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  1. #1 DIY High Quality Apple Boxes 
    Senior Member John Saunders's Avatar
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    First let me say that I have a love of building things myself sometimes this can lead to projects that are fun but probably more expensive than if I had just bought the thing in the first place. But did I mention fun?

    So I needed to get a set of apple boxes and wanted high quality ones. The ones that I found seemed nice but kinda pricey (with shipping). Plus I wanted like a set and a half so I could make 2 pairs of every size (x1 8" x2 4" x1 2" x2 1").

    I went to a nice local hardwood store and bought a 5x5 sheet of 3/4" 13 ply A-1 baltic birch and 5x5 1/4" (7 ply?) A-1 baltic birch for a total of $150.

    Then I went to work...

    Cutting:


    Routing:


    More routing:


    Screwing:


    Cutting plugs:


    Drilling screw holes:


    Box glued, screwed, assembled and plugged:


    Sanding:


    Edge Rounding Routing:


    More Routing:


    And the finished product:




    I think I am going to burn in our logo and stain them grey but I am happy with the way they turned out.

    Things to consider before you build your own...
    Is it really worth it? I thought it was but I have all of the tooling to do it properly and the knowledge to use them.
    If I counted the cost of my time to make these they would be VERY expensive apple boxes (about 8 hours).

    Now I had fun building these and I know that they will last me a long time but if you don't have the right tools it could be very frustrating.

    Tools I used:
    Table saw
    Pneumatic Stapler
    Drill
    Plug cutter
    Plunge Router (with lots of different bits)
    Sander (rotary and palm)
    and a number of common smaller hand tools

    If you need to know apple box dimensions here they are:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_box

    Please don't ask how I laid out my plywood cuts I don't remember and if you can't figure it out on your own please see the links below.

    So I hope this helps some people. If you are thinking about it but are at all uncertain about how you will do it or how they will turn out I would consider purchasing them.

    Here are some excellent apple boxes:
    http://www.andyfilms.net/MadlyFins/
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc..._Box_Full.html
    Last edited by John Saunders; 12-08-2011 at 08:10 AM.
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  2. #2  
    Senior Member Scott Miller's Avatar
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    Nice work...

    And interesting to hear that sometimes the "Time" is more expensive than just buying something!!

    (This coming from a guy who bought a CNC Mill to make some of my own kit :-)
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  3. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Miller View Post
    Nice work...

    And interesting to hear that sometimes the "Time" is more expensive than just buying something!!

    (This coming from a guy who bought a CNC Mill to make some of my own kit :-)
    Half the fun is usually doing it yourself! looks good! im almost inspired to make my own now!

    random side question, what kind of CNC did you get?
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  4. #4  
    Senior Member John Saunders's Avatar
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    Yeah if it wasn't for the fun of it half the time it wouldn't make sense to DIY.

    I haven't gone so far as to get a CNC but I did buy a used 900lb knee mill... :)
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  5. #5  
    i decided to make my own budget camera crane out of aluminum and including a wireless remote pan/tilt head.

    it cost about 4 times as much as i planned, it took well over 100 hours. All in all i could have bought a nicer crane and pan/tilt head unit for less money. (assuming i was paying myself $20 for every hour spent on it.)

    but holy crap was it ever fun - i learned a hell of alot.

    Like these boxes, as time goes on you will most definitively appreciate these more because they came from your own hands. - good job btw the woodwork is fantastic
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  6. #6  
    Senior Member John Saunders's Avatar
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    My latest milling project.
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  7. #7  
    REDuser Sponsor Andy Jarosz's Avatar
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    Woah John--that milled part looks great!

    The thing we discovered about apple boxes when making MadlyFins is there's so many options for them, we had to offer something that set them apart. To this end, we decided to make them furniture-quality and offer customization options. We seem to have hit on something people like, because to the best of my knowledge, we've never shipped off a set without some sort of customization!

    You think it's just a wooden box, but honestly it's so much more then that, as you discovered!
    AC and owner of MadlyFins, LLC
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  8. #8  
    Senior Member Nick Wernham's Avatar
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    Really nice work, John! You are really good at this stuff! I really admire people who are good at working with their hands like you clearly are since being skilled in that way was never something that was prioritized in my family.

    I must admit, for example, that I had to Google "knee mill" as I had absolutely no idea what that meant until just now.
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  9. #9  
    Senior Member John Saunders's Avatar
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    Thanks, I really appreciate it. Building stuff is kinda my outlet. I crank up the music and just work away. I can go for hours and once I am done I feel more relaxed than when I started :)

    But it is funny to see how a lot of times it would have just been cheaper to buy whatever you are making...
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  10. #10  
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    I've never understood why out here in Oz, apple boxes are nesting sets, versus the common-size but variable-height US apple boxes... One of those things, I guess. Kind of like the differences in responsibilities between grips here and there.
    Cail Young
    Problem Solver
    Inspiration Studios, Melbourne, Australia
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