No bend envelope test

Okay today I actually put an order (of Squirrel model airplanes) into the no-bend-envelope I made the other day. It will go in the mail tomorrow.

I glued paper across the windows hoping the surface tension of that plus the tape will help to get the Squirrels to their destination. Next time I will leave a layer of cardboard on the outside of the window.




HD Polyethylene Mill is slower but


I used it for making boxes for about 3h straight the other day. It runs slower than the Chinese mill but while it’s cutting I glue the boxes together and box up orders. The machine can actually keep up with me.

I think the mill was a good buy. It’s slower, less accurate, has more backlash but for many jobs, it can get the work done.

There is a wobble problem on the Z axis and the Y and X axis have quite a bit of play. The Y axis also started binding the other day at the far back extreme. I had to reduce the acceleration and maximum speed of the axis to get it to finish the job I was on. The supplier has agreed to send me new parts. He’s in Canada so it shouldn’t be too hard to work it out.

Making boxes on Polythene Mill

cardboard box maker

I used the poly mill to do a run of cardboard boxes today. It makes about 11 per hour at 40ipm. Well it’s about 6m per box so it could be 12 but with clamp time it’s about 11. I could probably run it at higher feed rates. I’ll try that later.

For now it’s okay. During the run time I am able to assemble the boxes that are cut out and do lots of other stuff such as shave, check email and such.

The new boxes assemble really fast and don’t require as many steps as my older boxes.

CNC box


I was just out doing volunteer work this evening (and running around with lots of kids with model planes).

I started to deploy the new Squirrel totes I made as practice on my CNC mill.

I cut them out with a 1/16th end mill. It’s a carbide, 2 flute. Seem okay for cardboard.

I’m now needing more cardboard to make some more. Today I bought some coroplast to see if that’s overkill. Probably a bit expensive for this application but it will be interesting to see if the mill will cut it nicely.

Squirrel Model Airplane Tote

squirrel tote

I have another revision of the Squirrel-Tote that I’m making so kids can take care of their Squirrel model airplanes.

This is great practice with using the mill and all the software that’s needed.

I am finally getting a box that might be useful.

As you can see I cut the word “SQUIRREL” into the box. I had the feed rate too high and it didn’t do the “S” very well. Next time I’ll use a different feed rate for the lettering.

The way I did this was to add 3d text in Sketchup. I made sure the Z axis was zero for the text. I needed to mirror it so I used the scale tool as a mirror. I then exploded the text as it comes as a Sketchup component. Once exploded, I could remove the inner geometry (the little D shapped pieces inside the R and such).

CNC Box Fail

tote box

I’ve been doing a lot of volunteer work making Squirrel model airplanes with children. One ongoing issue is that kids never remember to bring a box to tote their planes around.

With some community centers where there is no storage, this is a huge pain. I’ve had a whole fleet become damaged by clumsy staff. So I wind up bringing the planes back and forth myself until the kids are ready to take them home themselves.

So I’ve been wanting to come up with a small box. I could have a pile of them stored flat and then kids could grab them and fold them up (with glue).

I now have a CNC which is great for making cardboard boxes for sending things in the mail so I decided to try and come up with something.

This design really sucks so far. It sort of stacks

squirrel tote

Challenge: What’s a cool box design for toting Squirrel model airplanes around?

A Squirrel is a 12″ wingspan and is 12″ long as well. So I figure something around 12.75″ might be cool. Also it seems that about 3″ high is cool since the winglets are 2″ and then the motor stick ads about 3/8″ onto that. Plus there is the toothpick sticking out the bottom.

If they had a handle, that would be cool. Stacking is also good.

It could be made of several pieces of cardboard. Here I tried to make it from one piece (which barely fits my CNC machine.

Some sort of lid might be cool too.

I’m supposing that children may want to decorate their tote boxes as well.


The cardboard cuts in the pictures are pretty rough because I using a broken end mill. I broke it earlier today but it seems okay for cutting cardboard so I’ll keep using it while I’m practicing using my CNC mill.

CNC Snowflake

Free Cardboard!

Last night I did my regular visit to Grace Ottawa to pick up some cardboard. This is one of the places I get cardboard.

Guy and I spent some time on the computer making some g-code on my laptop computer. He showed me how to use CAMBAM to turn a snowflake and prepare it for cutting.

Today I was able to run the g-code and actually make some snowflakes. I’m quite surprised how well the machine works.

I really need to practice making stuff as it seems there is lots to learn!

My affair with cardboard

The model airplane project has really brought me closer to cardboard. For a start, my supplies come in cardboard boxes (for the most part). Here is a 2′ and 3′ order of balsa. Actually the large square box might be propellers, I can’t remember. 🙂

Much of this cardboard gets used for internal use. Here’s a box being used as a tote for local delivery in Ottawa. This box is surplus from when I moved a while back but you get the idea.

I also make a lot of things out of cardboard. For example, here is a glue holder.

Here’s a model airplane tote I made. I used it for carrying a model planes like a brief case.

I also get boxes from Grace Ottawa on Wednesday evening. That’s recycle night for the downtown Ottawa area (Bank street). This cardboard is cut and folded into boxes for mail order shipping.