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Military Shadow Box construction

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Blog entry by jez posted 04-03-2009 08:44 AM 7365 reads 0 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Have begun construction on a shadow box for my retirement. First step – think out all the angles, grooves, dados, joints etc. and put the concept to paper. Scale helps to figure out exactly what the angles are and can help to see what might and might not work. As with any plan, once the actual work begins, the plan will often change to be either more doable or possible.

Decided to build a shadow box for a 5’ x 8’ US flag in a doghouse pattern. Looked at several sites for ideas (including Pat Cavanaugh’s blog here at Lumberjocks – thanks Pat!).

Such was the case here – pictures show initial plan and some changes as I began construction/cut-out. I didn’t have access to a planer or jointer so I used oak from a nearby DIY store. Purchased 2 pieces of 3/4 red oak, 3 1/2” wide, 6’ and 8’ lengths. Ended up using most of the oak as a couple of mistakes were made…

Here’s a shot of the project glued up, partially stained Honey Oak, and with glass installed (temp). Next – final sanding and poly!


Final project soon!!!
Photobucket

Here are the initial plans.
Photobucket

-- Ed



16 comments so far

View rickf16's profile

rickf16

376 posts in 2329 days


#1 posted 04-03-2009 02:19 PM

Nice design Ed. I have made a few shadow boxes myself, but none look this good. Look forward to the final posting.

-- Rick

View Pat Cavanaugh's profile

Pat Cavanaugh

135 posts in 2119 days


#2 posted 04-03-2009 02:41 PM

I like the design Ed. I’ve seen pentagon boxes before but the elongated sides lend a great deal of elegance to yours. Can’t wait to see the final.

Pat

-- Pat - Biloxi, MS

View Don Newton's profile

Don Newton

712 posts in 2367 days


#3 posted 04-03-2009 10:34 PM

Hi Ed,

Is this going to be wall mounted or will it have a base of some kind. I noticed that’s where you deviated from your plan. Nice job! Time to start thinking about the next project, although, sometimes your fisrt project only serves to increase your want list for tools! By the way Ed…there design modifications….not mistakes. I hate the “M” word.

-- Don, Pittsburgh

View DaleM's profile

DaleM

924 posts in 2132 days


#4 posted 04-04-2009 01:40 AM

Nice shadow box Ed. I just received my flag last Friday at my retirement ceremony so this is a timely post for me. I may have to build something similar. I say similar, instead of the same because of the unplanned design modifications that Don referred to.

-- Dale Manning, Carthage, NY

View jez's profile

jez

31 posts in 2118 days


#5 posted 04-04-2009 02:46 AM

Thanks Rick – nice words. Hopefully the final posting will be next week though my retirement ceremony isn’t for almost 2 months.

-- Ed

View jez's profile

jez

31 posts in 2118 days


#6 posted 04-04-2009 02:48 AM

Thanks Pat – your design was inspirational. I wanted to make the glass to be able to be replaced (too many military moves under my belt) and I didn’t want to have to disassemble the box to replace the glass. GThat led to the final design…

I’ll also be mounting a mesquite AF logo on the final – currently contemplating how to mount the logo on the velvet/cork. I think I have a good plan though – we’ll see.

-- Ed

View jez's profile

jez

31 posts in 2118 days


#7 posted 04-04-2009 03:21 AM

Don –
I plan to wall mount it. Due to frequent moves, haven’t been able to stockpile large pieces of oak that would be required for the base. Maybe next time. The plans do show a base – on the right, and no base on the left. That way, I could go either way if I found a nice piece of oak to use there.

As to first project – this isn’t even close to the first. I’ve been turning wood into sawdust for many years…

Thanks for the note!

-- Ed

View jez's profile

jez

31 posts in 2118 days


#8 posted 04-04-2009 03:30 AM

Dale – congrats on retirement!

Thanks for your service – was it military? Is this a final retirement or a chance to double-dip for a while?

As to modifications – there were some along the way. As to the other M word – I think we all make them, some are recoverable and some require throwing out an offensive piece of lumber (or recycling it into something else)!

It’s pretty easy to add metal to a project if you cut it a bit shy – but you will have a hard time making wood grow that’s been shaved a bit too closely!

Happy sawing! (Measure twice, cut once?!)

-- Ed

View DaleM's profile

DaleM

924 posts in 2132 days


#9 posted 04-04-2009 03:55 AM

Ed,
I wish it was final so I could focus more on my hobbies, but just shy of 24 years in the Army doesn’t earn enough retirement pay to make it even close to being final. I’m sure I will find the extra income useful though since the job situation isn’t all that great right now. A little money from woodworking on the side couldn’t hurt either.

-- Dale Manning, Carthage, NY

View jez's profile

jez

31 posts in 2118 days


#10 posted 04-04-2009 04:33 AM

Dale,
My retirement is not final either. Been in the AF for 25 yrs and looking at starting a new job in Orlando. Got one lined up – hopefully it will allow me time for the hobby!

Not planning on selling anything yet – but I did get to spend a few years in cabinet shops when I was a teen. Enjoyed seeing things develop from planks and plywood into works of art!

-- Ed

View jez's profile

jez

31 posts in 2118 days


#11 posted 04-04-2009 04:35 AM

Pat – what finish do you recommend for the shadow box? Polyurethane? I’m thinking a semi-gloss poly though I may go with a semi-gloss lacquer instead.

Anyone else?

Thanks,

-- Ed

View jockmike2's profile

jockmike2

10635 posts in 2995 days


#12 posted 08-31-2009 03:56 PM

Thanks for your service from one vet to another.

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View jez's profile

jez

31 posts in 2118 days


#13 posted 09-02-2009 04:31 AM

You’re welcome Mike – thanks for your service as well!

-- Ed

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112898 posts in 2325 days


#14 posted 09-02-2009 04:35 AM

good going well done

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View BethS's profile

BethS

1 post in 591 days


#15 posted 05-10-2013 04:46 PM

I love your shadow box. Would you consider making and selling the AF emblem that is inside of your shadow box? I just recently retired and have a beautiful flag case and a somewhat plain shadow case. I would love to add such a beautiful piece to my shadow box.

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