Pelican Keepsake Box
I wanted to make a unique keepsake box for my daughter’s birthday. I found out that she likes pelicans, ok let’s put a 3D pelican carving on the box top. I do not like to make things with straight lines. I like curves and contours in my designs. Milo Scott had created his double dovetail box about a year ago and I liked the vertical contour idea of his box. It still had too many straight lines for what I wanted. I decided to use a custom box joint on the corners that could be cut on the Maverick CNC’s vertical vise.
Now I wanted to add a contour to the box sides horizontally for more shape. This creates a double two rail sweep in the design. I also added the arch at the bottom to create feet and add a shadow line on each side. I designed the basic box in AutoCAD 2019 and imported the components into Aspire 9.5V to create the final design and G Code. I had not tried a double two rails weep before (there was a bit of a learning curve) but I love the shape of the box. The trick to this box is getting the rout corners to match using the double contours of the sides.
After a number of prototype cuts of the sides and box joints, I decided to assemble the box (including the bottom) after cutting the box joints on the Maverick CNC vertical vise. The box sides are still flat when glued up. I clamped (four bar clamps) the box to the vertical vise and leveled it using the spindle of the CNC. I cut the box side shape using a .250 Ball Nose cutter. This also required another prototype to learn how to prevent tear out on the corners. The doodling on the bottom of the box inside is a design of my granddaughter’s.
I wanted to carve the pelican into the lid of the box, but not have the lid look bulky and also wanted the lid to follow the contour of the box. By creating a dish shape for the pelican and machining everything away outside of the dish down to a quarter inch, I was able to create a slimmer look to the lid.
I would not have been able to create the pelican box without the use of the Maverick CNC, the vertical vise attachment and Aspire.–Doug Pinney
Throughout most of my adult working career, I owned my own businesses. Prior to retiring in 2009, at the age of 67, I was a design and build general contractor focusing on commercial building construction. One thing that made owning my own businesses so rewarding was learning new things and taking on new challenges. So I knew when I retired I would have to find a way to satisfy my urge for learning. My wife had suggested that I finish up the wood shop that I had started several years before retiring. I didn’t need much more prompting than that to get everything rolling forward. I finished my 4000 square foot shop/warehouse and launched into woodworking full time.
Continuing my quest for new knowledge and skills, I started looking into CNC machines in early 2014. I came across a lot of different machines but in most cases, the key machinery was made out of weaker materials from China which didn’t interest me. I started reading through different trade magazines and searching the internet. I also came up with a set of criteria that I wanted in a new machine/company, namely, provide training up front, aftermarket support, components manufactured in the US and stood completely behind their product. One evening I remembered that I had seen Legacy Woodworking Machinery ( a CNC manufacturer), at the Denver “Wood Show” I attended years earlier. I gave Legacy a call the first thing the next morning and found them to be very helpful with technical information and running different types of software on the machine. After the discussion, I realized they had met all my criteria.
Even though deep down I knew they were the right choice, I spent another month researching a few other possibilities but nothing compared to Legacy. Because I had reached out to them to get information, they had added me to one of their email distribution lists. I received an email one day from Legacy stating that Andy Anderson (owner of Legacy) was going to hold a three-day seminar at a high school in Fort Garland, Co. They were more than willing to provide training even though I hadn’t purchased a machine. After attending the seminar, I was convinced that the Legacy was the machine for me and I ordered a Legacy Arty 58 Pro 5-axis machine with a water cooled spindle and Aspire software by Vectric the following week.