My daughters have an “International” night coming up at school. My wife and some of the other Japanese mothers were planning to have their kids write classmates names in Japanese (Katakana) on some custom bookmarks to promote the Japanese table that they will be running. So, I worked out some designs on the Glowforge to see if she wanted to use some of those.
We ended up using 5 of the patterns and I put different colored background on each set.
My daughter also wanted to do a Japanese fortune box. Japanese temples often have hexagonal fortune boxes that have a small hole in the top where sticks from inside the box can come out with a number on them. Then number corresponds to a drawer nearby that contains a fortune on a piece of paper. There are various levels of good and bad luck. So we decided to make one of those for the event. I started with some basic designs and made them out of cardboard to see if the parts would fit together as expected. It took me a couple of tries to get it where I felt it would work with wood.
I decided I might want to change the sticks inside at some point (we used disposable bamboo chopsticks for this) so I made a couple of cross beams with magnets on them for one side and glued metal washers to the back of one of the panels. This way I could pull it off and change the sticks out whenever we want (or fix it if they get jammed or broken).
To make the sticks I first cut a jig out of cardboard.
Then I placed the chopsticks into it and etched the different fortune levels into them.
I tried doing some black spray paint into the etch for the title side, but it bled a bit into the wood grain. Next time I think I’ll do a clear coat first to seal the wood, then black paint for contrast and finally remove the coating paper. It still looks pretty good though.
You can shake it to mix up the sticks, then tip it down so one falls out (the square tops of the chopsticks prevent it from coming all the way out and getting lost).
Maybe we should use it for Halloween and have it decide how much candy the kids get