"The first time somebody acknowledged your skill," writes craftsperson Jeff Baenen, "and asked you to personally make them something (and they would pay you!)... was a moment I will always remember." Years ago the Illinois-based Baenen, a mechanical designer by training, was having drinks with a co-worker who asked if Jeff could build him a special box: One that would hold his wife's family Bible.
A box to hold a book, sounds simple, no? But religious tomes that double as family heirlooms require a certain amount of reverence, and there was also a nuts-and-bolts design problem to solve:
The size of the family bible had a huge impact on how the box would be designed. I think it was somewhere around 14”×10”×4”. Being of such a large size I didn't want to have a person reach into the box to pull out the bible (it was pretty heavy). Nor did I want them picking the box up and dumping the bible out.
Baenen's solution was to design and build an interior mechanism that would enable the user to raise the book up out of the box, like something from an Indiana Jones movie. "I designed a lifting mechanism that would allow the bible to 'rise' out of the box by rotating two cam arms," Baenen explains. "In the down state the mechanism is only .75” thick. When actuated it will raise the bible 3.5” out of the box... easy to just grab with your hands."
Here's shots of the mechanism and the SolidWorks drawings he did to work it out: