll always get what you always got

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18268 posts in 3672 days

#9 posted 07-09-2011 02:27 AM

Looks like you succeeded! Nice! Maybe someday for me? ............ ;-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View NormG's profile


6111 posts in 3000 days

#10 posted 07-09-2011 03:58 AM

Great job, glad to see it all fits together so well

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2686 days

#11 posted 07-09-2011 04:13 AM

You and Shipwright must have attended geometry college together. What an unbelievable project. I salute you both! I get a headache just contemplating this build.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View theindigoyeti's profile


1 post in 2060 days

#12 posted 10-01-2012 09:30 PM

Hey I was just wondering what angle you bevelled the inside edges so that everything would fit together? I am about to build a dodecahedron for school. Thanks!

View kmitty's profile


13 posts in 2644 days

#13 posted 10-01-2012 09:55 PM

Theindigoyeti – I’ve added an image showing the ‘normal’ angle on a face – that was the key angle I calculated to build the box. Have fun!

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